The other day I was browsing Facebook after my kids had gone to bed. A storyteller friend of mine had posted an intriguing description of a show for fairy tales that she was proposing to do for the Minnesota Fringe Festival. All i could think was how much i wanted to go and listen to her tell those stories. I wanted to hear her approach them from an accurate, gritty perspective and I wanted to be reminded why I love fairy tales so very much.
And all I could think was... you could never get away from your kids long enough to get to do that. Someone would have to watch the kids, and you couldn't afford a trip all the way to Minnesota, even if you could get away. Escape. Make a break for it.
I know I've posted about this a bit before, but I found myself so very frustrated with my place in life. I know that Josh and I made a decision a long time ago to make ourselves available for a our children at the expense of a greater income, and it isn't new that I have found myself realizing that I have also sacrificed a bit of myself and my professional desires to be a mom. And that's hard.
All of this comes a week or so after reading a friend's blog post in which she admits that being a mom is sometimes really hard for her introverted self, and something really clicked. I'm introverted. Of course being a mom is hard. I don't do well without time alone to recharge, and I really don't do well with parasitic relationships (and isn't that what having children is?) or a lot of noise (uh... duh, they're kids). I like to have time to turn inward and with my children I find that I am constantly being forced outward by the constant state of need. No matter how much I try to teach my children to be self-sufficient, there seems to be a constant barrage of need, and it has a tendency to drain my energy, completely.
And then, there is my friend Millie. Millie has been on this really long journey of health that has caused her to lose an incredible amount of weight and start running, biking and swimming. That she could do any of those things at all was almost unthinkable several years ago, but this past weekend she competed in an Ironman competition. She didn't finish, but I when I read what she had written about it on her blog I was really impressed by her attitude. She didn't moan and groan that she didn't finish. She accepted it and was grateful for the experience. I know how hard it is to push yourself physically, and I aspire to be more like Millie, physically, but also mentally. It is knowing, and reminding yourself that you can push yourself a little further because you can go a little further.
I can go a little further.
I honestly believe that being a mother is possibly one of the most important things I could ever do. I've created new life and I want to put the effort into making sure that those lives start well, and are given every advantage that I can give them. I feel so far away from all the things I want to be accomplishing, and yet I cam so much closer than I have been willing to recognize.
But, I can go further. I can start treating these everyday things like the calling that they are. I can discipline myself better to be kinder and more patient with my kids. I can discipline myself to be kinder and more patient with myself.