|Walking to the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, FL.|
I still remember the first time I was prompted to think about what I might like to be when I grow up. I didn't want to be anything in particular, so I fell back on what I knew of the work world at the age of 8 and ended up drawing a picture of myself as a teacher. By the time college rolled around, I still didn't know what I wanted to be. Sure, I went through phases in high school--both marine biology and a brush with pediatrics--but nothing stuck. I majored in nutrition because of my interest in health and meandered my way into writing and editing after graduation.
Now I'm a mom. I still write and edit part-time from home, but my full-time job is mothering. Recently I found myself in that same old situation, wondering what it is I should do with my life once the demands of motherhood are not so consuming. What should I be working on now? Am I doing enough to keep some semblance of a career going? My kid will grow up eventually. It's not like I can keep this motherhood gig going forever.
|Learning to use the rain barrel at Grandma's house.|
I'm really good at being a mom though. And I think I've been ignoring that because it's really not all that convenient. I've tried like crazy to keep working full-time through Cam's infant days and stuffed the agony I felt from paying someone else to do what I wanted to do--teach, play with, and love my baby every day. I pushed myself to be career-minded, something I've never been and don't know if I ever truly will be. All that stuffing and striving landed me in a gooey puddle of icky depression.
What would be so wrong about really being a mom? What if I gave myself over to the vulnerability of being whole-heartily present and engaged in the business of raising my son? I found a way to make it work financially, so what else is there to do but do it? Too often I give myself over to the persistent whispers of what I think other people think I should do--what other people think is best for me, best for my family, and best for my son.
After all this time and all this doubt, I know what's best. I am a mom. That's who I am. That's what I do. There's nothing else in the world I'd rather be doing with my life right here, right now.