Elmo Takes Over

Written By Guest Blogger Desperate Chef's Wives: Before I begin something scary, I usually announce how nervous I am. It actually helps me feel more relaxed. So it’s out there-my nerves are shaky as I’m writing on this blog. Widow has got quite a bit more readers than I do at the very intimate Desperate Chefs’ Wives blog. I am honored to write though and I’ll make the best of my “visit” here.

I had an interesting encounter with a coworker today. FYI, I teach second grade and I’m 12 weeks pregnant with my first child. Oh, and like Widow I’m married to a chef. I came across another teacher, who is the mother of an 18 month old boy. She was buying an Elmo tricycle online during a break and as she left her computer she said, “This is my life now, Elmo trikes.” And I called back to her, “It doesn’t have to be that way.” She replied, “Get used to it.”

First of all, I know I know nothing. Although I’m a self proclaimed child expert in the field of education-I certainly don’t know a thing about parenthood other than the experiences I have from my own parents. Oh-that can’t be good.  But what first time mother-to-be does know it all? Saying all that, I suppose I may come off a bit smug thinking that there is no way my life will be overrun with Elmo trikes, Little Tikes, and Dora the Explorer. Oh God, I know some of you must be thinking-boy is she in for it, but hear me out.

I chose 100% to have this child. I’m excited and thrilled that my life is going to morph into something I could never imagine. My family is growing! This is a dream come true for me. What I fear though, is that if I don’t consciously protect my own individuality then I’ll be a bitter mom. I’m aware of the changes: midnight feedings, less dates with my husband, less money to spend on myself, plus a million things I’m not aware of. But does that mean I have to give up myself completely? There are moms out there who don’t define themselves by the ride-on toys their children scoot around on. Right?

Maybe not. Maybe I’m just a 26-year-old, scared-as-hell, soon-to-be mom with an individuality complex? Perhaps it’s selfishness. I do expect to be giving up my weekly dinner dates in New York with my husband-but only if I can trade them in for Sunday family meals. I know I won’t be going on vacation every spring to exotic and romantic places like Costa Rica or Italy; we visited those places young knowing that a family would make it harder to travel to places like that. I guess what it all comes down to is that I want a say in my new life with my family. I’d love for my family to develop as three people growing together, rather than two parents “giving in” to parenthood.