Today I ran errands, picked up my stepson from school, did laundry, took a work-related phone call, baked a cake, kept the house clean and attended to various parenting responsibilities. Does this count as ‘having it all?’ Because ‘it’ kind of sucks.
Maybe tomorrow I only have a little of ‘it.’ And maybe ‘it’ could involve a back rub and a glass of wine. That would be awesome.
How much does this life cost me? I sometimes worry that it will swallow up everything else.
I never thought I would be a stay at home mom. I thought that – like my mom and most of the moms I grew up with – I’d have my kids, put them in a nice daycare, and go right back to work.
But then, steady work seemed to dry up just as I was up to my neck in new motherhood. I do a little freelancing, but I don’t yet have the time to pursue work in great volume and you can’t exactly support a family on a freelancer’s pay.
So now I’m home with my babies – writing and earning very little. I have always believed I’d be a writer and have brought in an income of some kind since I was 14 years old. So, I struggle at times with my place inter world. I’m no Michelle Obama. I’m not some high-powered lady in great shoes doing it all. Honestly, even if I’d never gotten married and had babies, that would never be me.
I’m happy to be here for this time in my children’s lives. I’m happy to serve them now. But I wonder sometimes about what I’m missing. I wonder about what I’ve given up.
One day I’m going to collect all the grocery lists I have made during this period of my life. I keep constant lists of things we need for the house: toilet paper, lemons, hair elastics, celery. So, I’m gonna display them all, row after row after row. Random need after random need. I’m going to call my exhibit ‘Never Ending Trips to Target.’
My children are (in my completely objective opinion) very bright. They ask lots of questions, they test boundaries, they fight, they play 5 million imaginary games. It’s fun! it really is. It can also be exhausting.
I am the quiet, thinky type. I like to be alone in my own head. I like to read. I like to sit down some damn where.
Of course this never happens when the kids are up. So, by the time bedtime rolls around I’m tapped out. I need to crawl back into my shell to rejuvenate.
I’m writing this in the dark, underneath my covers. And it feels amazing.
I had a really good day, but I’m also really tired. I met with a new friend who is also a writer, I got some time to window shop, I had a quiet meal to myself.
So, this is all I got. But it still counts as a NaBloPoMo post! See ya here tomorrow when I’ll have 35 percent more gumption. Promise!
The good news is, I am not limping.
Today was not exactly anything to write home about. Why? Doesn’t really matter. Mostly stuff that isn’t important in the grand scheme of the universe, but that mattered very much to me in the moment.
But, here I am. The day is over. I survived it. The moments passed and the kids went to bed early. And I’m not stumbling, limping or even crying (at the moment).
Instead, I am stubbornly optimistic. I am trying very hard to walk in the light because I’ve been in the dark and it sucks there.
I have spent the last few years adjusting to where I am now. Trying to make neat piles of the vast amount of stuff you inherit when you become a parent. Education, discipline, love, fun, respect. Can you even wrap your mind around how huge those words are when they hand you your tiny newborn?
Anyway, the point is, I feel like I’m…not lost right now. My path is still a complete mystery, but I’m strong enough to take it. I won’t limp. I will walk. I may even run eventually.
I used to think I was a slacker, but it turns out that I’m actually a perfectionist. That means that if I don’t think I’m going to do something perfectly, I don’t do it at all.
I’m going to try to flip this tendency right on its head (at least for a little while) by taking part in BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo challenge. I’m gonna write here everyday. Every day! I’m scared. But I’m gonna do it! Whee!