When I imagined my life as a 17-year-old, I never pictured myself staying at home with multiple children at any point of my adulthood. I really didn't even foresee myself having children. It's not that I was opposed to the idea, but I had other plans. Plans to perform in the Riverdance troupe for a year before college and then get some liberal arts degree. My plans included a job in government, advocacy, or social services while living in a city with exceptional public service so I wouldn't need to own a car. Of course, my plans also included falling madly in love with a man who loved and cared for me in equal amounts.
Spoiler Alert: I got the man. The rest, however, is not even close to my story. I'm glad it has worked out this way. That's lame-- I'm more than glad. I'm ecstatic!
But contentment in the day-to-day, narrowed vision of what's around me is not easy to come by. I know I'm not the only person that walks this road. It's practically baked into culture that I will have to wrestle with this. Here I am, a privileged white woman with a college degree and a fast-track slew of titles on my resume and what am I doing now? I'm changing diapers, cleaning up crumbs from lunch, and prepping for dinner for the millionth night in a row.
It's hard to stop the inner thoughts from dominating my brain and taking over. We see the world tell us that we can have it all, get it all, and do it all. And, to be honest, I believe that. BUT, only with a real understand that you can't do it all without help.
In our current situation, help in the means that would all me to 'do it all,' would be a babysitter for a little bit each week or month so I could take on a client, apply for a part-time job, or spend more time freelancing.
To do it all would also mean that I would have to let some things fall the wayside. When the kids nap each day, I clean the house, do the chores (bathroom cleaning, laundry, etc.) and prep dinner. These efforts make 5-7p nearly flawless and allow for us to just sink in to family time that much more.
Let's be clear though-- when people preach that we can do it all, it is ALWAYS with the caveat that normal habits and priorities will need to be rearranged to reprioritize what is the new focus. So if I were to amp up more time working or advocating, dinner probably wouldn't be prepped in the same way, I would need to solicit Nick for help with the household chores, and our kids would most definitely need to entertain themselves more while we manage the basic household duties.
I guess, I just battle with this back and forth all the time. I don't want change this rhythm we have and I don't want to start a new season of new stresses. I love what we have going on. I just sometimes forget the importance of blooming right where I am-- and appreciating this rare and beautiful opportunity to just be with my kids.
I know I'm not the only one who has wrestled with this topsy-turvy part of motherhood.
Where are you in your journey as a mom? What do you think?