I have been struggling today with this thing called Mothering.
I think as mothers we all fight a common battle.
We want to be ourselves and fulfill our dreams, and at the same time, devote our entire lives to raising our children.
We can mother a child and still have a life of our own...right? I don't mean that I desire to stay out late or anything like that...but I don't want to send them to college and no longer know what I am supposed to do with my time.
It is such a balancing act.
How many children can you give comeplete support to financially and emotionally.
Both of those are critical aspects of parenting.
How many can you send to college? How many can you send to dance lessons, or soccer practice? How many can you feed? How many can you fit in an affordable home comfortably? How many could you keep safe in the event of a disaster?
There is so much love in your heart for your children...but you give up so much in order to raise them.
I have chosen to continue working. I really do like my job. I worked hard to educate myself and teach myself some valuable skills...and I want to use them. I cannot think of any instance in which I would desire to stop working entirely. It means something to me more than just getting a paycheck. I feel blessed to be able to get up and work and be good at something. I make a difference in my working role and it gives me something I need personally. My children will learn a lot from seeing their mother work hard. I learned a lot from seeing my mother work. I was raised to be hardworking and that I could give myself any life I wanted. As long as I was willing to work hard for it. Nothing falls in your lap. Life is hard and it feels good to be able to control my destiny. I am honored to work. And yet, I feel guilty every day because I want to go to work. This balance of work and family.
That offers challenges in mothering as well. I have to try to do all of the things stay at home mom's do with less time to do it. On weekends and evenings I am grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, playing outside with kids, baking cookies with kids, doing crafts with kids, helping with projects, reading books, bathing, dressing, ironing, shopping, disciplining, tickling, praying with, teaching, coloring, nursing, cuddling, and snuggling. It means that there is really very little downtime in my life.
I read my books in whatever quick bath I get a chance to take. I eat my dinner with one hand, and I type my blogs sporadically between all of the above.
The other day Daddy and I had a sitter. It was pouring rain but we went out anyway. We found ourselves having a lovely time walking around Trader Joes sans children. Yes, Trader Joe's- the grocery store. That was our lovely date. It is the little things.
Last night my cousin made some coffee. It smelled oh so good. I was reminded of days when I sat in a quiet house, had candles burning, coffee in hand while reading a book. Those days seem so distant.
You cannot drink hot coffee near a baby. It is a rule of thumb in parenting...no hot substances around children. It is important to avoid any mishaps that could alter their well being.
There is the avoidable and the unavoidable.
As a parent, a lot of energy goes into protecting them from the avoidable and praying that the unavoidable doesn't occur.
One mistake could alter everything.
It takes one time. One time leaving water boiling on the stove, one spill of coffee, one penny left on the floor, one hotdog not sliced, one bottle cap unattended, one window blind left hanging too low, one blanket left on the stairs, one puddle left on the floor, one red light, one text, one minute...one second...
So much can happen in a split second. A moment of indifference. A moment of distraction.
Mothering is a tricky business.
Gone are the days of a quiet and clean house that stays that way when you leave for work. Gone are the days of sleeping past 7am. Gone are the days of not worrying about groceries or what you might eat for dinner. Gone are the days of hot coffee on the couch. Gone are the days of hour long showers. Gone are many things.
Indefinitely. Perhaps one day to return, but maybe not.
A friend told me once that when she needs time alone, she locks herself in the bathroom and pretends to be pooping. haha. How many times have we all done this. But here is the thing...sometimes, kids just don't care. You are sitting in your locked bathroom, on the pot, and you can hear them outside the door fiddling with the lock....and soon, as you say "please, no"...you watch the lock turn...and there they are, sitting at your feet while you sit indisposed on the toilet. Never alone.
It makes me laugh. I wonder sometimes how people who do not do all these things spend their time? I truly feel overwhelmed many many times.
To keep going: I often elude to the famous words of Dory....
sing with me friends- "just keep swimming, just keep swimming".
have a good day fellow Mommies! You are doing a great job.