One Thing I’m Not

Posted by Jen on January 27, 2009 in Lessons Learned, Mommyhood |

There are many things I’m not. This post is about one of them. [Can you just feel the foreshadowing for other posts to come? Oh, the excitement of it all.]

I am not a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM). I’m not. I don’t even pretend to be.  I don’t even pretend that I actually have a choice in this whole conversation anymore. [I did once and Husband actually laughed at me - not with me - AT me. Don't be too hard on him, he was right.]

Now, when I say that I’m not a SAHM, I don’t mean that I have children and I earn my living outside the home (although this is very true about me). I mean that I am not – right down to the smallest cellular processes in my body – wired to be a SAHM.

I’m saying that me as a SAHM = train wreck. Savvy?

[The upside to a train wreck is that it makes for interesting blog posts. It's just not really good for my kids!]

I was reminded of all of this today because, today, mom (me) stayed home with BK who had a fever and couldn’t go to school.  [I'm qualifying that because sometimes I stay home while the kids go to school. This is called a vacation day. Sometimes Husband and I stay home with the kids together. This is also called a vacation day or a "stay home day".]

BK and I had a very good day. I mean, she was running a fever and was very particular about what she wanted to do but, all-in-all, I can’t really complain about my day with my daughter. It was very nice.

But …

I got nothing done. I stayed in my pjs all day. My world became all about her and what she needed. I took very good care of her. We laughed and played and napped … and my mind started to spin out of control. By the end of the day, I felt drugged.

It wasn’t until Husband came home that I realized I’d been holding my breath for about 2 hours. I was just waiting for he and Little Man to get home so that I could get my brain functioning back to normal. I needed them to take care of BK so I could take care of me for a bit.

There was a time when I felt embarrassed about this admission. It sounds so selfish – particularly when this is only a one day thing in my world. Somedays I’m still living in that time. Most days, I know my limitations. Many days, I accept those limitations.

After 40 years, here’s what I know. I am good at working. I love to do it. I’ve chosen a profession that,  for me, is a calling. It’s almost what I am and how I’m defined. I’m moving away from that as I explore other areas of interest, but work will always be play for me on some level.

I also know that I’m a pretty good mom – as long as I’m working. I have to have that balance or I become very imbalanced [I know, it's a wickedly brilliant statement ... and, yes, I meant it in the "mental" way.]

I guess what I’m saying is that I adore my children. I love them to death. And, because I love them, I go to work. It makes me a better mommy.

Hopefully, they will appreciate that their mom understood herself … and, hopefully, they’ll learn about their own strengths along the way.

As I get ready to publish this post, my brain is back in order. Husband is working on his computer. My son is snuggled in for the night under an impossible pile of blankets and a sleepy I love you. BK is almost fever free and sleeping  in her room.

We are blessed … in so many ways.

I'll be hoppin' along now ...

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