I’ve done some snooping around to see other blogs, just cuz I’m curious (aka Nosy) like that. I read one this morning that I could have almost written a few years ago. Single gal, in a job – no boyfriend of note, no kids. Sounds as if she has a good career and a fun one, at that. She was on a rant about a table of “mommies” who sat near her at a local bistro and ALL they could talk about were their children (can you imagine!) In essence, she was pretty darn angry and hugely critical of this conversation she overheard. Didn’t these women have anything better to talk about? Didn’t they have lives with value, meaning, & purpose outside their children? Could they not discuss something more lofty & high-minded and leave the “kiddie” talk for the soccer or ballet sidelines?
I am reminded of a time in my life several years ago – I was a single gal – with a good job – no boyfriend of note – no kids. And all of a sudden there was a MASS explosion of pregnancies & babies in the small office where I worked. 30+ employees, mostly female. We heard from one gal that she was expecting – and oh, wasn’t that COOL! Wisps of pink & blue baby dust settled around the office…
Then, there was an unexpected announcement of a good friend who was pregnant – and found out that she was expecting twin girls! Yay – more pink baby dust!!!
And then, the very shocking announcement by a coworker who went to the emergency room with what we thought might be appendicitis, only to discover that she was pregnant with TRIPLETS. Nobody could believe her when she came back from the ER – everyone was in shock. She wasn’t expecting to have babies, and here she is pregnant with triplets!!! (Boys – identical, red-headed boys!) Wow – what a crazy thing – I think I started choking on the baby dust! Maybe we should have stopped drinking the water…
Another coworker, who was trying to conceive for some time, was able to announce that she was pregnant – and later found out – with fraternal twins. (Okay – what are the odds? Any mathematicians out there?)
This was over a period of about 18 months. We’re talking baby showers galore! How exciting for them. And frankly, it became quite expensive for me… Being the social butterfly I am, I knew almost all of these women pretty well, and loving babies so (and WANTING babies so) I could not possibly have avoided the baby showers… =)
So the babies began coming. Meanwhile, I started taking that look at my life and wondering what the heck was so valuable about a job that really just pushed paper. Yes, I occasionally processed health claims for people who had been quite ill and paid the checks to the hospital & physicians & radiologists & ambulances & home care nurses so the patients would not be hounded by collection agencies. I sometimes talked with employers, some of whom were genuinely concerned about their sick employees, and also about their bottom line and commiserated about the cost of health care and how grateful I could be that I had my health… But what was I doing that was going to matter in 10 years? 5 years? 6 months?
And the babies kept coming. SO sweet – so lovely – so beautiful… And I enjoyed holding each one and watching some of them grow. It eventually ended with the very FIRST mom telling us she was expecting again and having the LAST baby in this group!
Having come this far, where I am now a wife & mother, I understand a different take on life. What I do is not nearly as important as who I am. And, yes, I am in fact Greg’s wife, and Claira’s mom. That is part of who I am, but not ALL that I am. Some days it feels that all I am is a housekeeper or a poopy-diaper changer (you don’t even WANT to know…) or a mediocre cook. But that’s not WHO I am, it’s just some of the things I do. And when others hear me talk about my family, especially my daughter, maybe sometimes they forget and think that all I am is a mom.
Who I am is a wife & mom. A daughter & sister. An aunt. A friend. A creative soul who doesn’t give herself nearly enough credit for her accomplishments. Someone who prefers perfectionism to a fault, and is learning to relax & let go (slowly, but learning!) I am someone who gets goosebumps when I hear someone sing well The National Anthem. Who delights in holding a brand new baby (even someone else’s) just simply for the joy of new life and the potential I can actually feel in my arms. Who cries at girly movies and even girly commercials. (sigh). Who shoots off at the mouth far too fast and far too often, but can still manage to stay in other’s good graces… Who is way more emotional now, than ever. Who loves music, nature, beauty. Who really does like to play with makeup & haircolor & fingernail polish and all those “foofy” things. Who understands that while what I spend doing 8 hours a day at the job I love is valuable and important work, it is NOT nearly as important as the value of my husband & daughter, or my parents, or my brothers & their families, or extended family or good friends. I am someone who complains about having to do yet another load of dishes or another load of laundry, but who would rather have the dishes & laundry to do than to not have either my husband or daughter.
Isn’t it possible that the four mommies this single gal overheard, had actually not seen each other in ages because they had been doing what a mom does? Is it possible that this was the first time the mommies had had a break from DOING what mommies do, and could finally revel in BEING a mommy and talking about the people in their lives that matter MOST to them? Isn’t it possible that in the very end, in the very last breath that each person takes, the thought is NOT of “I wish I could still keep working at my job” but rather “I wish I could have more time with my family…” And isn’t that a good thing?