I met up for lunch with a couple of my mommy friends yesterday. I have known these women for several years now. Our sons’ ages range from ten to twelve, they go to the same school and they are in the same baseball team. Another commonality that the three of us have is that we are all full-time moms. Having no daily job or an office to go to, the highlight of most of our days is basically picking up our sons from school and bringing them to baseball practice. That, and of course, occasional lunch or coffee dates with friends.
As we were having our dessert, I asked them this question: “Have you ever thought of doing something else, like pursuing a career or having your own business at this point in your lives? Or…” and I paused to add some drama, “… are you content with this?” And I moved my hands about to point at our table, our dessert, our coffee… basically I was talking about what we were doing at the moment. We were having lunch… with all the time in our hands.
~ * ~ * ~
I came from a career oriented family. My lawyer mom took pride in being a working mother. She almost had a breakdown when she found out I decided to be a full-time mom. She didn’t have to tell me, but I knew that she couldn’t understand why I chose to be a full-time mom over having a career… a position in an office somewhere… a title that goes before my name. Double the breakdown when she learned that my lawyer sister decided to stop practicing law so she can have more time with her kids. My sister set up her own business, so my mom forgave her somewhat, but she still couldn’t understand why my sister chose to give up her title of being an attorney.
My mom believes that a person can be career oriented and still be a parent (though I don’t remember her spending much time with us when we were very young) . She also believes that our relationship (mine and hers) is the same as my relationship with my son. She thinks we are just as close. She is either in a total state of denial… or is utterly clueless.
As my sister often says, my mom seems to live in a totally different plane.
~ * ~
Years ago, when my son was still very young, I couldn’t quite get rid of the hang ups of being a non-working mom. I guess it didn’t help that my sister gets to be introduced as “the lawyer” while I get the title, “the other daughter.” There were times when I can’t help but ask myself if I needed a title too, in order to gain more respect. Will the world respect me more if I have a title before my name?
I have long come to terms with myself on what would give me self-fulfilment and contentment.
~ * ~
Yesterday when I posed the question to my friends, one of them replied, “I am happy where I am.” And then she added this, “Life is short. Why should I concern myself about trying to find a job just to prove something? I love that I get to spend time with my kids. I love that we can do this. Why should I add more stress when I can enjoy what I have?” And she proceeded to tell us about the flights she just booked for her and her family for the upcoming school break.
I believed what she said made perfect sense.
~ * ~
I don’t have anything against working mothers. In fact, I admire the mothers who have their careers or their own business and still have time for their kids. And I mean quality time. And there are working mothers who, given the chance, would rather stay home with the kids (or have leisure coffee dates with friends on a Monday). I feel for them, too.
Different strokes for different folks. But to me, more than anything, it’s about the time that you spend with your kids, whether you work or not.
~ * ~
It was my personal choice to be a full-time, hands on, supermom. Not that I have to justify it, but I feel one can never have enough time with one’s kids. I mean, they grow up so fast. Surely you would want to be there to see them grow, and to experience life with them while they still want you around.
When I picked up my son from school yesterday afternoon, I can’t help but smile as I listened to him talk about the highlight of his day. Being there in the car with him, listening to his stories, enjoying a peaceful, stress free afternoon, I couldn’t help but realize that THAT moment was the highlight of MY day. I couldn’t ask for more.
So despite the fact that I am seemingly untitled, I know I am happy where I am.
*** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***
photo via weheartit.com