Friday, April 13, 2012

Having it All

Like many others I am bothered immensely by the comments made by Hilary Rosen about Ann Romney.  I can not believe that a woman would attack another woman for choosing to be a mother.  I can not believe that being a mother is not enough in this day and age.  I thought I would write my thoughts about staying home with my children.

I was born to a generation who believed that We could have it all.  I was told I could be a professional, a wife and a mother at once and I believed them. I was told I could be anything I wanted to be and I believed them.  I finished my first year of college, got married two days before school started and then was a wife and a student.  I excelled at school and made it through my University 4 year degree in three years because I was so anxious to begin having it all.  I was offered my first teaching job the day I graduated and couldn't be happier to experience my new life.

I got up each morning at 4:30 am and drove myself down to the gym, where I worked out for 60 minutes, showered and readied myself for my day teaching students.  I loved my new teaching job and worked hard to teach the lessons in some new and different way.

It changed when I found out I was pregnant.  She was born 9 days early.   I was in love with the little baby and excited to have 3 months at home with her before I returned to work full time in the fall.  I spent every day with my baby, nursing her, changing her diapers and rocking her to sleep and often trying to get her to stop her colic crying.

When it was time to go back to teaching, I figured it was just time to start having it all.  I cried that first day all the way to work.  I was a better teacher this year and really enjoyed my job.  My husband watched her all day alone and I watched her all evening alone.  I would express breast milk on all my breaks instead of socializing with the other teachers and sometimes my husband brought her to meetings if they went longer than expected. My boss didn't like these interruptions.  I found that since I wasn't home during the day, my daughter was up all night trying to make up for it.  I soon was exhausted.  I hated my job and wondered why I considered having a baby.  I never exercised, hardly slept and never saw my husband.  The worst part was I was failing at being a mother, a wife and a teacher.  My house was a mess, dinner was something fast and I missed my baby all day and my husband all night. At school I said no to after school assignments, missed out on collaboration with other teachers and failed to have time to prep lesson fully.  My milk was drying up and I would soon have to supplement with formula.  I should have been happy because I was doing it all but I felt miserable.

Realizing that I couldn't give up my baby and that giving up the husband would do me no good, I knew I had to give up the beloved teaching job.  I sat down with my husband one Saturday and cried and cried.  I promised that if I could just stay home with my daughter I would cook dinner every night and clean the whole house.  He loved me and he found a job that offered him just enough for me to quit.  So I quit.  I cooked dinner, cleaned the house and took care of my baby.  We walked the dog, went shopping and went to the park.  I missed my teaching friends and missed my students but I was successful at being a mother and a wife.

After a couple of other failed attempt of having it all I am now a full time stay at home mom.  I sometimes miss my life as a teacher and yearly think about going back to having it all.  But for now I can only mother the three little girls I have and be a good wife to my provider husband.  For now I can only give them milk and cookies after school if I am there.  I can only calm their tears they bring home from school if I am there.  For now I can only run to school to give them forgotten homework if I am there or choose not to bring it to foster responsibility.  I am the only one who can teach my children to work by letting them do chores after school.  I can sit up all night while they throw up in a bowl because I will nap when they do.  For now I am the only one who can read stories, teach letters, and mend their heartaches. I am the only one who can teach them to tell the truth, show them how to be kind and I am the only one who can teach them about God.  I am the only one who can raise them to be good members of society.

It is all about choices.  There are many choices a woman can make.  But I think it is important to realize that we can't have it all.  We can choose to have a career that makes us important in the world and then work to become important.  We can choose whether to be married or not but once it is chosen we need to nurture our marriage.  We can choose to have children or not, but once we have them we need to raise them.  I choose to be a mother; important to my children and to be a wife; important to my husband.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easter Sunday

I love buying my girls new dresses for Easter.  This year I decided we should go with something more casual that they could wear to other places besides church.  We had a great Easter Sunday where the Easter bunny hid a few eggs and gave baskets and then we enjoyed a very good Easter Church day where a good friend of ours was confirmed a member of the church.
  (We attended his baptism on Saturday and Cameron spoke at it.)

After church we had a great dinner at Chalon's house and the kids decorated eggs and then we hid them for them.  Erin did a great interactive lesson on the true meaning of Easter and we enjoyed one another's company!