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Monday, February 16, 2009

Validation.

It is no secret that I have long struggled with what I am doing with my life and that whole messy topic of what is success.

Currently, being home is wonderful.

I am content. My life is full.

I feel blessed and so appreciative that I can do this right now, especially in light of the economy.

However I do have hopes and aspirations for my future; I'd like to do more writing.

Publishing a book is at the top of my list.

Perhaps getting back into communications and/or the corporate world again. But for now, home is where I need (and want) to be.

I am the least likely to point a finger or question someones career or lack of career as a parent. I think that every family is doing what is best for their family in that moment.

Because it always changes, what works and is best right now, could very well change six months down the road. Or maybe it won't. But I do believe that most parents just do what works for them whether that is working full time, or working part time, or staying home, or working different shifts.

We all do what we have to do.

It definitely drives me crazy when someone asks me what I do all day. Somehow implying that my day looks like an episode of that old Nickolodeon cartoon; Rugrats.

That's why when I saw this column this weekend I felt so validated and knew that I would have to save it and remember it's words the next time I need some validation.

Whatever kind of mom you are, stay at home, working, grandma, every mom, and perhaps even those without a small village yet, will appreciate this excerpt from an old Carolyn Hax column. (Full column can be seen here.)

"When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, clean, dressed; to keeping them out of harm's way; to answering their coos, cries, questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces the kind of checkout-line screaming that gets the checkout line shaking its head.

It's needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15.

It's constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier.

It's constant scrutiny and second-guessing from family and friends, well-meaning and otherwise. It's resisting constant temptation to seek short-term relief at everyone's long-term expense.

It's doing all this while concurrently teaching virtually everything -- language, manners, safety, resourcefulness, discipline, curiosity, creativity. Empathy. Everything.

It's also a choice, yes.
And a joy."

7 Comments:

Blogger Melissa said...

I've read the full article before and really appreciated it. I'm glad it provided affirmation for you during this season.

February 16, 2009 at 11:08 PM  
OpenID asecrettobluebamboo said...

Exactly. It is a full time job; when I was home with the girls this summer, I felt like I was constantly defending myself. Even from myself!

The quote is so true.

February 17, 2009 at 8:34 AM  
Blogger Jon, Sara, Tyler, and Sophie said...

S, sometimes I think that you are speaking directly at me (in a good, not creepy way). :-) Often, there are times, when I need a laugh, some words of wisdom, or a simple reminder and it happens to be exactly what your latest post contains. Thanks! I am so blessed to have you as a friend!

February 17, 2009 at 10:40 AM  
Anonymous LInda said...

I read the article, too and loved it! I am so glad you shared it on here!

February 18, 2009 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Thanks for sharing this one! The day I read it was definitely a day that I needed to hear what it had to say. It was a great encouragement to me!

February 18, 2009 at 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well what a great artitcle. sums it right up. Love to all Janet

February 18, 2009 at 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anna said...

Amen to that! I'm not a mom - as you know. But nannying a 19 month old and a 12 week old and I can relate to that! My favorite part was the very end, after all those exhausting words, yet truth, there is joy to be found!

February 18, 2009 at 6:14 PM  

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