Monday, May 25, 2015


There is going to be another newborn in our lives soon and I'm trying to wrap my mind around it.  I daydream about the fresh newborn scent, the skin like petals, the weight in my arms, the teeny tiny everythings.  I think about what it was like when we first brought Sloane home, and I've been looking through pictures and old blog posts during that time to remember.  

I've also been thinking about being a mother: what it has meant for me to be a mother these past few years and what it might mean for the coming years. 

Mothering is such an all consuming, boundary pushing, crazy joyful, and also a really difficult thing....all of which is a giant privilege. I'm constantly pinching myself about how lucky I am to have the chance to be a mom, especially to someone like Sloane.  I still look around occasionally, thinking, "Who, me?" 

At the same time, it isn't all that I am. It's important to me that it not take over my other identities. Some of my other goals may be put on hold or shuffled around a bit, but I'm resolved to grow those other parts of myself that I have been cultivating all my life. Which brings me to the question of whether women can 'have it all'. There's been many responses to this quandary, one of them being 'Yes you can, but just not at once' or more recently, a pushback against the expectation of it all in the first place, i.e. Do men ever ask themselves the question of whether or not they can have it all? 

I do want it all. I love getting the most out of life.  That's how my faith has shaped me. I live in pursuit and I live in the moment because that's how my family shaped me. 

But how that fits into my role as a mother - I'm still figuring it out. And it probably will be an entire life time of figuring it out. I've been surprised at how much I've been able to still do - things haven't changed all too much, in fact, it's only made it richer.  But the predicament seems to come back to what it may mean for pursuing a "career".  I do want a career, whatever that my look like. I want interesting work and I want to love my work.  I'm still trying to get there, but in the meanwhile, my fantasies mostly have to do with the flexibility of a job more than what I'll actually be doing. That flexibility has become vastly more important now that I'm a mom.  I'm totally open to the fact that my 'work' might look like a variety of things over the next few years - full-time, part-time, or other changes. 

As a working mom, there is a lot on my plate. Not just because of the working part or the mom part, but because of the cooking part, the house cleaning and managing part, the administrative parts, the relationship part, the self-care part and the parts where I am trying to figure out how to be doing a job I love. On bad days (and a lot of these days are in the dark cold days of winter), I'm overwhelmed. On good days I think, wow I am stuffed to the brink with treasures.

It helps, when I question about whether I'm doing things right, to think about all the other mothers who do the day in and day out: my friends in their various situations, my own amazing mother, my wonderful mother-in-law. I am in the company of some brilliant women and I only have to look around me when I am in want of inspiration and encouragement.  Wisdom from all sides tells me that it's a challenge but it's a kind of challenge that transforms....and redeems.  My little one reminds me that it's the most precious of times, especially when she holds me close in her bed and we whisper stories to each other. 

My first year as a mother, I learned a lot about balancing. My second year as a mother I learned about prioritizing. This third year's lesson seems to be about having the wisdom to take care of the things in my life that I love. I'm coming up to my fourth year now, and it will be as a parent of two. There are things I'm apprehensive about, but I feel heartened by these reminders. Plus, I'm always up for an adventure.  

So far, it's been incredible. 

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