Over a Sunday morning coffee while watching our not so tiny humans play, I caught myself saying the words “It can be really limiting”.
The “It” was motherhood. The “It” was irregular work hours. The “It” was financial obligations and a need and desire to provide all the things I could for my kids.
But what was I limiting?
We were talking about work, career, and furthering our education. We were talking about giving ourselves a little bit of consideration after spending time at home with our children.
And then it dawned on me. The only thing that I’ve been limiting was my career, and perhaps due to guilt by association, my ego.
Because you know what wasn’t being limited one bit? The privilege of getting to see the first steps of both of my kids. The privilege of hearing their first words, and soothing their first face plant. I was the one to make my daughter feel better when she got stung by a wasp, and make her first sandcastle, and print her name for the first time.
I’ve been there all along.
I’ve had the privilege of letting my kids drive me up the fucking wall and around some asshole’s bend every single day since they were born. I’ve been blessed to spend so much time with them that I need a break and fantasize about a 24 hours alone in my house.
So you know what hasn’t been limited? The opportunity to raise decent kids in a world full of greed and assholery and downright nastiness. My chance to make the world a wee bit better has not been limited because my ego said that I should be more than what I am. I have been gifted this chance to have such a huge impact on their lives and the people that they become. Isn’t that more important than feeling like I am keeping up with my friends who have high paying, highly successful careers? Is it ok to put my family first and catch up later? Or not catch up later because really, who gives a fuck about what I do anyway? When did I decide that my children are limiting my life? Because I want a better job? Because I want a PHD added to my name? When did I decide that being a mom isn’t enough for me?
I’ve decided that at least for now, I am ok with my primary description as “mother”.
Because that’s not limiting. It’s limitless.
The time will come when they’ll need me less, or at least differently then they do now. When that time comes I will answer that quiet nagging to continue to feed my ego’s needs for career and change and education and success and whatever that entails. In the meantime, I’m going to try to transform what I’ve been seeing as limitations into limitless opportunities of memory making and moments that I will never get back again. And appreciating that so many of us don’t have that chance.
Kudos to all those women who work hard every day and sacrifice so much time with their kids. Kudos to those moms who are able to seize an opportunity for education or travel or whatever makes them feel good. Kudos for being able to balance it all.
But for me right now, it’s ok not to be the best at everything all the time, as long as I’m the best at what is most important to me. I’m going to allow myself the luxury of being ok with who and what I am in this moment, not because I am limited by my current situation, but because I am blessed by it.