Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day Off?...What's That?

When I was single and without children, life was lonely. I remember being lonely when I'd go to bed alone. I remember coming home to my roommates who loved me, but had their own lives and activities, and I longed to have a family of my own.

Now that I have a family, I still have lonely days, but I'm never alone. I love my family and wouldn't trade any of them for ANYTHING. However, there are no days off in motherhood. There is no "weekend" of sleeping in and leisurely breakfast. There is no after-work shopping or pedicures. These days, I'm doing good if I shower every day. My hair is frazzled, much like my spirit, and my poor pregnant feet could use a couple of uninterrupted hours of soaking.

But I get up every morning, and I am a mother. No matter how I feel, or what I'd "rather" be doing, this is my mission: to love my girls. How many children are out there without a mother, or without a mother who cares, or without a home to live in at all? Too many to count. So no matter how frazzled I look or feel, I will be their mommy.

And then I'll pray to God that someone will take them for a day so I can at least get a pedicure.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Battling the Cliché

I am a unique and original woman. I am imperfect, but I do my best (God, help me) to be a loving mother, wife and friend.

This is my mantra. As much as I feel like a cliché when I stand in line with my two baby girls to pick up my prescription for my antidepressant. Or when I loose my cool and use an ugly tone of voice with my 2-year-old. Or when I spend 10 minutes cleaning up a puddle of pee. Or when I get banana in my hair because my 1-year-old had it smashed between her chubby pink fingers. I am not a cliché.

I remind myself that I am only one woman, doing the work of many. I am 7 1/2 months pregnant and I still expect so much from myself: I cloth diaper, keep our home sanitary (clean, not so much these days...), do the shopping, change the diapers, read stories, give baths, cuddle and tickle and give hugs. I do what I do because I choose it. I choose every day to be my daughters' mother. I choose every day to be my husband's wife. I do this because it brings me joy. Of course some days I'd much rather read a good book on the beach all by myself. No one asking for juice, no whining, no crying, no dirty diapers.

But I know that even a good book will end, and leave me alone on that beach, and the silence that only hours before brought serenity, would only sound like the roar of emptiness.

I am blessed. I usually dislike the term "blessed"--only because it suggests that in hard times or difficult circumstances we are "cursed." But, in the good and the bad, I am blessed. And when I feel like someone looking in on my life might see a cliché, I remind myself of who I am. I am a unique and original woman. I am imperfect, but I have 2 (almost 3) beautiful daughters, a husband who thinks I'm smart AND sexy, and I live a life of purpose.

And that's all I need to be today.