Can I be more than Mommy?

betty ming liu Food, Inspiration, Relationships 27 Comments

My baby girl just left for camp, which leaves me rattling around the house alone. Scary! Especially since this is my future. Next summer, my daughter graduates from high school and heads for college.

And when that happens, can I stand being home alone? Can I create a new life that’s not centered on being Mommy? To calm myself the other night, I went to McDonald’s.

While fast food isn’t normally on my radar, once a year I indulge in my favorite junk food meal: two Filet-O-Fish with a small order of fries. But instead of the usual Diet Coke, I gave into the urge for a high-calorie, feeling-sorry-for-myself vanilla shake.

Then I went home to feast, on the deck. Alone.

Actually, I had a very nice time by myself. Besides, I wasn’t totally alone since Rosebud was hanging around.

Not exactly a gluten-free, nutritious meal, haha! As a compromise, I trimmed off most of the bun. Yes, it was delicious. No, I didn’t share with the dog.

As I pigged out, I had an idea. Maybe this meal is just the beginning. What if each day was filled with something that’s a treat for me? After all, the daily mothering duties are shrinking. Soon, there will be more time to explore.

I need to find new ways to happiness and get out of my daughter’s face. Nothing worse than a lonely, hovering mother who lives through her child. As a survivor of that kind of parenting, it would be a crime to inflict that on Gabi.

So for the next two weeks, I am committing myself to indulging in one delicious treat per day. It doesn’t have to be food or elaborate or expensive (although it was shocking to spend $12.31 at Mickey D’s…isn’t that kinda steep?)

This blog post is my contract to myself. At the end of two weeks, I’ll share the results.

Now that my daughter is growing up, I need to do some growing too.


Comments 27

  1. Post

    Well, today is a new day, Charlotte. Which means I’m getting a little more excited too. Still, a huge adjustment. I’ve watched some of my friends go through this with their kids and there’s a lot of letting go involved — esp on the parents’ part. And RB thanks you for liking her pic. :)

    1. Post

      Yeah, MJ, I am in a new world now. It’s kinda scary but I can do it. Btw, I am trying something new here. It’s actually 8:45 p.m. and I’m finally sitting down after my work day, having dinner (alone) and walking the dog. But my blog lets me change the time for my comments so I’m gonna use that tonight to answer you individually. Do any of you mind? Because the comment time isn’t actually accurate. Anyways, here I go…

  2. It is kind of scary isn’t it? Like learning to walk again after pushing a baby carriage or stroller around!! Actual ME TIME!! Go for it!! Find all the things that you always wanted to do and start doing for YOU!!!

    Enjoy!!! And when the grandkids come it is fun to play with them and go home to your own space!!!

    1. Post

      Mamamiaheather, I didn’t think I would be scared but I am. Of all the hats that I wear in my life, “mommy” was the crown jewel. Would miss this experience for anything. Love my baby more than anyone in this world. It’s not like I’ve really put my whole life on hold to be a mother but this is all so different. As for grandkids, I hope that doesn’t happen for a long while but someday that would be very nice. Thanks for the encouragement!

    1. Post

      Haha, so you’re a McNuggets woman — thanks for sharing your secrets, Laura! I can’t wait to see where I am in two weeks, too. Last night, my delicious treat was doing 45 minutes of hand/arms-focused yoga and then crawling into bed by 9:15 p.m. That felt really good.

  3. Boy can I relate Betty!
    My “feeding frenzy” wasn’t induced by “less of someone”, but “more of someone”, aka new suitor.
    And this “healthy foodie’s” infrequent visit to the Golden Arches is usually also for the fillet-o-fish & fries. ‘Never been a milkshake fan, so washed down my “toxins” w/ a large Dunkin Donuts unsweetened ice tea + extra lemon. Truth be told, it really didn’t even taste all that good … except for the tea … ‘not exactly “heavy food” weather! Although this weather REALLY makes me crave my other “guilty pleasure” … the Dairy Queen Buster Bar. THANKFULLY, not many DQs around here!
    I like your idea of “indulging” in one delicious treat daily for the next two weeks, “to do some growing”. ‘Will re-evaluate my future choices tho … so I won’t be growing literally! ‘Actually just stopped by the library to check out a book I’ve been wanting to read for awhile. Ironically it’s called, “American Pie: Slices of Life (and Pie) from American’s Back Roads”. Maybe that’s not such a good idea either … who knows where that may lead!?!

  4. Post

    A new romance, Rose? How exciting — and nerve-wracking. Yeah, that would make me eat too, if I wasn’t worried about looking durmpy on a hot date. So we share the fillet-o-fish craving, eh? I’m actually trying to make my “delicious treats” non-food moments. Sounds to me like reading a food book qualifies because you’re just looking at the pictures, right? (wink, wink.)

  5. You can be more than Mommy – you have to be. Your daughter will need to be more than a Mommy some day herself. And,selishly, I need a good role model – my daughter is going to kindergarten and that is killing me so I cannot imagine! (I’m a super late bloomer.)

    You are going to have such a good time with You.

  6. Post

    On the first day of kindergarten, we were all a mess! Gabi was bawling and wouldn’t get on the school bus. I was feeling so torn and Mr. Daddy was pretty rattled too. The letting go never stops! I think I can learn to really enjoy Me. Thanks for the encouragement. Inspiration goes both ways. :)

    And Skye, indeed….why not?! As long as we’re have these first world problems, we might as well revel in our navel-gazing issues.

  7. Hey Betty:

    It is scarry! My “baby” girl is going off to college at the end of August, and even though she’s my second to leave the nest, when she goes there will be no one left to be “mommy” to on a daily basis. I certainly don’t want to be “mommy” to my husband! Doing something good for yourself regularly is a great tactic to share. But you are not alone, it is scarry to push aside, if not totally remove the “mommy” hat after it being a major accessory for so long.

  8. Post

    Oh, Leslie. Reading your comment makes my heart ache. Reading your words about “totally remove the ‘mommy’ hat” leaves me feeling petrified! I never want to stop being Mommy! I just don’t want to be one of those suffocating mothers (like my own mom, who made me nuts). This is really a tough stage for us, isn’t it?

  9. Betty,
    “Can I be more than Mommy?”…I think you already are, Don’t you?

    As for the Filet-O-Fish I just HAD to go buy two of them too! (even though I am not really sure it is made of fish… what kind of fish is that? catfish?) Prices may vary is the catch phrases here. It was cheaper in my hometown.

  10. Post

    Brian, yes, I am more than Mommy. But no, I’m also not. It’s complicated! So you got a deal on the Fillet-O-Fish? That could be dangerous. I’m quite sure it’s not catfish, which is darker colored. But I honestly don’t know what it is. I’m just glad it’s not a mystery meat.

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