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Why I Can Totally Relate to Lily on HIMYM

This is Lily. I like her.
She is played by actress Alyson Hannigan, whom I also like.
I have been watching "How I Met Your Mother" for years and I think I have seen every episode. The reason I think I love it so much is because the group of people portrayed on that show represent my life and friendship circle during my 20's. They go out, alot, they have fun and crazy times. My life, before Jason and kids, was that way. We went out, all the time. We had crazy stories. We would be spontaneous, we would stay out late, we would do whatever we wanted to do, when we wanted to do it (you know, besides working.) So, I could really relate to that show.
Sometimes, when I watch that show, it makes me remember those times with friends and I get sad that my life isn't like that any more. I know, I know. The life I had before my kids, I am supposed to say, is nothing compared to the life I have now. I am supposed to say the life I had before was empty and meaningless, lonely, and depressing. And in some ways, it was, especially towards the end of my 20s. But it doesn't mean that there aren't times I yearn for that life again, or at least, pieces of it.
Lily's character on this show, during this season, has been a voice to women out there like me. The small percentage of moms who didn't want to be pregnant and become mommies right away. The small percentage who didn't wait until they were later 30s to have kids. The small percentage of women who didn't go through IVF and fertility treatments, suffer through miscarriages and want a baby so badly they would do anything. The small percentage who had crazy lives before they became mothers, who spent their time as adults being crazy and carefree. The small percentage, that even though they became pregnant, weren't 100% sold on the idea of being a mom. The small percentage who still hang on to that small part of them who wish they had a carefree life again.
This season, Lily became a mom. And there have been two episodes where she makes points that I just thought were great. This is a character on TV that moms like me can relate to.

In one episode, Ted has a confession to make but can't make it because it's too terrible to say out loud. Lily, in an effort to help him, says, "I will say my confession first, the thing you aren't supposed to say. Sometimes, I wish I wasn't a mom. Sometimes, I wish I could just pack a bag and run away."

It sounds awful, I know. But that confession, to me, was a huge deal. I don't know that I've ever wanted to run away, because I love my daughter and I couldn't ever do that. But there are times I would like to pack and bag and go on vacation for several days. I feel like things get easier as your children get older, as far as they don't need you to hold them constantly, they are mobile and more independent. But at my house, there isn't one day that I come home to my house when no one is there. I walk through the door, and two dogs, a toddler, and a husband all want my attention and it's tough sometimes. You know those lonely moments I was referring to earlier? Well, I use to hate coming home to an empty house all the time. Now, it's hard because I never get to come home to an empty house. The grass is always greener...

The second episode came on last night. Lily has always loved art, but she is a kindergarden teacher. She was talking to her husband last night about the fact that now, the dreams she had as a kid or young adult have just gone away. Her husband said, "Your days of following your dreams and excitement are in front of you, not behind you!" And she said, "I love you for saying that, but I think there comes a point in every adult's life where you have to admit to yourself that it's no longer true."

I feel like this alot. Like, my dreams and days of excitement are kind of, over for me. My job can no longer be one that doesn't pay a certain amount. My next car will be a mini-van, not some ridiculously expensive, completely impractical car. I won't be taking vacations and traveling the world like I always dreamed. You feel like even though a wonderful part of your life began the moment your child was born, another part died and ceased to exist. And sure, it had to. And I am glad most of the time, but some days, it's all I can do not to do something completely irresponsible and impulsive, like, stay out after 10 pm with friends. Or spend too much money on a pair of completely unnecessary shoes.

Being a parent is hard, and I think everyone has their own reasons why. For me, being a parent is hard because I am constantly trying to find myself and my passions within the everyday routines, which can be very difficult. It's hard because I am always trying to reconcile being in a new stage of life and keeping my personality and interests. Sometimes, I feel like I don't even recognize myself, and I think most of my family and friends would agree. I mean, I won't go into details of the shenanagans I used to pull, not that they are anything to be proud of, but to know me then and know me now, it's almost a 180 in terms of my decision making abilities. And I love that about me now, I love that I know how to make dinner for kids, and decorate a house, and pay off bills (on time!) but that small, irresponsible, crazy person is still in there somewhere and some days, she begs to be heard.


KCPOLP said…
I haven't been a parent long mind you, but I feel like I completely agree on some levels and disagree on others. Sure, we can't be carefree because there is now a person relying on you to be there at all times...but the wonderful aspects are still attainable. The shoes, and the traveling, it's just done slower with more thought...and with less drinking and dancing when traveling with kiddos. Getting the opportunity to see the world is so important to me, my husband and I decide on something big each year and save for it. For instance we want to do Italy for a week, we are giving ourselves 2 years to save so we can go as a family and do it up right. Or there is a marathon I want to run inChina, same thing we are saving and planning on it in 3 yrs. I remember you having great planning skills and can see the logistics of a busy weekend in a busy restaurant easily...get out there and celebrate both women in you!
You are totally right - I should have written in there that I only feel like that on some days, then I tend to snap out of it and say "OK, so now what?" I mean, let's be honest, who wants to party every day for the rest of your life like you did in your 20s? Not me for sure. I need to find something I enjoy doing, like you and your marathons. I just haven't found what that is yet! Thank you for the encouraging words, you cute new mommy you!
Kaydi said…
Thanks for being so honest Jenna. I feel that way sometimes too. Joshua and I married when I was 23. I went from living with a roommate or my parents to being a wife and mother. Sometimes I envy those who are accountable to no one but themselves.

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