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Permission Granted

by Deborah Cruz

I don’t know about the rest of you, but some days I feel like I don’t know who I am. Not the familiar, my worlds turned upside down and inside out because I am so busy shuttling kiddies to and fro, and planning and prepping their lives but honest to goodness,”Who the hell is this person in the mirror? Who have I become?” Somewhere between not knowing what I wanted to be but anxious to take on the world with no fear of failure and now, I have evolved into some lesser form of myself. Definitely not who I hoped I would be or who I even thought I might be. I feel like I’ve gotten wrapped up in the day to day minutia of being a Mommy and wife and have sincerely forgotten how to be or even who “Debi’ is? Oh yeah, that’s me! I don’t look like I used to, who has time? My children always look impeccable, but sometimes ,I’m embarrassed to say, I look like I just don’t care. I do in fact care, but there is always so much to do and so little time, I end up at the end of my own list. And so I have decided that I am tired of being at the end of my own list, and I give you permission to do the same! Don’t get me wrong. I am not complaining. I am blessed with a wonderfully loving, caring husband and two beautiful, if sometimes a big whopping handful of craziness, daughters. Everyone is healthy and happy except for me. I am happy with what I have, but I started taking inventory and I am not happy with who I am and I can certainly stand to be in better shape. More importantly, I am not happy with the role model I am for my girls. They say a daughter’s father is her role model of what a man should be and how men should treat women, and we have discussed this and my husband is fully aware of his behavior and how it affects what our daughters will look for and expect from the men in their lives. He is a great model of what they should demand from their partners. Now, they ( by they I mean studies have shown:) also say that a daughter’s mother is her role model of how she should treat herself. That is huge and it has hit me like a ton of bricks. Do I want my daughters to grow up thinking that they should be at the bottom of their own list? Certainly not. I want them to have it all. I want them to have the wonderfully loving and caring husband, the awesomely loved and healthy children, and I want them to know its OK to take time for themselves because they are as important as everybody else in their lives. I want them to know that they can be and do anything that they have the desire to do. I have been so caught up in being the perfect Mommy that I have forgotten to be the perfectly strong woman, to be happy with who I truly am, to be my best me. This has been the catalyst to my new quest. I am going to take time for me. I am going to take the time to workout and put on make up. I’m going to make time to fix my hair and read a book. I find myself going through the motions when it comes to myself. I mean, come on, in what world is it acceptable for grown women to use a ponytail as an excuse for a hair style? None, I am pretty sure that if it were up to my husband, he’d cut it off while I slept except for the fear that my hair would look even worse with a chunk missing. I suppose its the same world where we occasionally think there is an acceptable reason that we can allow ourselves to wear our pajamas when we drop our kids off to school. I personally have never done this one but have seen it done many times and ,God knows, I am guilty of trying to rock the ponytail at the age of 36. And aren’t those “yoga pants” just a clever marketing ploy to allow us to wear our pajamas in public without wearing our pajamas in public? The scary thing is that this is all acceptable to us Mommies until we spend a little time with our single or non Mommy friends. Then it hits us, “Wow, look at her hair, with the great style, and the highlights that don’t start 2 inches from the crown!” This is usually accompanied by a wonderful manicure and pedicure, remember those? I used to love those. And of course she is wearing something that fits appropriately, is actually in style “this” year, and doesn’t have food, smudge, spit up or any other sticky baby residue on it. And of course, her face is flawless and rested ,with no signs of circles under her eyes, because she actually slept the night before. Those are the times when I am left feeling a little short. Which is crazy because I used to have and do all those things and I have a masters and can speak 4 languages but ,yet, I feel embarrassed. I feel like I snuck into the party and am waiting to be found out. Any minute, all the people in the real world are going to be like “Hey, aren’t you suppose to be at that ‘other’ party over there? The one with all the ponytails and pajamas!” Really, I am lucky because the party with the ponytails is where all the fun is.That’s where my kids are at, but sometimes I want to be able to go to the grown up party and I want the transition to be seamless. The whole appearance thing is just a part of it. It is symbolic of the rest of the package that is me. I’d occasional like to be able to have a conversation with an adult about something other than what our children are doing. Maybe do something that utilizes some of that education that I have acquired. I need to create a solution and only I can do it, because it’s my problem. I’m the one who has let myself become a second class citizen in my own world. Remember the good old days when you had the time and energy to actually figure things out or put the effort in to fix those things in your life you were wanting to be better? That’s why I have decided that I have to make time to take care of me, or I am not as good as I could be for everyone else. I am going to pursue my dreams with all the passion that I have pursued acquiring perfection as a Mommy. I know that being a Mommy is the most important thing that I will ever do, because to me, there is nothing more important than raising great human beings that are an asset to the world but part of that is raising strong women who have a strong sense of self. So, in order not to fail them and myself, I have given myself permission to make myself a priority in my own life…at least one of the top 3:) Here’s to being who we really are, and being a priority in our own lives! Now, go forward and take the time to find yourself again; permission granted!

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