Jessica Cribbs is the Co-Creator/Producer of Expressing Motherhood. She moved to LA 9 years ago from Michigan. She lives in Burbank and is raising 3 kids. The Rose Run is a charity run she began in Michigan in honor of her mom, Rose, who passed away in 2009 from breast cancer.
When I became a mother for the first time, many things surprised me. For example, having contractions during nursing for a few days. That was awful. Or how about how you truly feel when a good night’s sleep is 3 hours in a row. I probably would have been nicer if someone had just stomped on my foot with cleats…the metal ones. Oh, wait, I know…waking up one morning and looking in the mirror and truly to the bottom of your heart not recognizing who you’re looking at. That one threw me for a loop.
It took me a little less than a year before I was no longer able to recognize myself. It would have been totally awesome if the reason I didn’t know who I was, was because I had dropped 50 pounds and was suddenly tan. Not even close. There is no baby book out there that could have prepared me for the shocking identity crisis I was left with.
It’s been 7 years since that first baby was born, I’ve had 2 more since then and I still sometimes have a hard time figuring out who I am now. Yes, I know I am a mother. I am a wife..a caretaker..an occasional writer..a show producer..a race director..a friend..a sister..a daughter.
But who is Jessica now? Several things have contributed to this moment of me evolving into the person I am. My parents divorce. Having children and the death of my mom.
What I struggle with most, as I hear a lot of other mothers do, is the strong internal fight I have with myself. If people had bought tickets to a fight in my head, there would be two very strong opponents. In one corner of the ring.. there would be me, happy to be in the home taking care of things..my husband, my children, my house. I like this part. I really, really do. The domestic me would have a glass of wine, folding clothes while the three kids dramatically decorate the living room with every single toy they own. And I love it.
But in the other corner of the ring would be me, who has taken a shower. I would have just finished the book I want to write and unloaded all of the photos I had taken on my whirlwind trip through Europe. Ok, that’s not entirely true, but it’s the creative self who has a strong desire for output. Thats the part of me that needs more time devoted to it in order to thrive.
And this is where the struggle lies. I truly, truly don’t want to miss these years with my kids while they’re young. However, I constantly feel that my own desire for creativity conflicts with my desire to be domestic. I wish there was a way I could set that creative self of mine up on the shelf for just a couple of years until the littlest one gets into school. I wish I could do that. But the Jessica I know, needs it. She needs it to complete the circle of being whole. If I weren’t creative, I’d have certainly sent my children to the moon by now.
I suppose until I get it all balanced out…I’ll just have to keep doing things like this with my kids..