I’ve had a bunch of these types of questions lately and here’s the short answer:
Growing up drooling over the idea of motherhood, I chose long ago to make motherhood my “career,” and I never, ever, ever want to take it for granted. I know lots of mothers feel the same way, and still have to go back to outside-the-home-work at some point. Some love that, others don’t, I guess we just need to figure out what’s best for our family and circumstances.
I thank my lucky stars every day that I don’t have to go outside of the home to work. I’m so grateful Dave has a job that provides for our family (and that he’s really good at it). I know there are so many able and willing dads out there who are not so lucky to have a job right now. And I’m thankful that this blog brings in some money on the side. Because it takes some work. I call it my “work,” and feel like it’s been my part-time job for a long time. But most of the time it doesn’t really feel so much like work because it helps me ponder and reflect on my chosen profession: motherhood.
And man alive, do I ever have a long way to go in the likes of learning this motherhood profession! How grateful I am for the connections and things I’ve learned from so many through this blog. There are so many wise, wise mothers out there and I’m so grateful for their examples.
Here’s the longer, round-about answer:
I’m not going to lie, I had stars in my eyes about the kids starting school.
And sure, I adore these kids and love it when they’re home.
It’s just that I am so deep under projects and need-to-do lists and things to catch up on that I was fully ready for a little time to think. I want to “be there” for my kids when they are home. I want my mind to be still and listening. I want to be present with them. Sure, I was present when we were gone on family trips. That’s easy-peasy. But when it comes to being home and being surrounded by “things needing to be done” and to organized, being present started to feel like it was slipping.
It doesn’t feel like I have sat down all summer long. And although Lucy had preschool for a couple hours four days a week last year, I would just barely get to the grocery store, write a blog post or start on some photo editing before she would be home again…with the others trickling in not far behind…on to reading, homework, carpools, jobs, bath time, bedtime.
And here I was with a whole slew of them stretched out before me.
It made part of my heart sad because I knew “It Is Happening” for real: my babies are really growing up.
But that hasn’t hit me head-on yet so maybe I’m still in the honeymoon phase of this stage of life. There’s a good chance I’ll be bawling by next week. Who knows. All I can say is that first week of school I was blissfully ready to get to work.
Frustration started to set in as I sat in the same chair for five hours straight without moving (and I’m not kidding about that) and still had 53 unopened emails by the time I simply had to get up and stretch.
The days following were just as frustrating. Why was I not on top of things? Why was my list still miles long?
Well, it was about the fourth day when one of my very favorite sayings from my mom popped into my mind: “Life is Long.”
And with that came the realization that I do not have to do everything right now. Right this second. Today.
What I do have to do is have a plan in action. And have things organized enough to think straight.
And even that takes some work. I’m pleased to say that after two and a half weeks of school I’m figuring it out.
I’ve figured out the most important stuff: spiritual things come first. Then order. We are working hard on that as a family (more on that later). My thoughts are so much more in order when my house is in order. My sister and I are starting on the Mind Organization for Moms in Two Weeks program on Monday and I’m chomping at the bit for that.
But the biggest realization I’ve had is that life really is long. It’s ok that I can’t do everything right now. The world will not fall apart if I don’t have all these ideas swirling around in my head put into reality right this second. The plan is the most important thing.
And even in the midst of the plan, and whether I ever work outside the home or here, or whatever extra interests I find myself emerged in at any point in life, if I can remember that my number one “job” is these guys:
…then life will always fall into place.
So my answer is no, I don’t feel pressure to go out and get a job.
I already have quite a few of them.
Motherhood invigorates me. It gives me energy. It expands my mind and enlightens me. I couldn’t be more happy that my situation allows me to be here when my kids walk in that door from school…hopefully with all the “busy-ness” done and closed-up for the day so I can snuggle them close and whisper how much I love them in their ears.
Yes, life is long. There’s enough time for the important things. We just need to be sure we prioritize them before all the other stuff that creeps in.
And if I ever start to feel like the mothering job is too rough, to loud, too messy, too overwhelming, I think I’ll just go re-read this post from my sister today who is not a mother yet. So beautifully said.
Yes, we are so lucky to have the job of motherhood: the best job in the world.