Monday, February 4, 2008

Having It ALL One Step at a Time!

I would really love to "have it all." A great career, a loving and helpful husband, clean, intelligent, and well-behaved children, great house, looks that defy pregnancy (and gravity!), and of course happiness.

I know so many women who do have it all, and until a few months ago, I placed myself firmly in the "having it all" category. I had made a few strides in my budding career (although I pursued it on a part-time basis), my phenom of a husband made life with our toddler a blast, I loved my daycare... all things that made my life a happy one.

But with number two on the way, and the responsibilities in my current position only growing, I started to worry about how I would enjoy all the individual aspects of my life, particularly my children.

When my oldest daughter was born, I wasn’t prepared to fall so mercilessly in love. It’s a helpless, hostage-taking kind of love, and I knew being held hostage by two would be exponentially more difficult. All summer, as the due date drew near, I just couldn't get my head around dividing my time between both babies and a work schedule that frequently bulged out of it's three-day-a-week waistband.

To be honest, I'm the greediest mother I know. I can't get enough time with my girls. I could blow kisses on a baby tummy for an hour straight, and I relish dinner conversation centered ever-so-seriously on whether our house cat would rather have a new kitty or puppy as his best friend.

So I've revised my goals to suit my baby-lust. There is time, hopefully, to "have it all" serially, and simply allow myself to be fully mindful and present through each phase of my life. Some of my best loved heroes suspended their own ambitions for a few years while they cared for, loved, and taught their children, and it's their lead that I'm happily following.

I am patently not hip, have never been edgy, and I am woefully romantic about parenting, so I realize that this will never be a popular blog. Instead, I intend to use this blog to achieve two things.

First, I hope to capture the quirky, fleeting, and surprisingly universal moments of young motherhood. I cry far more often than I ever did pre-motherhood, and it’s mostly over the fact that this baby that wakes me up two or three times a night, and this little girl that climbs into my bed at 3 AM will be leaving for college - silly, I know. This blog is motivation to collect their stories like ripe tomatoes in the summer garden. They seem so plentiful now, it is almost easier to let them drop, but some late November evening I’ll be so glad I saved enough to make a good marinara out of the tastiest homegrown fruit rather than relying on the bland store-bought variety.

My second goal is a bit more pragmatic. While the love is instant, the knowledge of how to parent is just not. I always feel as though I’ve come a bit late to class. From food choices to preschools to developing a social network for a two-year-old, I’m a novice. This is a tool to help me sort through the popular influences on parents, from the rushing tide of commercial advertising to the dictations of each various niche of parenting. I like to take tools from many sources (attachment parenting, babycenter.com, Mothering Magazine, my mother) and from them make decisions that are right for my family.

I hope to take advantage of my time at home to really simplify our lives, minimize our impact on the world around us, and enjoy our family life. In addition to updates about the girls, look forward to discussions about mindful living, real food, our vegetable garden, commentary on feminism and public policy as it relates to raising our girls, and maybe our adoption of urban chickens!

We're all growing up together over here: Joe, the girls, and I.

1 comment:

grandpa said...

Oh yeah, I can remember those days. Thats when everyone used to say ,"better enjoy it, they grow up so fast".A tired cliche for sure but truer words were never spoken. Love the blog, Dad

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