There comes a point in your life when you feel fulfilled. The first look at a newborn and the world around you goes still. Your heart is forever changed in a way that you never thought possible. The life you imagined in your head for years, suddenly becomes a reality unraveling before your eyes. The nights of hanging with girlfriends, are somehow replaced by sleepless nights and early bedtime that you wouldn’t change for the world. You choose to spend 5 more minutes watching your child explore their world, over cleaning up the dishes after dinner. The days of a clean house seem less important, and time spent watching your child’s 45 minute bath become more meaningful and enlightening each day. The moment you realize every tear, scratch, and sad moment felt by a child doubles in strength for a mother’s heart, is the moment you realize that you are living your life for something much bigger than yourself.
Balancing your life takes on a whole new meaning. This past summer I charaded my way through a circus act, attempting to balance a professional life (working 50-60 hour work weeks), a creative life (getting my photography & blogging businesses off the ground), and a family life. Now that the chaos has ended and there is 5 minutes to clear my head, I’m realizing that my job as a mother trumps all other opportunities in life. In 10 years I will not be able to go back and watch my 18-month-old son grab onto the edge of the counter and swing like a trapeze artist. The life I have created could easily continue on each day with a majority of my time spent focused on the monotonous activities of daily life. However starting in September I chose to take an active role in my life, focusing my efforts on what means the most to me, family. While it’s certainly not feasible for our family to have me do this on a full-time basis, perhaps it has given light to how I focus my attention in daily life.
I have never regretted the life I have chosen. I value each aspect to my life, and am grateful for the opportunities and challenges I have experienced. My professional career is one filled with research, innovation, and teaching opportunities which fulfill my innate desire to learn and lead others. My creative life is an opportunity for adventure, to follow a passion, a belief, and allow myself to be the creator and the decision-maker all in one. What matters is how I choose to spend my time. What if I chose to not go to church on a Sunday morning and instead spend one morning with the husband, son, dog and myself all huddled into one bed that is too – small for our growing family? Would people judge me? Most likely, but here’s where I get to choose how live my life. What if I choose to take a walk with the family over cleaning the house? Would people judge me- you might if you saw the constant disarray of our house lately. What if I spend less time in small talk at work and focus on getting the work done so I can leave my work at work? Does this make me less dedicated than others who work beyond a standard work week? The point isn’t that I don’t care, it’s about choosing what is most important and dedicating the time to prove it.
You have not seen a blog post here since July. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t interested, or didn’t try. It means I arrive home at 5 PM to a happy and energetic little boy who steals my heart. We choose to have a family dinner and then spend our last hour together as a family, before I nestle into bed with my little man at 7:30 PM. I watch eagerly as his eyelids grow heavy, how he wrestles to distract himself so he can avoid sleeping for just 5 more minutes, and eventually listen as his breaths grow deeper and soft hums replace the squeals of laughter heard less than an hour ago. Saying goodnight is always a ritual including a kiss on the forehead enclosed with a whisper “Dream Big Little Man,” (which sometimes prompts him to raise his arm to shew away the strange feeling on his forehead). Often times I return to repeat the same “Good Night” ritual as I head off to bed myself. From 8 PM to 10 PM is my time to re-aquaint myself with my husband as it seem likes months since we sat down to a bowl of popcorn and a movie. Over the past month I felt less inclined to do what “needed to get done” and replaced these activities with what “I want to do most.”
Being a mom is the most rewarding and exhausting thing I have experienced in my life. In an effort to make things even more complicated and exciting we decided to add another member to our family. Consider this our announcement…
Little Man will the add the title of “Big Bother” to his name come April of 2012, creating a whole new chapter in our life story. I can choose to be a passenger in my life, or the driver. With some unchartered territory up ahead, and new challenges coming our way, I have the opportunity to mold and shape the story of this adventure we call life!