There really are no words to explain how I feel about today- the launch of something I’ve been working on for over a year. (But really, I started working on it when I found out I was pregnant 17 years ago…I just didn’t know it yet.)
Before I had children, I never thought that being a mother would be such a central part of my life. I never really even thought about having kids. The only memory I have of ever thinking about a life with kids is a daydream that consisted of me chopping vegetables at the kitchen counter, in a suit. No children were visible, though I knew they were there, and I’m not sure what job I had that required me to wear a suit.
At one point, not so many years ago, I thought being a mother was the end of me. Just by sheer logistics. It didn’t seem possible that I could ever squeeze time for a life of my own in between doctors appointments, homework, cooking, laundry…
I definitely didn’t identify as a mother. “Mothers” were those ladies who dressed in unflattering clothes, had no hairstyle, and had given up on being magical, mysterious, interesting…
I see this identity crisis as a lack of variety in the women I saw mothering. Whether this comes from where I grew up, the people we associated with, our cultural standards of motherhood, or one of the many other possibilities, I’m not sure. But I do know that all of the women who inspired me to live a life of wonder and adventure….never had kids.
Where were the women who were mothers, good mothers, who were also living a life that seemed, well…full of life?
The bad news is that I went 16 years without finding them. The good news is-they exist! They are real! And they are AWESOME. Women who make me say “I am SO lucky to have this family.”, not “What have I done to my life?”.
We usually don’t allow ourselves to admit that we may be disappointed with our life. “That would be selfish. And I have so much to be thankful for. I love my children so it’s worth it.” We are really good at the martyr thing (at least I am) But I was being selfish by NOT admitting that I was disappointed by my life. I was taking away from my children because I was not being my whole, fulfilled, enamored with the beauty of life-self. They deserve that mother. A mother who is so full that she wants genuinely has was it takes to connect fully with them.
I don’t know what the future holds for this endeavor, but I’m not attached to any certain outcome. The conversations I’ve had, the friends I’ve made and the satisfaction in the process makes it easy for me to know that this is where I’m supposed to be in life, and there’s absolutely no disappointment in that.