My 8-year-old daughter lost her ring today. Shocker, I know. After painstakingly searching the living room carpet we were able to find it. She was relieved, but of course, being the mom that I am, I did not let her escape without a short lecture. I reminded her about responsibility and the importance of leaving your rings on. I explained to her that though her ring only cost about $20, mommy’s ring was much more expensive and therefore I had to be very careful.
“Where did you get that ring, mom?” My other daughter inquired.
“Your daddy gave it to me when he asked me to marry him.”
She was dumbfounded. And that’s when I realized that my children have no idea who I am or who I was before I had them. I’m mom, the doer of dishes and thawer of frozen meats. Nothing more. A staple of their lives, but not with a backstory. Merely Alfred, to their Bruce Wayne or Mrs. Potts to their Belle.
But the truth is I was totally Bruce Wayne in my life, and I can prove it. Here are 9 things my kids don’t know about their mom.
I was athletic.
You know that dusty contraption in the garage you mistook for a fly swatter? Little do you know, but that is mommy’s tennis racquet. Back in the day I had quite the backhand, and I still have the forearms to show for it. I was also catcher on my softball team. A team that was undefeated 5 years in a row. I ran hard and played hard. I don’t know if my kids have ever seen me run, except for the time I ran after my youngest in Target before she could take out an entire display of alarm clocks.
I invented odd behavior.
You’re looking at the girl who got putting pencils in your hair banned from my elementary school. I used to sing silly songs, and act out scenes from my favorite movies. I also discovered a way to smell my own belly button, which to this day I still consider to be a major accomplishment.
Those things that are your things, they were mine first!
Power Rangers? Mine. My Little Pony? Mine. Disney Princesses? ALL MINE. Don’t even get me started on the Hatchimal, which is just basically a rip off of my Tamagotchi. Come talk to me about leveling up your Draggle after you’ve kept a blob that was hooked to your belt loop alive for an entire school day. Amateurs.
I’m a picky eater.
In fact, I’m pickier than two of my three kids. I don’t care for fruit or vegetables at all. You’ll never see me choking down a carrot or banana, but you better believe those little girls better eat all their veggies or they don’t get any dessert, which I get regardless of whether or not I eat my green beans. I delight in my own hypocrisy and consider it payback for not having a good night’s sleep in 9 years.
I used to wear high heels.
I was never a stiletto girl, but I did rock a wedge or two prechildren. Now I’m lucky to remember to put on my ballet flats for church on Sunday. My children know nothing but a 5’3” mother with a pair of Chucks or flip flops permanently plastered on her feet. I haven’t bought any Crocs yet, but to the mothers that have I’m Katniss saluting you through the screen.
I used to have a job.
I used to work. I used to get up in the morning, get ready for the day and hit the grind. I would plan out my outfits and coordinating jewelry. I would pride myself on a good performance review. I’d come home tired, or so I thought I was tired. I went to college, I got a degree. I started a teaching career, and I loved it. I miss it sometimes. I miss the identity, and the structure. I crave the adult conversation. I miss the jewelry. Maybe I will go back…when they’re older.
I was a nice girl and a mean girl.
Despite my best efforts as a child I did succumb to the stereotypical girl behavior as most girls do, and I was mean. In third grade I created The Sports Club (because I was athletic, remember), and believe me it was exclusive. I eventually caused quite a stir with my make shift secret society of 8 year olds, and The Sports Club was eventually vetoed by the principal. I learned my lesson, and all was forgiven at my summer birthday party that was all inclusive. I’m happy to report that I haven’t started any secret societies since then and I’m a better person for it. It’s exhausting planning a sports activity weekly when you’re 8, with no money, transportation, or know how.
My children are my greatest fear.
When my youngest was born there were significant complications. We had nurses telling us to pray, to do everything we could spiritually to bring about healing. I cried in front of so many doctors I can’t even count. I’ve never been so scared, or prayed so hard. Thankfully God granted me a tender mercy, and she was okay. The fear I felt was indescribable. Thinking about it still shakes me to my core. I thought I was going to lose one of them, one that I had only known a few hours at the time, but would have given my own life to save.
My children are my life.
By far my greatest accomplishment in this life is being their mother. They are my soul, my heart, my spirit walking outside of my body. When we are together I am whole, and I am fulfilled. I know that I joke about what a pain in the butt they are, and believe me at times it is more truth than jest, but that’s part of the job description. When I think about my life before my children, I can’t picture it. Life was dull. Sure, it had jewelry, high heels, and perhaps a slighter frame, but I wouldn’t trade motherhood for any of it.
Someday my lovely daughters will realize that their mother is a person, with thoughts and experiences to share and learn from. However, until then I had better get back to the joys of motherhood, because we all know that empty pudding cup isn’t going to walk itself to the trash can.
Melissa Sackett is a mother of 3 daughters, and wife to 1 husband. When she’s not singing minivan karaoke or destroying a blanket fort she’s having fun over on her page Difficult Mommy. Make sure to follow her on Instagram and Facebook, too.