One of the things I remember and loved most about living at home, was getting ready with my mom. Each morning I’d go in the bathroom to shower just after she did. Then as she got ready, I would sit on the edge of tub … one towel wrapped around my hair, and the other wrapped around me. We had the bathroom heat fan “cranked,” as we would say. I would sit there talking incessantly about nothing and everything. From who was dating who at school, to confessions on what I had done the weekend before (I was a goody goody, so don’t get your hopes up!), to how much I hated doing my stick straight hair, to what I wanted to be when I grew up. And there it is, the one thing that NEVER changed. I mean, I changed my mind daily on what my “job” was going to be! But I knew, with everything inside of me, that I wanted to be a mother. As I sat there with my, 11 year old, never-before-shaven legs and never-been-plucked eyebrows, I’m sure my mom was cringing at the words, “I can’t WAIT to have a baby!” I mean, let’s be serious, I have an 8 year old daughter … the thought of these words coming out of her mouth at that age, makes me insane.
But, it’s true. I couldn’t wait to have a baby. Maybe it’s the dreamer in me. I was fascinated with the thought of being so in love with someone, that together you would choose to create life. And then growing a baby for 9 months. And then having this baby, that you created, in your arms. It was like a magical fairytale in my mind. And actually, when I finally got the chance to live it, it was even more magical than I EVER could have imagined. I know, I sound like a crazy person. Maybe I am. I have an unreal expectation of how life should be, but I like that about me. As much as it makes me seek perfection, it also makes me fall more in love with my reality.
So, to recap my long winded introduction; I always wanted babies, and I loved having my babies. Here’s the twist. I never wanted to be a “stay-at-home-mom.” Weird, right? It doesn’t make sense. I wanted to kick-ass at my ‘job,’ almost as much as I wanted to be a mom. I wanted both. And for awhile, I had both. It seemed like a good balance, and I thought I was perfectly content.
And then, I got thrown head first into being a ‘stay-at-home-mom.’ And when I say head first, I’m not kidding. I went from having two kids who were in school most of the day, while I ran my own business … to being on a island, with 2 kids that I home schooled and a new baby, who were all with me 24-7-365 … oh, and a husband who was starting medical school, which would consume most of his waking minutes. I became the ‘stay-at-home-everything!’
As it turns out, this “job” that I never wanted is actually the best damn job I’ve ever had. After 495 days of spending every waking minute with my children, I’ve never wanted anything more. So, what I used to think was a good balance … was that just me making it work? Maybe, it was because I thought it was what I wanted. Maybe, it was because I didn’t know any better. Maybe, it was because I knew, at the time, that I had no other choice. I was forcing the mold to fit. I don’t know which it is, and it really doesn’t matter. That was a different place and a different time, and it worked well then. What does matter, is that I’ve gotten the opportunity to spend more time with my children then I ever could have hoped for. I can’t believe that at one point, I didn’t think I wanted this. It’s hard for me to even say that.
When I was working outside of the house, mornings were this crazy event. Rushing to get ready, rushing to get kids ready, rushing to drop them off, rushing to work … it makes me anxious just thinking about it. Now, I wake up and drink coffee in my PJ’s while reading to baby B, and anxiously waiting for my bigger babies to wake-up. I get to enjoy every moment of sleepy faces and half open eyes. I get to lay on our living room rug and snuggle them until they’re awake enough to get up and play. I get to make them whatever they want for breakfast, and not what’s easiest/fastest. During their sleeping hours, I have more than enough time to cook, clean, and prep, … I used to spend that time catching up on work and responding to emails … so, now, when they are awake, I can spend our free minutes playing baseball in the yard, or painting the coconuts that fall off of our tree. Every minute of our day, we get to decide what we do. It’s a beautiful thing.
I’m, by no means, trying to paint a picture perfect scenario here. I mean, let’s face it, we spend all day, every day together. We have our moments, for sure. We bicker, we fight, and some days I feel like everyone’s success, and everyone’s happiness depends on me. It’s a lot of pressure. But most days, I sit back in amazement at all of the things we’ve all learned from each other, and about each other. It’s been an incredible experience, and to think, it’s one that I didn’t think was for me.
I guess I owe a HUGE thank you to Christopher for wanting to follow a dream … who knew, in the meantime, I’d find one of my own.