I think most people have wondered if the “grass is greener on the other side.” If they haven’t, well….they may be smoking the very cannabis (for medicinal purposes – of course) near the greener grass and be oblivious of envy.
If everyone (including myself) who is caught up in catching up with others would just water their own damn grass it probably wouldn’t be so dried up and brittle and they wouldn’t be envious of something that DOESN’T EXIST. I DO have a point here: keeping a balance between work life, family, and health is much the same way.
When I was dating my husband I made a solemn vow to myself: I would NEVER dedicate my life to house and home – leading a boring life day in and day out of cleaning, cooking, and serving people while losing myself in the process. The thought of leading this kind of life gave me the impression of weakness and incompetence…certainly, I was capable of MORE than just being a stay-at-home MOM and WIFE.
Then I squeezed out a 7 lb, cone-headed, drooling bundle of precious wonder and tucked her inside my post-maternity gown for the very first time – right upon my beating heart. The heat from her tiny, warm body lay snug against my skin, and in that moment my heart swelled with uncertain emotion. I stroked her soft hair and saw her tiny lips – she had a small chin like mine. She was so quiet and calm until she was hungry, much like I am when I get hangry (so hungry, it makes you angry and affects your mood.) I wondered if I had what it took to give her the life she deserved, and deducted at that time, I was just glad to have a healthy and happy baby. If I had done anything right in life, it was having her in my arms just then.
Next, life happened. A few days after she was born I finally took a look at my body in the mirror, touched my stomach, and cried. My navel wasn’t in the same place as it was before my pregnancy – it was like I was looking at a distorted version of my former self and the body wasn’t mine. I looked down as the tears continued falling to the floor to see my ankles were still swollen. In an effort to “pull up my boot straps” and keep going, I was unforgiving of the fact that my body and emotions needed time to recover from the labor, birth, and the shock of transitioning over from life as I knew it to the never-ending duties of being a Mom. I remember my husband holding me and telling me I was beautiful – I’m almost certain he wrapped his arms around me, touching my stomach as I cringed and shook my head in disbelief. We took on the roles of early parenthood together, but our experiences were so different it pushed us away from one another.
I tried to become that woman I vowed I NEVER wanted to be. I only managed to accomplish ONE of those things really well in the first few years of my daughter’s life: taking care of her wants and needs day in and day out. I THOUGHT I WAS A FAILURE THEN, BUT TODAY REALIZE IT IS THE BEST THING I HAVE DONE OR EVER WILL DO WITH MY LIFE. Being here for her whenever she needs me. Being available to her when she wants to spend time with me. Giving up the things I thought were most important in life (like my pre-pregnancy body and consistent peaceful alone time)…for her. If my husband hadn’t consistently shown his commitment to our family so much, I would say the love of my daughter is the deepest love I’ve ever known. There is no contest, really. The love I share with both of them is making my life what it is today.
I never thought I’d say this: I LOVE BEING A MOM. I freaking love the hell out of it. I love it now that she is in school and more independent, but at the same time I’m scared of that independence because she’s needing me less and less each day. So when she asks me to cuddle or read to her when I’m in the middle of a critical plot-boosting scene, I STOP TO HUG HER AND READ WITH HER A FAVORITE STORY. When she’s taking skating lessons, instead of having that time to write or work on a story outline while a trainer takes over, I GO OUT THERE AND SKATE WITH HER. Instead of staying up late at night to catch up on my social media platform and network with colleagues and friends, I’m trying to do something special with her each evening before her bedtime.
*Sigh* I’m not saying that I don’t have what it takes to be a writer – I think I do. I’m just saying that today, on my daughter’s birthday, I’m giving us both a break. I’ve realized that every writer has their own unique family and relationship situations that have to balance out with their career from home. It’s hard to turn off work mode when a person works from home, but it has to be done.
I have a young daughter, and this is a time in her life that I don’t want to be too busy for. It may take me longer than I would like to make it through several rough drafts before jumping into the publishing pool, but it will happen as it happens. I may have to re-evaluate my goals several times as situations arise during this constant learning process in parenting, but I’ll stick with it and keep writing.
I’d like to thank everyone who is following my blog and has been supportive through various social media channels to help me get this far. I’ve connected with some really great people who have offered guidance and advice as I go along this journey as a writer and have had the joy of interacting with those who visit and comment. I am so truly appreciative of your support.
It’s a tough thing – forging a writing career, taking care of family duties, and remembering if you don’t take care of your health you may not be around long enough to have more memories.
I want to conclude this post in a positive way and let you know I’ll be back here soon blogging my brains out when I’m able to do so. In the meantime, I’ll be writing and sharing time with family, occasionally on Twitter and Facebook when time allows to let you know of my writing progress on Sweet Texas Temptation – the first book in the Lonely Hearts In Texas Series.
*Please note: the former Lonely Hearts In Texas Series has been re-named. It is now the Riverbend Way series as of August 2014. All copyrights still stand. Thanks.*
I also want to wish my daughter (whose head is now mostly round, has lips that won’t stop talking, and still gets cranky when hungry) a very happy birthday. I love you, Skina-Marinky-Do.