The eve of my 39th birthday I started compiling a list of 39 things I wanted to do/accomplish before I turned 40.
I pulled some things from my Life List and added a few things just to make me smile. This was my first one:
Get another tattoo.
#11 Get a Tattoo: My tattoo is Akoko Nan, a West African symbol that translates to "The hen treads on her chicks, but she does not kill them." This represents the ideal nature of parents, being both protective and corrective. An exhortation to nurture children, but a warning not to pamper them.
I've had a child home with me, 24 hours a day, for eleven years straight. Sometimes, it was only one child. For years, it was three. That was both a fun and painful time in my life as a Mom. I was exhausted, run down, and sometimes bored.
But I wouldn't change a thing.
It is a totally amazing thing to be witness to your child learning. I love the fact that I taught all my children their numbers, their letters, their phonics then how to read. It is truly a miracle.
My days are different now.
All of them, all SIX of them, are in school. Even Little Miss S is in full time Kindergarden. The house is quiet. Very, very, eerily, wonderfully quiet. It was odd at first. Now after two months, I love it. I mean I love-love it. There is no crazy pulling of family and work now. During school hours I can work on Mothers Fighting For Others, and when 2:00 hits, I shut down the computer, and focus on homework with the kids.From 2:00 to 9:00 it's all about family.
It's made my life guilt free.
I can work on work during work hours, and I can play, do homework, do MOM things during "peak" hours, guilt free. That's new for me. I was always pulled the other direction. I think it's bullshit when Mom's talk about how they have balance. There is no balance. Unless you're talking a 90-10 balance. In my experience, when I was succesful at being Mom, work slacked. If I was a rockstar at work, I was ignoring my children. And that's just wrong.
Right now, I'm thankful I can do both.
For any SAHMs out there who are trying to do both... give yourself a break. Don't put so much pressure on yourself. We can't do it all at 100% Just do your best, given the time you have. When you are with your kids, don't worry about the paperwork. If you are paying bills, or on the phone with a client, try not to scream at your kids, because you only feel like shit afterwards.
Then again, this is just my opinion, my life, my experiences. You can take it or leave it.
"I was so jacked up last night. I scored some crack at the party so I'd have it for tonight and tomorrow, and then Jimmy took off with it, the [expletive]! I am all jittery and need to meet up with you tonight after my parents think i am asleep. Can you meet me at Bojangle's at midnight just for a few minutes? I just need a little and I can pay you back on Monday, I promise."
My gorgeous dark hair, dark skinned, five year old Guatemalan born daughter just told me that she wanted hair like Barbie and that "Barbie is more beautiful than she is." My heart sank. We work so hard, EVERYDAY, to tell our daughters that they are beautiful, smart and strong. We tell them everyday that they are special and amazing. And still Barbie's blonde locks and FAKE body measurements still have the ability to mind screw my daughter.
So goodbye Barbie. I'm selling you at the garage sale. Hello Mulan!