Thursday, January 10, 2013

Superwomen Syndrome, Really?



My New Normal


Over the weekend we had Sara, Ryan, little Landon home for our last Christmas--or Epiphany for the holiday season.  I kept all of the Christmas decorations up since Sara and her family were not able to come home for Christmas.  I really wanted Landon to see Papa Joe & Nonna's house at Christmas.

Yes, I decorate...I have snowmen, santas and Nativity scenes throughout the house.  As Jenna said, "Mom the house looks great!  Well, actually it looks like Santa just threw up, but I like it!"   

So, Sunday after church, I kissed the kids good-bye and they headed back to their home--yes, a few tears appeared as the car drove off.  Jenna went to work.  Adam was cramming in as much visiting of friends while home as he possibly could.  
Joe and I knew it was time to take the snowbabies, Christmas trees, jinglebells and stockings away until the next Yuletide.  


And so it began.  I started to get the after Christmas blues.  You know...
Naked house.
No familiar carols playing.
No more macaroni and felt ornaments on an evergreen.
No UPS, or FEDEX deliveries.
No Christmas cookies left.
Even the whiskey and egg nog were gone!


Today, Adam left for Boston.  I took him to the airport.  The entire drive to Love Field I was amazed I wasn't emotional at all.  In fact in some regard, I was quite proud of myself "manning up" and just taking care of business of getting kids to and from... 
  
I pulled up to passenger drop off at Southwest Airlines...the airline we luv the most...parked the car, pushed the button for the lift gate, got out of the car...and as Adam  pulled his trumpet case out of the car a gush of tears fell.  Not one or two tears...it was Niagara Falls--complete with erratic breathing.  

OH I WAS SO MAD AT MYSELF!  I really didn't want him to see me cry...for heavens sake the kid has been out of the house for years...but that "letting go" is still just so hard for me.
Adam and Pirate 12 years ago

I must invision Adam as a boy, rather than the terrific man he has become!
Adam walking me down the aisle at Sara & Ryan's wedding

I remember my mom having a very difficult time with the whole empty nest thing...



and I remember making a conscious decision I would not be like her (I mean that with a great deal of respect, I loved my mother)...but the sadness, and the feeling of being depressed, waiting for the next visit from one of her half dozen--her children were her world!  

So early on as a young mother I remember making a conscious decision to be involved with our kids activities, but I also got involved with a career, and then with volunteering...PTO, Sunday School Teacher, Girl Scout Leader, School Board President...then later taking on a high pressure job--something just for me--or so I thought...these activities, while they gave me more of an identity than "Sara-Adam-Jenna's Mom"...were all about the kids.  

Joe told me early in our marriage that he thought I had "The Superwoman Syndrome".  I thought he was crazy and making it up, but a woman by the name of Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz actually studied and wrote a book about women who essentially feel they have to be June Clever and Murphy Brown or for the younger audience, Robin Scherbatsky -- rolled into one person.  Some women can do it well...I seemed to trip over my cape--a lot!  

When I really think about it, yes--I do things that I can be proud of that are separate from my kids' activities.  But I am really no different than my mom. My children (and Joe) are my world.

And at the end of the day, while I am very proud of all my kids...I love my role as a mom, but in reality that "mom" is really gone--which as parents--that's what we pray and hope for...that they are ready and prepared to be launched out into the world.

The way I am reacting to this new normal has taken me by surprise...so I will have to work harder at letting go.  I know that I am so very blessed that Joe and I have three great kids to enjoy when we are all together and miss when we are apart! 

I Lasso loving my kids as adults...or at least I will try to lasso!
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