A friend of mine who is a writer and a mom of two young kids, wrote a blog post yesterday about how she was looking forward to maternity leave with her second baby so she could spend some time writing (she admitted that most of her mom friends would be laughing as she wrote that). Of course, her days have been filled with her 2 year old and her newborn, and she came to the realization that she's not on vacation, or on sabbatical, but that it's called maternity leave for a reason, because her job is to focus on her two precious children for this period in her life.
I have been slowly understanding this idea more and more with my own children, who are much less demanding at 4 and 7 than they were a few years ago, but they are still my first priority and must always remain that way. I tried to encourage my friend by saying that her words will keep, but her children won't stay at this age and stage forever. When we sign up as moms, we are offering up our own dreams and desires for the greater good of our children's needs, and this sacrifice will launch them into a confident and secure adulthood.
It sounds like a lofty idea, and I believe in it wholeheartedly, but walking it out is where it gets challenging. I'm not advocating giving up on our own dreams, not by a long shot, but rather prioritizing our children first. Taking the long range view of our dreams in light of the eighteen to twenty years we have our children in our home is the best way to go. I love that my kids are both describing me now as a writer. They are watching and observing me on a daily basis, and they are seeing me inch toward my dream, and understanding that there is room for all of our dreams in this family.
Today I am going with Ava to Heritage Park for her Grade 1 field trip. A cold snuck up on me at work yesterday around 11 am, and I luxuriated in a restful afternoon and evening in the attempt to be better for today. It seems to have helped, and while I know I'm not feeling 100%, there is no way I would miss this special day.
Another part of parenting is sucking it up and moving forward to capture this moment in time and create a lasting memory with my daughter that we will both carry with us for the rest of our days. She only has one chance to be in Grade 1 and go on her end of the year field trip with her class. Tylenol was created for days like today, so that these fleeting moments can be captured and saved in our memories.