6.30.2006

Guest Post: Freedom

Hey guys, please welcome my guest poster for the June Blog Exchange. Sherry, from Chaos Theory is a mom of two and wife of one in Montreal. She loves her kids and reminds herself daily that there really is more to life than diapers and Disney Princess. She is attempting to be a freelance writer and in the meantime pretends to keep her sanity by writing frequently at her blog.

I am over at her place today so come visit. Enjoy!

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When I was a teenager, going through the stereotypical feelings of resentment
over rules and regulations, I imagined what it would be like to grow up, move
out, and be on my own. What it would be like to have the freedom to do whatever
I wanted, whenever I wanted.

I never laid out specific plans, but I think I expected that I would have the
freedom to travel, that my salary at whatever job I would have would be enough
to allow me to hop on a plane every year. Perhaps my teenage self would have
believed that I would visit Europe, and Central America, maybe even an
extra-long vacation to Australia. I know I used to think freedom meant being
able to stay out all night if I wanted, EVERY night if I wanted, without being
accountable to anyone. And of course, as many teenagers mistakenly believe, I
expected that freedom equaled easy, responsibility-free, constant happiness.

The reality would have been brushed off. If I could go back in time to tell
myself what being an adult is, I never would have believed that I would feel
burdened by bills, housework, or that I would have to put myself last more often
than not in order to put the needs of two children first.

Really, though, I think all of us find ourselves eventually standing in the
kitchen, stirring supper while looking at this month's phone bill, thinking,
"Geez, to be a kid again!"

What would surprise my younger self the most would be where I would truly find
freedom, that freedom for me would be little things. The rare blocks of time
where Hayley, my four-year-old actually falls asleep in the afternoon for half
an hour while Breanna, the baby is asleep, leaving me completely enveloped in
silence. The days when Breanna is sleeping in the stroller and I sit on the
bench at the park watching Hayley the extrovert play with a new best friend.
The quick jaunts down to the corner store for toilet paper while the kids stay
home with my husband and I'm ALL ALONE. The evenings when both kids are worn
out from their day and fall asleep easily, leaving me with a few hours to just
eat chips, drink a glass of beer, and watch a movie or surf from one weblog to
the next.

I also never knew that I would experience freedom-by-proxy. I never would have
guessed I would feel that while watching Hayley climb the jungle gym for the
first time all by herself or that it would be the equivalent to watch Breanna
push herself up from the floor into a sitting position all by herself.

Some days, when Hayley has had a string of tantrums and Breanna is teething and
I can't even sit down to take a ten-second pee without an audience, I admit that
I long - briefly though it may be - for the freedom that 15-year-old Sherry
dreamed of. One day I took the rent down to the office and as I walked down the
stairs after a Very Bad Day with a wad of hundred dollar bills in my hand, I
actually imagined what it would be like if that money was really MINE and I
could just hop on the first train out East and show up unexpectedly on my
sister's doorstep in Halifax. Now that would be real freedom, wouldn't it?

Except that for the most part, I really like the freedom I have. Because I like
the things that infringe upon it. I like being attached to a home and a family
and the responsibilities that go with them. As long as I can sit here, like I
am now, with the aforementioned beer and chips, with the only noise being a
humming baby monitor, I can more than live with what I've got.

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Check out the other participants in the June Blog Exchange.
Cape Buffalo
Chelle
Soul Gardening
Another Mommy Moment
Mommy's Dirty Secret
Chicken n Cheese
A Mommy Story
A Crack in Life
Divine Calm
Taste the World
Knitting Spells
Binkytown
Motherhood Uncensored
Zach's Day
Her Bad Mother
Clueless in Carolina
Izzy Mom
Mother Goose Mouse
Bethiclaus
Chaos Theory

If you are interested in participating next month, email Kristen at kmei26 at yahoo dot com.

7 comments:

chelle said...

What a great way to express the freedom gone by! I totally agree, I never knew how much freedom I had until I had so little :)

Mommy off the Record said...

"I really like the freedom I have. Because I like
the things that infringe upon it."

Loved this line. I totally feel the same way. I lost a lot of freedom when I started a family, but then I look at my son and I realize it's so worth it.

Izzy said...

Life is really nothing but a series of trade-offs. That said, finding a way to make peace with the trade-offs you've chosen and be happy is indeed a blessing

motherhooduncensored said...

I enjoyed your view - particularly freedom by proxy. I do miss a lot of the freedoms I had pre-kids - and I'm still coming to terms with my choice...

Mama of 2 said...

I too longed for freedom as a teenager and did my damnest to achieve it the minute I possibly could. This for me meant leaving my parents house at 18 years old, moving in with my boyfriend and never looking back.

Well now that I can, look back that is, knowing what I know now I would have done it all differently. But I guess that's the way life is. We don't get any do overs and really I don't know if I would want any since if I could go back would I still end up with my 2 beautiful kids and husband I love or would I perhaps end up with just a different set of troubles. I am thinking the latter.

Felicity said...

It's funny how life comes full circle like that. Oh if I knew then what I know now...

Waya said...

Speaking of freedom, my 16 months old daughter is sitting next to me as I type this since she can't fall asleep, something about a fever and having woken up 3 times already.

Yeah, down memory lane...being a college student was lots of freedom back then which I didn't know at the time. Too bad huh?!