Most days being a mom is still a weird experience for me. I scold myself for not having the proper amount of patience. I catch myself walking over toys like someone else is going to pick them up. I pretty much second guess every decision I make. I over plan their days. I nitpick the words I choose to articulate my feelings and then I second-guess those, too. But some days, like today, I feel like I was just born to be a mom.
Trust me, these days are far and few between but they do happen. I catch myself missing the boys 45 minutes after I drop them off at school. I take time out of overanalyzing and stressing to bask in their budding personalities, their intelligence, their zest for life and their polished manners. I commend myself for living my life in a manner they could be proud of, for being true to who I am, for loving them more than I love myself and for wearing my heart on my sleeve. And for a second I’m confident that even if I died tomorrow, they’d have enough of me in them to venture out and find themselves, be strong enough to stay true to that and to live a life their kids could be proud of. Is that actually possible? Probably not. But some days, like today, I like to believe it might be.
Recently, Seth and I have been toying with the idea of cutting back on the boys’ school schedule for the summer. Daycare is astronomically expensive and I’m not working right now, so why not? Most days I think it’s a terrible idea. I doubt my mental capacity to stay home with them and not want to burry myself in a hole of seclusion by 1 PM every afternoon, but mostly I doubt my ability to be as valuable to them as their friends and teachers at school. I think about what I’d do with them and how much pressure I’d put on myself to teach them things beyond their age — just to be sure we were keeping up with the “school kids”. I think about the transition back to school at the end of the summer. I think about how difficult that might be if they’re behind, or even simply out of practice. I think about the damage spending the summer together might do to their individuality. I think about all the things I’ve read about how hard it is for stay-at-home moms to get back into the workforce. I think about the two degrees I worked five years for and am still paying off, I think about the eight years I’ve put into my career, the obstacles and knowledge I’ve attained over those years. I think about how much I’ve grown. I think about the guy who told me to take the year I graduated off of my resumé last week because, even though I don’t feel that old and irrelevant, it could be voluntarily putting me at a disadvantage, allowing companies to discriminate me based on my age.
But some days, like today, I think about how much fun we’d have, how magical it would be. I think about how once I go back to work I might not ever get this chance again. I mean, hopefully not, right? I think about their ages — one and two (soon-to-be three) — and how tiny and in love with me they are right now. I think about how next summer they’ll be two and almost four. Four! And the next, they’ll be three and practically five heading into the public school system in the fall. This might be my last chance to give them all of my time while they still desire it. This might be my last chance to soak up their tiny voices and small chubby feet before they become more boyish and, even worse, young adultish. I think about pool days and zoo days and rainy movie days. I think about ice cream and popsicles in the yard, painting in the grass and drawing on the sidewalk. I think about long naps in their cozy beds. I think about inhaling the scent of sunscreen and sweat while we snuggle. I think about breakfast in our PJs and answering 300 questions during our inevitable morning jogs. I think about instilling more of who I am in them, learning more about who they are and, for once, giving the briefing on their day rather than getting it second-hand. I think about how nice it would be and how much it would mean to me down the road. I think about how I’ll probably just put “Stay-at-home Mom” on my resumé at the end of the summer to account for my “break” in “unemployment” because anyone who tries to tell me it’s not work or it doesn’t require professional skills or enhance my marketability is probably a raging idiot…
Most days being a mom is still a weird experience for me. But some days, like today, I feel like I was born to be a mom. And while these days may be far and few between, they do come around – and when they do, they make the uncomfortable majority totally worth it.