Who Does My Son See When He Looks At Me?
Being a parent helps you realize that strength goes far beyond physical limitations of your body, but that of your heart and soul. — voiceBoks.com
Once upon a time, I used to work in corporate America. I used to love going to work in my shiny suit and pointy heels. My closet had a number of brand-named handbags. My hair always had the perfect highlight in it. My morning consisted of packing my gym bag, running the 6-mile loop of central park and taking a shower at the gym. If I had time, on my way to work, I always ran across the street to Starbucks to grab my favorite latte. In my morning routine, I meditated. In my morning routine, I revived my “work” self.
Nowadays, I often wake up with my son’s feet on my head. In my morning slumber, I’m usually rushing to make my son’s morning juice to tame his hunger cries. By the time, he’s settled, I rush to change my shirt and speed drink my instant coffee.
Our day starts with our morning yoga together. Well, it’s more like a free dance with him jumping successively off my back or my legs. It’s not soothing for me at all. But, it is soothing for him. So, we do it. I love the fact that we have time to connect before we start our day. I also know that it will end soon when he’s too heavy for me to carry. So, I treasure it.
Somedays, I can read a little on Medium when my son plays in his dollhouse. On other days, he wants to do our homeschool activities. Then, the morning is dedicated to helping him paint, learn letters or craft.
There is very little time to think about the woman who I used to be.
The thing is I’m proud of where I am in life. When I had my corporate life, I was also in immense emotional pain. I’ve grown since then. The person I am today cannot be in that environment now.
I have a lot more self awareness. I have healed from that pain.
Who does my son see when he looks at me now?
He sees a mom who is probably a little chubbier than she should be.
He sees a mom who “most of the time” is kind and gentle.
He sees a mom who has lines on her forehead and pimples on her chin.
He sees a mom who gives him independence but also won’t hesitate to hold his hand.
He sees me when I lose my patience, when I’m too tired to move, when I’m sad and when I worry excessively.
He sees me when I power through the day with multiple cups of coffee.
He sees me when I clutch my belly to laugh with him at the silly jokes that I just made.
He sees me for the best “work in progress” version of myself.
In a few years, I know that my son won’t look at me the same way. He will have changed and grown up. I will also have evolved through our relationship together. Perhaps there will be a new “worried” side of me that he will see. Perhaps, there will be a new “happier” side of me that he will see. Perhaps, there will be a new “independent” side of me that he will see. As he grows, he will see me with a little more clarity each day.
At night, when he’s sleeping, I’m nurturing my new “work” self. This self is an entrepreneur, an author, a marketer, and a technologist. This self is striving to make a livelihood for us while also trying to be authentic. This self has more energy beyond powering through her massive to-do list. This self is driven, curious and has unlimited capacity to learn.
My son won’t get to know this new “work self” of mine anytime soon. He will see glimpses. But, he won’t really know this part of me until he’s grown.
Until then, I get to grow this “work” version of myself. I will water her daily. I will watch her flower and bloom. I will keep her sane. I will keep her grounded. Hopefully, one day, when my son is grown, I will be able to show him this version of myself, too.
Perhaps, one day, he will be surprised that his mom is not just a mom, but also a woman who is creative, adventurous and ambitious, too.
About the Author
Jun Wu is a Content Writer for Technology, AI, Data Science, Psychology, and Parenting. She has a background in programming and statistics. On her spare time, she writes poetry and blogs on her website.