...many moms know which movie that line came from. Sometimes, when I hear it, I daze off into my own little lala land and dream that I get to have a trial round of parenting before facing real situations... difficult situations... like with travelling for instance (we're driving 3200 miles round trip during the holidays this year). Or going to the dentist. It would just be really nice to know how to assure the best outcome. It would save my sanity. Oh, my sanity. Where did that go? But more wisdom will come of doing things for the first time, and messing up occasionally. Even if it takes 9 plus years to feel like I might have it all under my belt.
As one of MOFs recently taught me, it's not about me right now. It's about my kids. My small sacrifice of time - what, the next 18 years out of an entire lifetime? - will be dedicated to them, and their well being.
"You don't get a vacation from being a mom." --Little People, Big World, TLC.
It's recently become very real to me... how invested I am in this thing called motherhood. I wonder when I will resume sleeping all night long. I wake at every little sound. I worry when my kids are sick and when they are healthy. I may get out of the house for a bit by myself - to go grocery shopping. But how can you get through a trip to the store without thinking about your family? On rare occasion my time away is completely indulgent - like for a haircut or a girl's night out. But the last time I had a girl's night out, I was called home just an hour later to feed a baby who was suddenly refusing the bottle. I'm not complaining; I've come to accept this. In all I do, I am a mom. I don't get time off, just like I don't get a rehearsal.
I don't think I ever felt like a housewife before I had 4 children. I've always been a "stay at home mom", but I never really felt like one. I had my regular outlets - teaching violin, performing around town, leading weight watchers meetings, designing for wedding receptions. In the last couple of years, that list has dwindled. Considerably. There is spare time here and there, but simultaneous outlets are a thing of the past. As is a house that is completely clean, every room, at the same time. So, there are times now when I feel like all I do is be a wife, mom, and keep house. I will not let it define me, however, because what you don't see in the term housewife is the tender moments between mother and child, eternal partners, and family members as a whole.
I've created my family, now it is time to raise it. Instead of teaching other children how to play an instrument, I will attend piano lessons with my daughter and support her in HER desires. Instead of performing with the symphony, I will play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star as many times as my toddler would like. And he will clap and squeal. And I will bow and accept weeds from the yard instead of freshly cut roses thrown at my feet. Instead of helping other women learn how to care for their bodies, I will care for my own and be an example to my children, teaching them how to treat their bodies as temples, helping them to respect themselves and have a srong self esteem. Instead of designing wedding receptions, I will let my little girl dream of her own big wedding some day and we will muse together about what a joyous day that will be. I will help her aspire to marrying in the temple and finding a man that is worthy of her, and my husband and I will model a strong loving relationship for our children. And I will feel both fulfilled and compensated because I'll be teaching them, shaping them, molding them.
I don't doubt that there will be a time or two over the next several years to do something fulfilling, just for me, that I love and that makes me Leilani. But when I do, I will be ever so grateful that motherhood, after all, is NOT a thankless job.