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Thursday, March 27, 2014

So...What are You Doing With Your Life? (the justification of motherhood)

When Lucy was my only baby which feels so long ago that I may have dreamt that whole beautiful space in time, I was completely enamored with being a mother. I really rocked it. I would put her in a sling or a bjorn or some other zen type of bundle that kept her within centimeters of my skin. AT. ALL. TIMES. We would explore the world by day, read endless "Goodnight Moon" by night and dine on organic homemade baby food inbetween. I could have been a cover model for Earth Mother, Zen Child Magazine. Does that exist? It really should have a decade ago before I had bags under my eyes.

I never felt that I had to justify that time, I was too in love with it. I never felt that a lack of a paycheck made me less of something. I felt that if I was happy and Lucy was happy and even (bonus!) Big Daddy was happy than what did it even matter?

I think in addition to having firmer skin that I was actually a lot smarter then.

This was me. Look Mom, no bags...

Fast forward to yesterday morning. 9 year old Lucy and 7 year old Niko are crying and having an all around ridiculous moment over who is supposed to be cleaning the litter box, 4 year old Micah somehow managed to smear his own feces all over the toilet seat and 4 year old Sophia is screaming serenading "Let it Go" to Willie (Nilly) Nelson who is trying claws out and desperate to hide (I'm with you cat). We have 13 minutes to get all this shit (literally) clean before we will need to put on 18 layers of clothing because it is 18 degrees in "spring" and sprint to the bus because there is no way in hell I'm strapping them all in and driving this entourage to school this frozen day. And one of these children who shall not be named because they are normally angelic but this child says these words while hysterically crying out loud to me, "Could you please just help us for once in your life?"

Ummmm... excuse me?

The words that I used at that moment could have made me a cover model for a mug shot.

Hey roomie!

Yes. I am so blessed. And lucky. Yes I know. And of course mo' kids means mo' problems and less money, energy and patience to go around. Except for the Duggars. I don't really know how they're functioning. I need not complain. I really am happy and my kids amaze me every single day. The mornings are not normally filled with so much crap clean-up anymore. But that doesn't mean that it's not challenging. And here is the ironic thing: I now feel like I really have to justify my time and staying at home. Why? Why do we feel the need to prove ourselves? Because I have two kids in school and my twins are in preschool? That means that I have maybe four hours a week when I'm not volunteering and doing all of the craziness motherhoodness that I can go to a store alone. Pick a store, any store and it will be a marvelous experience when you fly it solo. I went to K-Mart today and felt like Martha Stewart herself. Yes, I got some self tanning lotion and new hand towels. BOOM. Look out summer.

Next fall all four kids will get on a bus (let's hope it's the right one) and be gone all the live long day. That is what I already feel the need to justify. I feel like a senior in high school with people asking what my plan in next year and you really want to say something confident and awesome like "Yale. I have a full ride to Yale." But the truth is I really just want and need to take a year off to think and figure it all out for a bit because for the first time in a long time I will be given a space to breathe and think.

But we don't usually say those really honest things out loud. We feel that we need to be needed and to do and to be more. Always. We are all judgers of time, our own and everyone else's for better or worse. So what do I really want to do with my life, next year and always?

I want to write and read and teach and take yoga. And occasionally go and read to my kids classes. And then roll out of there and listen to what quiet feels like inside of my house. And think. And save the world. And be so happy and refreshed and greet them with wide open arms when they get home. And be that zen patient mother again. And drink wine. That is what I want. 

In t-shirt form it would be: 
Yoga. Write. Wine. 
And on the back it would read: And Save the World. But I do think if we all do those things on the front, the saving the world would be a whole lot more on its way.

But somehow that didn't seem like enough to say out loud so these are the ideas that I've seriously thrown out to Big Daddy as potential jobs:
  • Yoga Studio Owner
  • Open a Coffee House
  • Open a Wine Bar
  • Chicken Raiser
  • Bestselling Author (why not just shoot right for the top?)
  • Seamstress (I don't even know how to sew)
  • Open a Boutique (by the sea of course)
  • Open a Yoga Studio, Coffee House, Wine Bar in One
  • Key Chain Maker (is that a job?)
  • Tea Towel Maker (definitely not a job but that hasn't stopped me from hoarding towels to applique)
  • Or we could just run away to an island...

I never realized how patient my husband was until I just typed all of that out. It's really only a sample of job or whatever-they-are possibilities that have ran through my mind over the last several weeks.

My brother Tim gave me the best answer ever about what his wife was going to do with her time. They live in South Korea where daycare is free (say what?! It's true- it really is) and she was going to put her beautiful two year old twins in the program a couple of mornings a week.
Me: AMAZING. This is so exciting. What is Lena going to do during that time (see even I ask because I'm just so freakin curious)?
Tim: She's always wanted to take some yoga classes so that's what she's going to do.
Me: BRILLIANT. She so deserves that.

It never occurred to him or to her that she didn't.

I'm going to change what I say from here on out when people ask me what I am going to do with myself next year. I know people ask with good well meaning intention, it is me who is on the defense of my time. But from now on I'm going to own it and say with pride: Yoga, Write, Wine. And maybe point to it in t-shirt form. Hhhhmmmm...t-shirt maker has job potential. Kidding. Sort of.

Whatever we do, let's own it. And if you are feeling like you are "just" a mom, please remember this: there is nothing just about it. 

Keep on keeping on hard working mommas and poppas...
It feels like wine time...



  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Sharon... endless thanks to you for reading love.

  2. You are always welcome to spend your time at the co-op! :)