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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Central Saanich council spills plans for alcohol in public parks

Local expert Adam Sherk praises decision, warns of liberalization

Saanich makes ALC appeal for Prospect Lake Elementary parking, portables

Council votes in favour of seeking non-farm use designation

Residents welcomed to The Summit in Victoria’s Quadra Village

Modern 320-bed facility designed for people with complex care needs including dementia

West Shore RCMP responds after reports of man masturbating on bus

52-year-old man charged with committing an indecent act in a public place

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Beloved Island woman dies at 106

Dorothy Adair adored by the many people she met in Chemainus in two short years

Man arrested for allegedly pushing unsuspecting seniors, jumping on cars at Parksville mall

Cops arrest man after ‘aggressive incident’ at Wembley Mall in Parksville

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

Most Read