Shit happens. It does. In my house, between the two young kids, the husband and the dog, it happens quite a bit in all senses of the word. Life changes; things happen to us whether or not we are searching for change.
I’ve recently experienced a large life changing event, one which I wasn’t searching for but found me and I’m happy that it did. Our children’s nanny got another job. It happens. People move on. It’s happened before. I couldn’t expect her to stay forever. I get it. But, it caused me to suddenly have to re-think what I’m doing as a mother and a wife and as a career woman. How do I define my motherdom? How involved am I? How involved should I be? How involved can I be? Can we afford to do this? Can we afford not to?
These are all questions which suddenly had to be discussed– in my head, with my husband, with my mom, sometimes even with the dog (he’s a really good listener). It was soul searching time. Do I find someone else? For us, daycare wasn’t an option. We had decided that early on with the birth of our first child. Do I do it? I was moving up in the corporate world. But, was it really worth it all? Was it working for my family?
For me, the answer was: no. It wasn’t. We were hanging on by a thread. I was hanging on by a thread. I had to come to grips with the fact that if I truly wanted to define my motherdom by the core values I sold myself on, then I had to start living them.
Something had to give.
What was most challenging for me was the frank conversation with myself that had to happen. The “Self, you just can’t do it all. It’s not really possible.” I’m a dreamer, so that’s hard. I always have this big dream in my head of what I should be: a superwoman. I think a lot of us women feel this way. We want it all, right? I mean, who wouldn’t?
But, superwoman is a cartoon character. And I shouldn’t define my motherdom by trying to live in a story world. I had to come to grips with my reality.
It’s a good thing. My cage needed to be rattled. As much as I was trying to make everything work and be all things to all people, it just wasn’t working in my household.
So, I’ve chosen to take the plunge into the full-time mom gig. I’ve chosen to push pause and take some time to work on my motherdom. To do so, I’m going to work on a few of things:
- To be present. Just be there. I haven’t really been there the last few years the way I should. In the moment. I think I’ve just been consumed by my goals. But, I want to be consumed by my goals for them, for a change.
- Standing my ground (with the kids). I think as a working mother I’ve had a lot of guilt. There are a lot of times where I give into things out of guilt. “I was on the road this week, so I’ll let him stay up late or get her this or that treat.” I think those are appropriate things at times, but I’d let the guilt become the norm too much and I don’t want to set up the wrong life expectations for them.
- Structure. We just need more structure in our lives. A household with two working parents is tough, so you let things fall through the cracks. I want to focus on filling those cracks in and providing better structure for the kids, the household and myself. Kids really do crave structure. But, again, out of the busy mom guilt I recognize that I just let it go too much.
A couple of months ago, I found this necklace with two little pink roses on it and it says “Mother” in old timey cursive. I wear it just about every day now. I love it; it’s probably one of my favorite pieces of jewelry. One day my grandmother-in-law noticed it and said, “Oh that is so pretty. Did Daniel buy that for you?” And I replied with “No, I found it at a junk store for $5”. She had a good chuckle.
“Life With Mother” was born and here I am. As silly as it is, that little “Mother” necklace I found gave me some sort of inspiration to focus more on my motherdom.
That’s me. That’s my motherdom: fun-loving, bargain-hunter, pragmatic in my parenting style. I’m not your Pinterest, going to to post cutesy pictures of animal-shaped vegetables that I pack in my children’s lunches every day kind of a mom. I’m probably going to have a clean-enough house but nothing which you could stamp a Martha Stewart approved label on. I’ll actually start cooking, but it won’t be souffles and roasts but it will be good because it will be hot and available.
Stay tuned for our adventures. I’m cooking up some interesting things for us. I invite you to follow along on this adventure and enjoy it with us.