Monday, October 02, 2006
I remember when I was a career woman that I hated Mondays.
End of the weekend, beginning of another work week.
After three nights of staying up late and sleeping in late, it was a shock to the system to hear the alarm ring at 5:15am for a 6:45 work arrival. It took until about Wed. to get back in the groove, by Friday hit your stride and then the WEEKEND and start all over. And so it went for about 20 years. Since I have almost always worked at the hospital my day started at 7am and ended at 3pm. Unless I was on surgery call and then it never really ended.
Fast Forward to the present.
MONDAY-October 2006-Yippee
I love Mondays. Kids at school , husband at work. House quiet, no TV.
Never in a million years did I picture myself as a mother of two, much less a Stay at Home Mom.
It is a best kept secret. I am totally unapologetic that I love this stage of my life. I love that this morning I was excited to be able to dedicate my day to laundry and being able to get all of it done at one whack. Then maybe a little rearrange of some kitchen cabinets. If I am feeling really productive I may try and tackle my closet and start switching out some summer clothes for fall. Here in the south, summer is never really over and winter never really begins but a few changes must take place for my inner fashionista to survive.
For me now, Mondays represents ,dare I say it, Freedom. For a few hours anyway. Some me time, some Honey do list time. This is the first school year that both of mine have been in school all week. I am just barely two months into it, but so far so good. I can actually envision starting to clean out the unfinished upstairs that is acting like an attic storage center so we can finally finish a couple of rooms there. I bought some pansies and mums yesterday. I think tomorrow may be a gardening day. Tonight I am making that prosciutto, Potato and Leek soup I saw on Rachel Ray. Tomorrow night maybe homemade Chicken and Dumplings. Wednesday, I plan on packing up some of my daughter's summer clothes and maybe organizing my scrapbook stuff that is starting to take over a corner of my bedroom. A nice roast for dinner sounds good.
Yes, I know that some think I am not fulfilling my potential as a college educated, forward thinking, income earning product of women's rights and how far we have come as a gender to be heard from and listened to. I think that is a bunch of malarky. Last month's issue of ELLE magazine had a scathing article aimed at all women not currently employed and how we should be ashamed of ourselves, we are wasting our lives ,poor examples for our children, and so on and so on. As a former careeraholic,I have one rather juvenile response,
Bite Me.
While I always believed as a woman you can have it all, I never thought that meant having it all at the same time. Why not stretch the ALL into segments so you can savor each part.Having it all at once, or trying to just seems that some of the ALL gets rushed through, overlooked or pushed aside.
I am having it all.
I had college.
I have had a marriage for 24 years and counting.
I had lots of self indulgent me time and us time.
I had a great career.For 20 years.
I had children.
Now I am having the mommy part.
For me that is having it all. The reason we waited until this time in our life to be parents was so that we could slow down and enjoy this all encompassing part of it. So we did not have to try and do it all. We have never been ones for the rat race. Never gave much thought to keeping up with the Jones.
I feel that we were meant to wait until our 40's to want to be parents. We could afford adoption from Russia then. We had the courage and the faith it took. We had the time and the commitment of effort that was required. We knew that love trumped biology and that nurture outscored nature.We knew that any earlier and we would not have been the best parents we could have been.
While man may make the plans, God controls the steps.
I have driven a Mercedes, a two seater convertible sports car. I have mistakenly attributed status and coolness to what I drove.
It shouts I AM A MOM. When did that become something to hide.
I can't for the life of me understand minvan jokes or that some women
"Wouldn't be caught dead in one".
The day I drove my brand new Dodge Grand Caravan XLT, leather interior , fully automatic doors( front ,side and rear), Flip down DVD player that also gets local TV stations, heated front seat , triple control and three zone heat and AC control, Stow and Go seats,recessed storage in rear off the lot was one of the happiest days of my life.
It was like a Mom medal to me.
At first my sister, friends and 16 and 18 year old niece and nephew made jokes, made fun and pretty much gouged me about driving a minivan. They really did not believe my demonstrative gushings of my love for it. Now, 3 year later, who's getting the last laugh. ME. Why? Because they all love it too. You drive, they always say. Even if it just us adults riding. It makes their sporty compacts seem claustrophobic , their gas guzzling SUV's seem financially irresponsible. My minivan seems like mini-nirvana. I am guessing that those other Moms and individuals who have their noses in the air and making the snide comments about my ride have never actually ridden in one.
Come on over, I'll give you a test drive.
I guess a minivan is part of the SAHM persona non grata. Although the stay at home part is misleading. While I can choose to spend most of my days in the compound keeping the home fires burning, that really isn't the case. My husband seems to have more errands for me to run these days. I can take 2 hours to grocery shop if I want, window shop at the mall at leisure( haven't ever really done that yet). I go to the gym. Check on the Grandparents and do chores for them. I work on Thursdays at the hospital from 8:30 to 1:30. Not enough to qualify me as a working mother, but enough to keep me up to snuff on medical advances, ever changing technology and assures that my license stays current. It also keeps my foot in the door should I ever decide to increase my contributions on the workforce. I also substitute teach at the Elementary school,volunteer for the PTO and help in the classroom. Schools are desperate for help and non working Moms are who the bulk of this falls on.
Now, I do not want working moms to think this is any kind of comment on them. I have the utmost respect for working mothers. Most of my friends are or have been working mothers. I was one for a year. It doesn't matter to me if your are working out of necessity or desire. You have my full support and admiration for all that your are doing. And I will help you in any way I can. You see, I think what all of us moms and all women should be celebrating and cheering for each other is that we now have CHOICES.
That we now have a choice in our lives and defining how we live. That each choice can be validated and each choice is contributing to society and is important. That we are all earning an income, just in different currency. None of us should be made to feel less than or even greater than each other because of the lifestyle choices we have made. No mother should ever have to defend her place in the world or how she spends her days or doesn't spend then.
Each woman's vision of having it all, getting it all and being it all is very personal and different.
I think the hardest part is figuring out what that is and then attaining it.
Next hardest is being happy and fulfilled in living that choice.
I hope that I can teach my daughter that she can be anything and do everything that she wants in life.
I hope, by my own example, she doesn't think she has to do it all at once.
But if she does, I hope I can help her figured out how.
In becoming a mother,Part of my All was choosing to adopt my son and daughter from Russia.
In being a mother, my all right now is letting that be my primary job. Some will say my only job.
That's fine by me.
So when you see me pass by in my silver Minivan in the middle of the week , in the middle of the day, smiling and singing along to the radio, in my casual non work attire.
Don't feel sorry for me, don't think I am not fulfilling my potential.
You don't have to give me a second thought at all.
But if you do, I hope you see a smart, progressive women who is happily fulfilling her dreams and her destiny of which she has total control. Or as much control as you can have.
Satisfied and Happy Mom.
That should be all of our goals, no matter how you go about achieving it.
That is how we live our best life and show our children how to live theirs.
And Be Proud of It. (minivan included)


Blogger momof4greatkids said...

Good for you K!!! I stay at home too and according to some, should be using my degree as a teacher. Bite Me is a good way of saying it. Can't imagine not being able to be the voluteer mom at the school. I am ready to have the house quiet soon too. Enjoy what you have earned! Congrats on being a mom for your children 24-7!

Blogger MMrussianadoption said...

I plan on leaving teaching to be a sahm. I wish I could do it today. I wouldn't even look back. I am so ready for it. World's best job.

Greetings to a fellow Southerner! I LOVE your blog. And your children are precious. It is so refreshing to read of a mom who loves being a mom. It is encouraging too!

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