Saturday, January 7, 2012

Pollyanna's side of the story

A funny thing happened to me yesterday:  I read a blog entitled "Carpe Diem" because two of my friends had posted it to their Facebook pages.  A mother of three, and a mother of two.  Both beautiful writers and beautiful people, as well.  I respect their opinions and listen to them.

So I read the blog.  The first time I read it, it felt all wrong to me.  I didn't necessarily agree with the author's sentiments, but I read it again.  And then, curious, I read the author's bio, to try and figure out where she's coming from.  And I read the comments under the blog.  It all made me think about what it feels like to be a mom, from a different perspective.  Most of the people commenting on this blog were relieved to have someone tell them that it's OK to NOT savor every moment.  To acknowledge that it's legitimate to get a little frustrated and want to pull your hair out. I agree with all of that. And then one mother went so far as to say that she sometimes wishes for her single, childless life back.  Rrrrrrrrrrt.  This is where I put the brakes on.  This, I don't understand.

It made me stop and think.  Am I kidding myself?  Am I an over-optimistic Pollyanna?  Maybe.  Probably, yes.  But I have never, ever wished for my single, childless life.  Not even for a second.  

I'm no expert, and this is just how I feel... I'm not going to tell anyone else how to feel.  I rarely wish for a moment without my son, because I have more moments away from him than I'd like because I must work. I am savoring every moment because sometimes I'm afraid I'm going to miss something.  Maybe it's partially because I had a chance at a new life after a bad relationship, and I'm just so damn thankful to have the husband and beautiful child I always wanted.

Most working moms, like me, get our lunch hours off.  We get time to ourselves, even in the form of a coffee break.  I feel an overwhelming pull to go home when I travel away from him for even a night.  Having a child has changed my whole outlook on travel, and while I yearn to see new places, I don't want to do it nearly as much without my family by my side. I'm also thankful to have a great job that pays well in this economy, and it allows me to work from home.  I'm extremely fortunate and I know it.

Several of my friends are stay-at-home-moms, and they deserve a ton of respect.  They have one of the most challenging jobs in the world.  Wake up; figure out ways to entertain, educate, and raise a good citizen through all of the growth phases; feed; diaper; laundry; dishes; repeat. They question all the time if they are doing a good job, they don't get paid, they don't get annual reviews, and they are often under-appreciated.   One of my good friends is having her 8th child in the summer, and although we don't live in the same town, I have never heard her complain.  Her kids are home-schooled, well-mannered, and smart.  She knows what she can handle and she does it with amazing efficiency.  I love being around her family because joy and happiness emanate throughout the house.  She's not going to tell you that it's hearts and flowers every day, but she's focused on the good stuff. 

It's my hunch that no one in the world loves every moment of parenting.  Sometimes it's tough.  Sometimes you have to make hard decisions.  Sometimes your kids tell you that they hate you because of those decisions (I'm not there yet, but I sure remember acting that way toward my parents).  

Whether you relate more to the sentiments in the "Carpe Diem" post, or even this post on Mamapedia about life as a working mom or not, none of the opinions are wrong, especially if it's just a frustrated rant in the moment.  What inspires me is more people who spend less time complaining about their lives and more time enjoying it.  If there is less enjoyment then stress, something should change. YES, be real.  NO, don't pretend.  YES, vent. And in the meantime...

Have a Sunset Moment (as my friend Rachel would say).  Enjoy the Kairos (as Glennon said in Carpe Diem).  Make it your own, in your own time, and in your own way, so you can look back without regret of how you spent your time. 


4 comments:

  1. Beautifully stated, Kristin. I couldn't agree more. Here is my link to my "Sunset Moment," post since the other "Sunset Moment," link has so many to choose from. http://www.handsfreemama.com/?p=409

    Thank you for sharing my message. I am truly honored.

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  2. Thank you, Rachel! I have updated the link so that it goes to the page you shared instead.
    I'm happy to share your blog anytime. Hugs!

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