Tanya Enberg: Unexpected Mother


Freedom! What is this Thing Called 'Me Time' Again?


It’s not even noon and I’ve picked up a few groceries for tonight’s dinner, ran errands, hung several pictures and have removed dozens of smudge marks from our walls. Smudge marks that have been driving me crazy for ages.

I’ve also made myself an egg and cheese sandwich, tidied up, completed some paperwork, cleaned my computer screen, downloaded new music to my iTunes and had a chance to sit down and write.

Next I’ll take Maggie-the-dog for a walk and get back to the work of being a scribe.

This never happens.

Maybe it once did, but I honestly can’t recall.

There is a fire burning through me. Energy is zip zapping and radiating from my core.

There is a list — an enormous list that has developed the layers of a heavily skinned onion — that I am finally, after a year and a half of being with my darling son almost 24-7, picking away at.

It is invigorating, not because I don’t miss my sweet baby, I do, but because I’ve missed myself as well.

Where have I been?

Somewhere consumed in the around-the-clock demands of motherhood, with our energetic tot tugging constantly at my leg or taking me by the hand to play with blocks and trains and cars and Play-Doh.

We’ve been to countless play dates and parks, museums and galleries, to swimming lessons and music classes, and we’ve come up with art projects and games for those really cold, miserable days.

I’ve been making him meals, scrubbing food from his face and cleaning up crumbs. Reading our boy books and teaching him life skills. I’ve been changing diapers, giving him baths, brushing his teeth and clipping his nails. I’ve been kissing boo boos better, tending to tears and launching tickle fests. We’ve been shaking our sillies out and laughing so hard our cheeks hurt.

And since our son was born, I’ve been doing all of this while maintaining my passion for writing during his naps.

To put that in perspective, rarely have I had more than a continuous two-hour stretch to myself in a year-and-a-half, and those two hours have always been spent inside our home with me working quiet as a mouse as our child slept upstairs.

So here I am, some version of myself that I’ve yet to meet. A person who suddenly has time to think, write and listen to silence.

It’s a novelty today, as it is my son’s longest stint yet at his new daycare (not quite a full day, but getting there).

Maybe tomorrow I will cry, and again the day after that.

For now, in this moment, I feel a fabulous rush of freedom. I am reveling in it, jumpy with all of the things I suddenly have time to do.

For now, I must try to remember to breathe instead of charging full-speed ahead.

Maybe I’ll soon remember who I was pre-baby and maybe I’ll realize she no longer exists.

Maybe I’ll reclaim tiny pieces of her.

Maybe I’ll just sit here for a while, feel the delight of being alone in my own space.   

Maybe I’ll just enjoy doing a few small things for myself, or do nothing at all.

Maybe I’ll just take my time.

Maybe, for now, I’ll just be me and relish the discovery of who that person turns out to be.