It’s been getting a little heavy up in this blogedy blog lately so I decided to share with you some of my favorite things. And like Oprah, I’m giving them to you all. B/c they are free so I can afford it. Maybe you can try to find the pleasure in these same things or share your own. I’d like to hear about it!
- When I realize I haven’t been on Facebook or the news all day. I am happy in the moment and proud of myself. I recognize that both places can be toxic for me.
- The first sip of coffee in the morning. There is nothing like the first sip. You can’t replicate it. Sometimes I hold onto my cup… gazing into it to savor the anticipation. Sips two and three are pretty good. But there is only one sip one.
- A serious hug. I don’t mean a quick hello or goodbye hug. I mean a solid hug. When someone you know has had a bad day or vice versa. It doesn’t even have to be someone you are close to. Sometimes those surprise hugs are what you didn’t know you need. I read and shared an article with my friend Jen a long time ago, that you need to hold a hug for at least 40 seconds to release the max amount of oxytocin in the brain. And Jen never forgets a thing. She NEVER lets go before 40 seconds. I have some skilled hugger friends.
- My favorite silly thing with the kids is when we sit around the breakfast table and make up stories about the puppy. We dream about writing a series of children’s books about Syrup’s misadventures. Like when she explores past the invisible fence and thinks she is traveling the world and goes looking for the North Pole to find Santa.
- My most MOST favorite thing is when Dave and I rock out to the radio in the car. When all four of us are piled in and we have on the 80’s or 90’s station. I LOVE LOVE these moments. Singing at top volume to REO Speedwagon or Bon Jovi, or I love when Dave raps to Spice Girls “Wanna Be”. The kids merely tolerate us weird and uncool parents. But it’s something that keeps our connection. I am reminded that before Dave became Daddy, he was my best friend. The one I want to have the most laughs with…and the most everything.
Who the hell do I think I am? Mary Poppins? Holy cow. My “full-time mommying” has turned these kids into lazy little demons. Yeah. I said it. I unknowingly threw off the balance of good and evil on Earth. Never fear, consider it fixed. It’s every demon for themselves from now on around here. Say goodbye to afterschool yogurt parfaits. Guess I wasn’t being a “good” mom after all. New house rules and chores lists have been published and signed by little people not old enough to enter into a contract. Thankfully they are also not old enough to know that. Don’t tell.
Peace and love.
I am taking an “extended unpaid vacation” AKA: time off between work contracts. AKA: I am unemployed. To be specific, for the first time since having children, I do not have another job to go to. This is a choice I made and it is a new experience for me. I have always gone from one job to the next. I’ve been lucky if you believe in luck. And I’ve been successful b/c I work hard and am trustworthy if you perhaps value those traits.
For now, I am not torn between my career and motherhood. I don’t have to figure out the balance. I am all one sided now. The other half of me is on a hiatus. I’m not sure what that means to me or how I feel about it. I am confused about my new identity. But I can tell you I have time and energy for stuff I would have never been able to do before. I washed 10 days of laundry for 4 people in one day. I’ve made healthy breakfasts and dinners and fancy afterschool yogurt parfaits. Painted a bookcase, volunteered for JA, and attended a MORNING (!) PTO meeting. I am knocking it out of the park as a mom. Which forces me to reflect on, was I not a good mother before?
The biggest theme in my motherhood experience is that it is rife with doubt. What am I doing wrong? What am I missing out on? I’ve felt pain in my chest hearing my kids say that their friend’s moms spend the whole summer with them b/c they aren’t working, why do we have to go to summer camp? When they are grown, is that what they will remember? I want them to remember being happy, supported, loved, and inspired. And proud of having a mom that was a successful career woman in a male-dominated field. Can those things coexist? I hope so. But for now, I will take this gift of time. And hope the kids remember those few weeks when mom was home. And hope they don’t resent when I wasn’t.
Shout out to working AND stay at home moms and every combination.
Peace and love.