On Being a Mom

I still think it’s funny that I put “Mom” in my blog title.  I started it before the mommy blogger craze was even on the horizon.  It’s not that I don’t identify as a mom, but it wasn’t my main reason for starting the blog–as it was for many mommy bloggers.  Like mommy bloggers, I relied on the Internet plenty to help with the early days of parenting.  It was pre-blogging, though, so I spent time on email lists, chat, IRC, even rolled my own parenting site.  So I guess I could credit being a mom, and need an outlet, for my early interest in technology.  It was during Geeky Boy’s naps that I learned HTML and CSS.

Being a mom is a complicated thing.  It’s gotten harder as the kids have gotten older.  It’s hard to recognize how little control I have over my kids.  The best I can do is hope they listen.  Last night, Geeky Boy went to his Senior Prom.  I’ve worried every time he goes out that he’s not going to come back.  Most of that worry is unfounded.  Last night, he went to the Prom followed by the school-sponsored after party, where he won $75 in gift cards plus a t-shirt.  Today he’s off with friends for the rest of the weekend.  It makes me feel like I’ve mostly done my job.  I’m here to support him, but I’ve done most of the mothering I can do for a while.

Geeky Girl is still in need of parenting, though she’s doing just fine.  She’s very open with me, and we mostly have a good relationship.  It’s not without its quibbles, but they’re generally minor.  These next few years will be a process of letting go, something I feel like will be easier than it was for me and Geeky Boy for a wide variety of reasons.  I’ve learned some things as a parent.  I’m just in a different place than I was with Geeky Boy 4 or 5 years ago.

I’m sort of looking forward to the “mom” part of my life being definitively not the main thing.  I think I always thought of myself as just a person, who also happened to be a mom.  But life and society often thrust the mom part of my life on me as my main identity.  Had they not done that, I might have embraced it more.  I might not have the ambivalent relationship with my blog title that I do.  I’m still proud of what I’ve accomplished as a mom.  And I really think that what comes next is a different kind of mothering, something that supports my children but recognizes they have their own lives, their own goals, and other support.  That can be a difficult shift.  We’ll see how it goes.

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