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

Search for missing Saanich Peninsula pair ends in tragedy

Vehicle found with two deceased occupants inside

Improvements to Sinclair Road coming

Development comes after Cadboro Bay Residents Association (CBRA) raised concerns

Saanich councillor open to more commercial operations in local parks

Coun. Ned Taylor had raised the issue during his election campaign

Langford’s Sarah Beckett Memorial playground opens

Life of West Shore RCMP Constable honoured with new playground

Greater Victoria gemmologist shines with life-time achievement award

Anthony de Goutière received award from Canadian Gemmological Association

VIDEO: High-speed crash at Douglas and Bay Streets caught on camera

Police watch-dog has assumed investigation of Victoria crash that sent three to hospital

Island murder victim’s mom expresses outrage over mental fitness decision of the accused

Smith vows to keep fighting until justice served for Descoteau

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

Most Read