With the myriad trials and tribulations that make up the average day with little ones, sometimes I get lost in the mayhem and the never-ending, overwhelming (and probably impossible) to-do list that is my life. I forget that at the heart of it all are two beautiful little people, two sweet little girls that I've known since before they were born. I forget. How can one forget such a thing...yet I bet I'm not the only parent out there who has done this.
While I was away, I called home and the phone was passed to my 2.5 year old. I am with her every day, so I had never talked to her on the phone before then. It was amazing to me! Listening to her speak so strongly, clearly, confidently...I marveled at the little person on the other end of the line. And then it hit me that she was MINE. I get to see her every day! I get to spend time with her all day long! She is wild and crazy and joyful, and it's all mine to witness. I had forgotten.
As a family, our focus is already quite inward. We don't watch TV at all, and DVD time is limited. We rarely schedule anything on our weekends, preferring open flow and family time. We don't plan many playdates or any scheduled activities after school. At the extreme end of that spectrum, I've been putting off returning to regular yoga and exercise, because my best time is during the day and I've been unwilling to hire a babysitter or use a creche for either of my girls. Although I recognize taking care of mama is crucial for being a good mama, I somehow have failed to implement it because I feel doing so would be at their expense. But then because I am always with them, because we are always a unit, my eyes and ears have fogged over a bit. Although I encourage and value their independence, I don't sit and be with them when they can carry on without me. My mind is always racing to the next task (or the next thirty tasks). My focus wanders from the present. While I know it's not possible or even desirable to focus solely on them all the time, how many times has my girl sought me out and told me she wants to play with me, only to have me tell her "not right now" or "wait until I finish this..."...and how much longer do we have before she isn't asking me anymore? I have been so caught up in living my main task for the past five years that I had forgotten what it was.
Society puts a lot of pressure on women to be perfect in many respects. I am part of the first generation of women to not only have the culturally-accepted choice of professional career or not...but there the acceptance stops. No generation has done this before. As a well-educated woman who has actively chosen to stay home, I have felt pressure to not be just a mom (said in the most disparaging tone possible). And because I am home, there is also the floating expectation that I will meticulously maintain my house, organize my life to the hilt, and have every local, organic meal that my perfect children will happily eat (HA!) planned a month in advance (okay, I'm exaggerating a wee bit, but you know what I mean). Doing it all and especially doing it all with little ones in tow just isn't realistic, and trying (and failing) isn't a whole lot of fun either. I am so much more than just a mom, but being a mom is so much more that I ever was before. I want to honor that and the two beautiful little people who have made that possible (and challenging!). Sometimes, I just need to readjust my focus.