I’m not sure how to begin this post without sounding sorry for myself or like I’m looking for pity. I promise you I am not looking for pity and I do not feel sorry myself in the least. Just needed to get that out before starting so here we go…
I can remember at a very young age (may 9 or 10) wondering when I would find the “thing” that I’m really good at and would be really happy doing. This wonder has stuck around until very recently. Let me explain…Growing up my older sister always excelled at anything she did. She was/is insanely intelligent (some might call it natural intelligence) and never had to put forth any real effort with regard to academics. I, on the other hand, had to try pretty hard for B’s. She was the same way with sports. She was a rock-star at basketball and softball, specifically, so when I came along hopes were high that I’d be just as talented. Unfortunately, folks were pretttyyyy disappointed! I did, however, have a great spirit and sense of teamwork-I even won the “Best Spirit Award” on my traveling softball team (I still wonder how the heck I made that team!). But I just wasn’t good and it wasn’t my cup of tea either. I liked hanging out with my friends and being on a team but I was scared shitless to actually play and it showed. I remember playing basketball my freshman year-I was one of the players that only goes in if we’re getting killed or if we’re up by like 50 because no matter how much I screwed up I couldn’t change the outcome of the game. But I remember going in having no clue what the plays were and being genuinely surprised that other people did. I looked like a lost baby doe out there guys. And then there was that one softball tournament that we were down by a lot and it was like 90 degrees and everyone just wanted to go home. Sure-fire way to end this thing? Put Alix in so she can strike-out! I didn’t disappoint that game! Seriously don’t feel bad for me-I didn’t mind it really. I preferred cheering on the sidelines and eating flavored sunflower seeds.
Enter middle and high school and along came cross country and volleyball. Now these two sports were something I could get into it! I ended up really loving both and I was pretty good. I was captain of my JV volleyball team and PR’d with a 21 minute 5k in my prime. But then I got injured. Stress fractures in both shins kept me from excelling any more. I couldn’t play Varsity volleyball (I thought the world was surely ending), and I only ran for part of my senior cross country season. I was a a bit heartbroken and kept wondering when I was going to find my “thing”.
College was great-literally some of the best years of my life. Except my freshman year. But that’s another blogpost (maybe book?). When I realized that Social Work was the career for me I was elated. I literally had an A-HA moment; “This is it! This is what I’m going to be GREAT at!”. I was/AM great at being a social worker. I worked with homeless and at-risk youth for a few years, adolescent sex-offenders, and most recently homeless adults with physical and mental disabilities. I LOVED it. However I was also insanely stressed out. It was nothing that I couldn’t handle and I know folks have jobs that are much more stressful but when we started a family I started getting a little bit resentful. And again, I wondered; “Is this it? Is this my thing?”. You know the saying, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work another day in your life”? I really did love my job and I think I was pretty darn good at it, but it still felt like work. So then I began to wonder if I was just going to settle. I wondered if I would ever find that thing that makes me feel like I’m not even working.
I had a realization after my first son was born, as I’m sure most first-time moms do, that I just wanted to be home with him. I wanted to spend all of my days with him and have more babies and just be a badass wife and mommy. I thought this desire would kind of wear off and I would feel “ready” to be back in the working world. This never happened. I remember mentioning to my husband the idea of me staying home and neither of us took it too seriously because we both have a mountain of student loan debt and at the time it wasn’t even remotely possible. Fast forward a bit and it actually became a possibility…For about a nano second. I got my hopes up, and they were quickly deflated. Fast forward again a little bit more and then it was possible all of a sudden. For real this time. The stars aligned and my many prayers were answered. Because my husband is so insanely hardworking, it was real-he was making it real for me (I love you, babe!). We also both felt strongly that this was going to be best for our family.
So I had a “start-date”. My new job, a promotion if you will? Maybe more of a lateral move but who cares. While I was counting down the days to both this new way of life AND baby number 2’s arrival, I couldn’t help but have fleeting moments of shear terror. What if I suck at staying home? What if I hate it? What if I miss working? What if my boys get sick of me? What if I resent my husband? What if my husband resents me? And on, and on, and on it went. I made myself crazy with all of my what-ifs. And then it was here and my first day being home with my boys was one of the best days of my life. Sure it was filled with dirty diapers, a fussy newborn, and a toddler who doesn’t listen well (yet!) but it was perfect. The only people who needed me were my boys and I can’t accurately explain how happy that made me. I could literally feel a weight lifted off of my shoulders. And then I realized-this is it. This is my thing. I go to bed thinking about how lucky I am and how excited I am to be able to wake up and do it all again in the morning. Sure, I’m also usually covered in spit-up and haven’t washed my hair in 3 or 4 days, but I love what I do. I love being a mom. I love being a wife. And although I’m still learning, I think I’m pretty good at it. It just fits, y’all. This is my jam. Let me also clarify that I love it THROUGH all of the craziness. There are moments that I am sure my sanity has been lost forever, I grit my teeth and yell too much, and I’ve texted my husband more than a few times about coming home to save me. It’s messy, and annoying, and loving, and filled with cuddles and blocks and blow-outs, it’s just perfect. All the mommas who raisin’ babies, throw ya hands up at me! Too cheesy? I actually spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to come up with that little Destiny’s Child jingle.
So to conclude this rather long post, it’s 2:30pm and I’m sitting on my couch watching Finding Nemo, praying my toddler will nap and getting ready to nurse my newborn. The only place I need to be is here and the only people who need me are these babies of mine. Life is good.