I saw this quote the other night. There I was just scrolling along with Pinterest, when BAM. This hits me like a ton of bricks. The universe knew that I needed this very quote right then and there. Now I just had to listen.
For me, I was right in the middle of wrestling with taking on more. I was interviewing for a promotion at work, and I was still standing on a fence. On the one hand, working mom was starting to feel alright. Once I got over all that I was missing, and focused on all that was happening. So we didn't do all the things we normally would have over the summer. But we still had fun. We still had little adventures. Life was happening and I had to finally focus and enjoy it. When I did, it wasn't as hard as I was making it out to be. Isn't that always the way?
Life has give me lots of practice over the years. I spent years practicing what it was like to be unpopular in high school. What it was like to be "different". That was a hard life to practice, but it prepared me for college. Because in college I practiced being myself, which helped me find myself. Not a bad gig at the time. I spent a lot of time practicing what it was like to be in love. And how to love, and how to chase a man who didn't know he was in love with you. That was some hard life practice too, but soon it all worked out.
Then the hardest life practice was being a new mom. Those were some of the hardest practice sessions. Harder than cursive in the second grade. Harder than cutting my hair in a pixie in high school, while all the kids laughed at my choice. Harder than walking away from the Hubbs when we were in college, because he was being unreasonable. None of my previous practice prepared me for motherhood. Being a new mom pulled out all the stops. Making sure that practice was going to make almost perfect. Insuring that I would continue the practice as if I were going to be an apprentice of motherhood for the rest of my life. That's the thing with motherhood, you can't ever be out of practice, because the practice never ends.
Lately, life has been requiring me to practice being a working mom. It started out as part time, but soon morphed into full time. I resisted it for sure, and when it came to making a decision on what I should do, I was at a loss. Could I really handle being a full time working mom? It's not that I didn't have an awesome support system in place to allow me to return to work full time. My village is strong and dependable and thank the Lord above, flexible too. But still, was this what I wanted? Did I want to surrender more time, more me, and lose the "stay at home mommy" me?
Then I thought about my practice here, in this place. I have spent the better part of three years practicing here. As a blogger, and as a writer. Every time I sit down and type my heart out, I'm practicing. Practicing to get better, to be better, to perfect my craft. When I thought about becoming a full time working mom, I wasn't ready to give up this practice either. The practice of being a writer and a blogger. Add to that the practice of being an at home mom, and there are a lot of practices I'm just not ready to leave.
But why do I have to? I don't have to give up one practice for another. I can make time to practice both. Because life is giving me exactly what I need practice in. I need to practice balance, I need to practice organization, I need to practice time management, I need to practice doing and juggling all the things. The flip side is that I have to practice admitting that I can't do and juggle all the things. I realize I will need to practice forgiveness, so that I can forgive myself of the guilt that I know will pop up. Because I know the guilt will creep in, whether it's mom guilt, or writers guilt or wife guilt. I will need practice in this new role as I go forward and tackle the holiday season in retail, all while having two girls who will have Christmas programs and dance recitals, and a family that will celebrate Christmas at least five times at five different homes. Something tells me that this is only the beginning of practice as a working mom.
As you know, I took that promotion.
And the practice continues.