Something has clicked in me.
Jen Zug has entered a new era of motherhood, one in which she is relatively nice to her children, gets things done, goes to bed at 10:30, and takes hardly ANY time to write, though she is infinitely inspired.
Must be the sun. Or all that excessive drinking I’ve been doing.
But most likely, I have remembered who I am and what my purpose is.
Four and a half years ago, belly swelling with a baby that was due any day, I asked my OB how soon after this one I could get pregnant again. I had always wanted many children, but was getting a later start than I had anticipated in my childhood dreams (which included fielding a team of baseball players who would go on to the major league). I figured if I got the hard part over with quickly it would be smooth sailing, but I wanted to be sure.
I remember my OB’s words very clearly – his children were less than two years apart. He said that having children close together is very stressful for a few years, but as they get older and play together, having kids close in age is a great joy.
It has been good to remember this conversation – to remember that Bryan and I made a conscious decision to have our children close in age. Sometimes I find myself looking at The Way Things Are Right Now, assuming this is how things will always be. But this is not the case. Things will not always be this way, but will change so quickly I will cry for the time I am living right now.
This reality is what causes me to slow down and enjoy Today.
On a recent weekend away with girlfriends, one reminded me that I am the only person who can be a mother to my children. Someone else can write that newsletter, someone else can plan events for the board of directors, someone else can even write a book. But my children only have one mother, and she is me. This is a job that cannot be delegated, though everything else can be.
In related news, the Mommy Wars have kicked up dust in the media again, thanks to a new book out called, “The Feminine Mistake.” I had drafted an entire post about this book, but decided it was not worth my server space to publish – not to mention that I hadn’t even read it. The description alone sent me on a tirade. Other media points have come onto my radar, such as this interview (thanks to Notes for the link), and this article, as well as this one.
My mind has been churning for weeks as to how I can jump into the debate of this issue and make my opinion an important part of the landscape. But the reality is, it’s not that important anymore for me to justify why I do what I do.
Why would I? To convince you? To convince the other preschool moms? To convince the wives of all the people in Bryan’s tech network? Sometimes motherhood can be like Junior High all over again, and I judge myself by what all the cool moms are doing: breastfeeding, not breastfeeding, homeschooling, private school, large families, two income households, work-from-home moms, whatever.
The truth is, what I always wanted was to stay home, and I don’t need to be ashamed of that or be afraid that someone might think I’ve compromised my financial future, or that I can’t cut it in the ‘real world,’ or whatever other nonsense opinions are out there. (And by the way, I have a Plan. If Bryan kicks the bucket I will cash in his life insurance policy, rent out a couple of our FIVE BEDROOMS, and write for money. I’m not naive to the fact that Shit Happens).
This is what I wanted, and I married a man who agreed with me. He didn’t make me stay home, nor did I have to beg him to stay home. We agreed.
I’m sad it’s taken me four years to get into this groove, but I’m thankful that I still have time before my oldest goes off to school full time. I’m tired of living with regret – these are the days I want to remember, and these days are short. There will be another time to pursue my own avenues.