Back after a short respite ... or blogging software conundrum. Welcome! I hope you like our new site!

What I Learned From…

Article posted on Saturday, July, 21st, 2007 at 7:31 am

Everybody Loves Raymond.

Yes. I know that is a disturbing thought. Here’s the truth. For its entire run, I never, ever saw an episode of ELR. Now, I find myself stranded in a chair holding a sleeping baby (I refuse to put her down and wake her up, so I sit). Sometimes I forget to have a book nearby or the TV is just tuned in to TBS and the remote is across the room. I’ve watched more ELR in the past month that I am starting to worry that I actually like the show, but that has nothing to do with the story.

The story is this. Andre and I occasionally have this sense of desperation, I think. In which we realize our lives have forever changed. And we are no longer important. Or the most important thing in the world. That’s hard when you are as selfish as we are. It’s the truth. We both know it. We’re not ashamed of this truth. We’re trying to change it. Anyway…

There was this episode of ELR in which Ray gets jealous of how much his kids like their uncle. I am still new to the show, so I don’t know the character’s name, but it’s the big galoot played by Brad Garrett. So Raymond occasionally finds the time he spends playing “monster” or whatever with his kids mind numbing. As a new stay-at-home mom, I can feel that emotion. Very much. I firmly and steadfastly believe that staying at home with Annabelle is the best decision for her, but it is hard sometimes. I used to have a job. And, OK, I used to feel a little bit appreciated. A little bit important. I dug the job most of the time. I liked the people.

Staying at home is a challenge for someone who has always worked. Who has always earned her own money. Again, I would not change my decision. I believe in what I am doing. But, yes, it is a challenge.

I do not get paid. So I feel, somehow, like it’s not our money anymore. That’s been mentally challenging for me. To accept that my job doesn’t pay, but it’s ultimately more important than any job. It’s very hard to let Andre earn the money and not feel guilty when, for example, I want to buy a lip gloss. He’s never made me feel like it’s not my money too, but I feel that way. That’s been the biggest thing.

I’ve gone a bit off track, but I don’t care. I am not going to edit.

What I learned from ELR. Ray was all jealous of his brother and how the kids wanted to spend time with him instead of their dad. Ray kept saying things like, “Going to the zoo is so boring” or whatever, I don’t remember. But the upshot is that he was saying that sometimes being a parent can be mind-numbingly repetitive, boring, freedom-killing, etc. Ray eventually is exasperated and asks his brother how he can stand to spend all that time with the kids and he said something I thought was quite profound. And that is this: “It’s not about you. It’s about them. I don’t do it for me. I do it for them.”

That, my friends, is the lesson. And, I hate to admit it, but that has helped change my inner dialogue. I tell myself, “this is not about you.” It’s true. After all those years alone, Andre and I struggle with it not being about us. We’re trying though. And, I believe, we are doing a good job. It’s a learning process. It’s a time of immense change. And it all happened overnight. So it’s OK to feel this way. I am letting myself feel this way. So, having read all of this (if you did), please try not to think of me — or him — as an ogre. I think I am just stating what the vast majority of older, first-time parents probably feel, but don’t want to admit.

I’m keeping it real, yo.

Tags: ,

No comments

Leave a Reply

Copyright 2007-2010. All Rights Reserved.

Designed and developed by qlArt