12/18/2012

I am a working mother.

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It's late at night and I'm watching a movie. It's one of those typical cheesy chick flicks that husband hates to watch, so of course I'm by myself. The movie is based in New York City. The main character is a beautiful blonde girl in her late twenties. She has long hair that's always curled perfectly, and she wears the kind of clothes that I would hang in my closet. Her physical appearance is just the kind of girl I've always idealized. Thin but healthy, small boobs, long eyelashes.

One of the first scenes in the movie begins with her rushing down the busy sidewalks of the city on her way to work. She's wearing heels and a trendy coat that hangs past her hips, complete with a perfectly tied scarf and a knit hat that covers her ears. In one hand she hold a starbucks coffee, and in the other she holds her cell phone to her ear. She hurries through traffic, crossing at crosswalks and passing the most charming little stores and business buildings. She is rushed and busy and distracted.

While watching this scene, my heart skips a beat. This woman, she is who I want to be.

I've always had a thing for the city and a business woman. I've always loved the thought of that life. I can't tell you exactly why. Maybe it has something to do with my own mother. Don't we, as girls, idealize that woman who is our mother? It would explain everything for me. I've always thought the perfection of beauty that I wanted to attain was in being tall, thin, and having small boobs. Like my mother.

My mom was also always a working mother. She worked at the hospital in public relations, and growing up it was a bragging right for me. My mom, she has her very own office. And it's huge. She makes us breakfast and gets us ready for the day, sends us to the bus stop, and then she heads off to her big job at the big hospital. She has deadlines and meetings and conferences. She eats lunch at her desk. She types so fast the keys almost fall off of the keyboard.

And even while I grew up, when I became a teenager and clashed with that woman everyday, when I went off to college and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, when I built up an amazing resume, when I met my true love at 25 years old and decided to get married, even when I found out we were having a baby before our first wedding anniversary...I never knew how much I really wanted to be that woman that my mother was.

The past two years have without a doubt been the most eye opening years of my life so far. I have learned so much about myself. And at the risk of sounding completely self centered: I have truly fallen in love with myself and who I am becoming.

I am a working mother. I am a woman who finds that balance between being great at what I do in the office and being even better at what I do in my home. I never take my time with my husband and my son for granted. I find fulfillment in doing something that I know I'm talented at. I find contentment in staying busy and motivated. I find happiness in contributing to the household income and having enough money to live a secure life with nice things for our family. I find accomplishment in the years it took me to work up to the position I'm in. I find pride in feeling appreciated. I find achievement in being equal with my husband and splitting all of our household duties.

More to add to the risk of sounding completely and awfully self centered...I am just so darn proud of myself. I never, ever knew how good I would be at this working mother thing. I just jumped into it, scared to death, with my eyes half closed and blissfully unaware of what it might entail or how it might affect my life. And I'm just so glad that I did. I have found the perfect balance for myself. For me personally, I know that if I worked 40 hours a week while juggling being a mother, I would probably be miserable. But I also know that if I didn't hold a career and stayed home all week long, I would be equally miserable.

I have a found a balance between the two, and it has turned out to be my recipe for happiness. My recipe for being a fantastic mother and a great wife. My recipe for having the selfish fulfillment that I need in order to be those things for my family.

One day I will have a daughter. She will probably grow up a lot like me. Loving to shop, fighting to have her hair brushed, talking too much, rolling her eyes at just the right moments. She might have a face splattered with freckles and tiny little wrists. She might even be cursed with my long second toe and my horrible unruly eyebrows.

If there is one thing I will teach my daugher, it's to fall in love with herself. Because one day in the future, she might get married. And one day she might decide to have a kid or two. And if she decides to go that route, the best way to be the very best mother she can be, is to love herself first.

I will encourage her to do what she loves. I don't even care what that is! And I'll warn her that it might even take a long time to figure out what it really is that she loves to do. If she wants to go to college. If she wants to work her way up in a career that excites her. If she wants to start her own business. If she wants to travel the world. If she wants to work from home. If she wants to write a book. Even if she aspires to marry someone fantastic, have ten little munchkins and be a mama homemaker.

I'll tell her, honey, whatever it is that you want to do...do it. Do it without a care of what anyone around you thinks or does. But just make sure that it's really what you want. Just make sure it really makes you happy. Make sure it helps you to be the best person you can be, all on your own. Because someday you might end up being a part of someone else's life, maybe have children, whose happiness for a while will solely depend on YOU being happy. Being fulfilled. Being the best you can be for them.

Now mind you, my job isn't perfect. I have days of complete frustrations and ulcer-inducing stress. I have days of forcing myself not to punch someone in the face. I have days of wanting to stay in bed instead of going out to face the world. I have days where all I want to do is have an adventure with my sweet little boy, or sit at the computer and write a new story. But the bad days are few. Most days I am content, and happy, and aware of how great my job is. Aware of how blessed I am. Aware of how much my son is excelling and happy. Aware of how I can be a better mother for him. Aware of how happy we are as a family, and how well this is working for us all.

Finding this balance is exciting to me. Falling in love with myself, it is a real dream come true. I have big dreams of doing even more, going even farther with the things that I love to do. And it's what I hope for everyone! I hope you are doing what you love, and finding a way to love yourself.

As for me, I am a working mother. And I love it.

2 comments:

  1. Loved this, Meg. I never knew you were so good with words! I really enjoy reading your blog, peeking in at your life, and seeing the person you have become. I am so happy for you and your beautiful life! :)

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  2. this is probably the best post on being a working mother/work-life balance i've ever read. i'm so impressed. missy buttars sent me to your blog, and i'm so glad she did. thanks for the great read!

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