If I had a nickel for every time I’ve sang that little tune to my children, I’m fairly certain I could pay for their college. Or a new car. Or a date with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson AND Amber Tamblyn at the same time. Or someone to come in and clean the house for me. If only, right? The “Clean Up Song” seems to be on permanent rotation in my house, along with the “I’m Sorry Your Brother Stomped On Your Face Song”, the popular “I Didn’t Know You Could Make That Color Of Crap Song” and the “If You Go To Sleep Before Nine Mommy Will Buy You A Yacht Filled With Candy Song”. Gone are the days of British reggae-punk and Sting vs. Led Zeppelin mash-ups, replaced by Little Einsteins, Sofia the First and Henry Hugglemonster.
I find myself neck-deep in financial reports and press releases at work, singing a Disney Jr. medley and laughing to myself over the way my toddler will grab his butt, stick it out and shake his shoulders in an effort to do ‘the booty dance’.
My kids have, effectively, infiltrated every aspect of my being! Don’t believe me? I recently went on an adults-only tour of the Underground in Seattle (it’s a thing! Look it up when you’re in town!), and caught myself thinking about how my preschooler would love hearing about the ghosts and exploding toilets. They. Are. EVERYWHERE. (The kids, not the exploding toilets – I hope.)
Being a parent is amazing, but can often feel like you’re losing your identity. How do you battle (and overcome) that, without losing your Best Mom/Dad Ever title?
Remember who you were. Acknowledge who you are. Shape who you’re becoming.
Out of all the things we’re taught in parenting classes or from well-meaning busybodies on the street who stop to poke at our pregnant bellies, you’d think they’d mention how your sense of self is thrown for a loop; it’s just as important a topic as cloth vs. disposable! Since they didn’t, however, I can only tell you what I’ve done in hopes that it will work for you, or inspire your own methods of coping. Just like how we go through our wardrobe, donating what no longer fits and purchasing the missing pieces, a little Self Style Upgrade is in order – that goes for parents and non-parents alike!
Life is not a static thing. If we are to grow and adapt to our environments, that has to start with how we see ourselves, and being able to genuinely Love that person… because you ARE worth loving… creepy Disney songs and all.
Love and Stuff,