Mommy’s Inside Voice: My superpower and my downfall

Mommy’s Inside Voice is a bi-weekly column by Amie Jay, a local mother of three

Wanna know what really messed me up for the first … hmmm … 6.5 years of motherhood?

No, no, scrap that. It was the first 28 years of my life.

I’m a nurturer. An empath and a giver. I show my love through service, always going that extra mile to ensure those around me are happy and supported. It fuels me, giving me a pride in myself and my surroundings.

READ ALSO: Mommy’s Inside Voice – Santa is real

Yet, even though my internal coding compels to thoughtlessly nurture, I don’t point the tenderness inwards. I spread myself around, without pause, giving and working and loving until I find myself falling apart at the seams. I keep going until the love tank that fuelled my service is running on fumes, until I don’t even remember what I’m doing or why I’m doing it.

I push myself to the brinks because, without really thinking about it, I expect those around me to reciprocate. I expect them to care for me in the same dedicated way that I care for them. I just assume that, when they see me waver, they’ll swoop in and catch me. Picking up the slack, sending me to bed despite my martyring protests.

I would wait for other people to tell me that it was an appropriate time to rest and then I would get upset when it didn’t happen. When no saviour came.

Writing it all down, it sounds a little ridiculous…

Not everyone works that way. Their mindsets and skill sets lend to other affinities. Care-taking may be my superpower, but it’s certainly not everyone’s.

Today I am in bed in the middle of the afternoon. Cocooned under 3 quilts, wearing nothing but my comfiest granny-panties and my husbands T-shirt. A to-go mug of hot tea and a pack of supersized Twizzlers, watching orange-hued housewives with giant lips and stiff expressions yell at each other on my iPad.

Because, today, my gas tank hit empty. I hit my wall and even though I would normally just keep going, angrily chucking laundry into the machine and holding back tears of frustration and exhaustion, I decided to call in the reinforcements instead.

READ ALSO: Mommy’s Inside Voice – Linen closet super hero

My husband doesn’t bat an eye at the piles of laundry in the kids’ room. He doesn’t avert his eyes away from the grubby floorboards and has no problem flipping his undies inside out to steal another day in them. Attentive, nurturing, empathetic supports aren’t his “superpower.” He doesn’t step in to take over as soon as I start dropping my subtle hints of excessive sighs or harder-than-necessary dryer door slams. That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love me. That doesn’t mean that I’m not appreciated or valued. It just means that it’s on me to communicate, then to pass the baton with trust and gratitude.

Unspoken expectations, frustrated tears. Exhausted, feeling alone and unappreciated. Looking at those around me with hurt, deducing that their lack of empathy meant that I wasn’t valued. When in reality, all I really needed to do was ask for help.

This is my downfall. I break my back for my loved ones, not realizing that sacrificing myself isn’t necessary or helpful.

My superpower needs to be maintained with balance. To pour my love into my family, but to hold myself responsible to…well…myself! Taking what I need, when I need it, from whatever support is available to me. No guilt, no doubt.

Today I need solitude. Multiple blankets, trashy TV and over-processed, chemical-filled treats. Tomorrow it’s back to laundry, Lego and scraping little boy boogers off of the stair railing. Thankfully, by then, I’ll be ready (and willing) to be superwoman again.

Mommy’s Inside Voice is a bi-weekly column by Amie Jay, a local mother of three.

Just Posted

Almost four of 10 Canadians have unlimited internet data at home

Fifty-four per cent say they telecommute at least sometimes

Esquimalt needs urgent health care facility, mayor says

A severe doctor shortage is leaving Esquimalt residents scrambling for health care

Student Voice: Saanich students launch competitive robotics team

The Reynolds Reybots plan to share their skills with middle schools

Royal BC Museum’s newest series takes visitors behind the scenes

Adult sessions explores art, nature, history and more

What are the worst parking spots in Victoria?

We are looking for the worst places in the city to park and need your opinion

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

Most Read