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

    According to a NYTimes story, the fish is called hoki and is from New Zealand. McD’s has turned it into a major export — and uses 15 million pounds a year for Fillet-O-Fish sandwiches. We’re fishing so much hoki, that New Zealand has cut back on the amount allowed to be caught per year. Yes, there are environmental and sustainability issues here. If you’d like more info, here’s the link:

  2. Hi Betty! It’s been a while since we talked and I hope all is well with you.. I too am an “Filet-O-Fish” Mickey-D’s fan! I like the way the fish tastes and the fries are pretty good too. Thanks for the link to the NYT article about them at least we know the fish wasn’t conceived in a lab lol.. Anyhow shoot me an email when you get a chance I would like to hear from you and catch up..

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  3. Mothering never ends: exhibit #1: my blog!!! Seriously, and we baby boomer parents take a lot of heat for this but do you seriously think your daughter is going off to school and you will never hear from her again. Believe me: they text all the time; she will actually call to share peaks and valleys; you will go visit for great girl weekends and taking her roommates out to dinner; you will run to the post office to mail some “essentials” she forgot. You will get used to NOT watching the clock to get home by a certain time, to having more freedom and flexibility. You will actually enjoy it…and then she comes home for vacation, summer. Remember the academic year is only 26 weeks total: she’s home almost half the year. Beyond that, you will always be a mother, maybe needed a little less for the physical comforts but forever needed for the emotional ones!

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      Oh, Mary. Thank you for sharing your real-life experiences. Hey everyone, Mary has a great blog called Please check it out by clicking on her name in her comment. This is wisdom that I needed to hear. Makes me feel a lot better! xo

  4. What Amanda wrote about having ”such a good time with you” sounds special, exciting. Imagine getting to enjoy yourself, I like that! I went away to Montreal last week with my son and it was the first time we’ve ever gone for vacation instead of weddings or family events. Honestly, this was the first vacation I’ve taken him on since he was 2 (he’ll be 11 in November). I kept thinking about what you wrote recently about vacations a few weeks ago. They do give us something to look forward to. I feel so glad I didn’t back out. I felt the excitement of the approaching days and fulfilled them with sightseeing, restaurants and lots of laughter…all courtesy of a cousin who wouldn’t let me back out of coming. She planned our entire itinerary, and we got to spend quality time with our family

    instead of the quick weekends we usually have. We celebrated the birthday of my little cousin (his mom passed away this November) and I was able to honor his mother’s memory and be there with my
    family when her first birthday without being here came and went

  5. (Their birthdays were days apart). I think what these other posts add up to, Betty, is that you can feel like your own vacation is coming up to, sort of. The same way we go away for a week and return to our daily lives, you can watch your daughter grow up and be on vacation from what you ususally do for her, but still return to your daily life of mothering when she needs it. She will.

    Thanks to Mary for those great thoughts! Comforting to me while I’m getting my son ready to start a new middle school and while my mind wanders to thoughts of him going to college many (maybe not that many?) Years from now…

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