It’s been hard for me to write this week because big things are happening behind the scenes that I’m not permitted to share with my sweet Monkees yet…and that is WEIRD. You know I’m not used to holding back. All the info is coming – there is nothing you won’t know – but I have been instructed to hush until everyone’s ready. For once in my life, I am considering following directions, but ONLY because it is for the good of all Monkeedom.
The past two weeks have been strange for our family. I have gone, overnight, from being a stay-at-home mama with a blog, to being a paid, full time writer. With deadlines and appearances and THINGS. The first thing I told my husband upon this news was that we would be hiring help with the kiddos immediately, because one thing I refuse to be is a full time working, full time caretaking mama. I know some women who handle this very situation gracefully, but I also wonder if their graceful lives will be cut a little short by the stress because WOWZA.
So, we’ve been searching for a nanny. We found one upon whom I have a bit of a crush and she’s coming over this afternoon. I’m nervous, thrilled, confused, stressed and worried. In short, I’m myself again.
I’m excited because, WOW, a nanny, right? I mean it’s a DREAM in so many ways. Another mama. Another wife. Another hubby around. It’s gotta make things easier. And I’m going to WORK! I am going to put on something other than yoga pants and go somewhere and WRITE and it’s going to my JOB. Actually I’ll still wear yoga pants, obviously. Best perk of working as a writer. And all of this is really exciting for someone like me, who hasn’t really left the house in a decade. I’ve been thinking that maybe I got my wires crossed with that whole adoption thing. Maybe God wasn’t telling me to adopt a baby- but to adopt a baby SITTER. That really makes more sense when you take a good look at the state of my already existing family.
But it’s odd, because I didn’t DECIDE to make this huge transition. The blog went insane and New York and Hollywood and all ends of the Earth called and in a whirlwind I became employed. It was a miracle, but sort of like the miracle when Dorothy returns to her bed after the tornado and her trip to Oz and she is thrilled to be home but also quite disoriented. My life has changed completely without my express permission and now we have landed in a world of nannies and ARE YOU MOMASTERY??? at the grocery store and some stress. Beautiful stress, but still – stress that doesn’t have anything to do with my immediate family and stress that didn’t previously exist.
We mamas seem to have issues surrounding the time we do and don’t spend with our kids. I’ve got this argument figured out perfectly in my head, it all makes sense there. But my heart has a tough time catching up. Like, my oldest got in a bit of trouble at school last week, and my youngest is being extra whiny and clingy lately. Usually I would think hmm, everybody’s jacked up this week. But now I think – hmm..everybody’s jacked up this week because I’m distracted. Because I’m working now. Because they need me and I’m not all there, not all here. Not all anywhere. There’s that extra part that didn’t exist as strongly before.
My head doesn’t even think that extra part is real. My head knows that I am honoring my children by writing just like I was honoring them by staying home. Because both were my dreams at the time, and I want to teach my children to follow their dreams. And because both were ways of providing for my family- and that is always honorable.It just gets complicated when it starts to FEEL like my dreams and ways of providing lie in a different direction than my actual babies.
Still. I will tell you that today, right now, my excitement is beating out my guilt. The one I feed will win, right? I believe that right now, all is happening as it should. Like this, this helps:
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble, it’s a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
The universe IS unfolding as it should. I did not make the trees or this blog or my babies or any opportunity which presents itself. I just respond and try to keep my peace. But I’m not trying to fix my confused and contradictory feelings. I’m just noticing that they’re there. Acknowledging them. It’s clear to me that life, God, fate, whatever you want to call it, has decided that now is the time for me to work. And I will. And I will still love my children, maybe better in some ways, because a scarcity of time encourages me to pay better attention. Keeps me awake when we’re together.
Parenthood is hard, whether we’re home or away or single or married or rich or poor. Parenthood is hard, not because we’re doing it wrong. Just because it’s hard. Like life. Both are hard because we love them so much. We love life and we love parenthood, and so we want to do it RIGHT.
But I’m not sure there is a way to do it right. We just listen to life as it makes its demands and we respond thoughtfully and we remember that sometimes, the more out of control things feel the better, because the less easy it is to pretend we’re in control.
We’re not in control. We’re just not. And that’s really more a relief to me than a problem.
I’m a mama and a wife and a writer and a woman and a sister and friend and a neighbor and everyone is just going to have to share me.
Hey WORLD- You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.
New Monkee T-shirts, perhaps?
You too. You are enough. You can be shared, and all who share you can have enough. We must think abundance when it comes to ourselves. There is enough to give and enough to keep.
Don’t worry. Strive to be happy. The universe is unfolding as it should.
I love you with a deep, endless love. It’s true. Thank you for accompanying me on this definitively pre-destined journey.
*photo credit flickr
P.S. I know the website’s all jacked up this week, like my kids. We’re working on it, all is unfolding as it should. If you can’t comment here due to tech problems, comment here and I’ll pull them over when we get everything fixed. As if we’ll EVER get everything fixed. Ha. Life.
P.P.S. Also, please pray for Anna today. Jack’s birthday. Love.