Real Mom Monday: Never in the Right Place
Last Thursday, sandwiched between 2 striking ladies on a long white bench marked with seating numbers, I patiently waited for NYFW to kick off. 30 minutes later, after the last of the prettiest people were escorted to their seats (always the last to be seated...), the show began. The music blared, the spotlights flared, and the models took to the runway. 5 years ago, my heart would have started racing with excitement and intrigue, but at the moment when the first look passed in front of me, all I could think was, "I wonder what is Olive doing? Is she happy? Is she safe? Is she having fun?"
Flashback to a week prior, sandwiched between my sick child (thanks RSV) and her nebulizer in the form of a choo choo train, I tried with little success to keep Olive's breathing treatment mask on her face in one hand while responding to an urgent customer request email in the other. I looked down at my antibiotic stained jammies, my mismatched socks, and my dirty hair and thought, "Thank goodness NYFW starts next week. I can't wait for bright lights, shiny clothes, and nights out on the town."
Am I alone in this or is it a proven fact that once you push a little human out (or have a c-section or adopt) that you will never again be in the "right place"?
Of course I don't actually mean never. I mean the sick days or the snow days when you want to be present with your kiddos, but your workday "to-do" list is haunting you. I mean the times when you are mid-tea party with your little one and an urgent work call makes you shift from one role to another in a moments notice.
Am I the only one struggling to live in the moment?
My best bet is to compartmentalize, but it actually sounds a little sick when I put it down on paper. Basically, if I am in "work mode" it's best if I completely block out Olive all together. See? I knew it was going to sound terrible. But the truth is, the second that sweet little face enters my mind for real, my mom-guilt sets in and my brain begins to function at a fraction of its capacity. Whereas, if I put my nose to the grindstone and go all out work mode, I become more efficient, and I get home to her sooner. Even when traveling and missing her like crazy, I find that it is not always best for us to talk everyday that I am gone. She might be perfectly happy when I call and then it's like she realizes I am gone all over again. Her sadness parlays into mine and then before you know it - I am questioning my commitment to BURU all together.
This feeling isn't exclusive to work only. I let it sneak into date nights with Brett. How ridiculous is that? First of all, I know he doesn't let useless guilt ruin a date, and secondly, I know that the best gift you can give your child is a happy home. Date nights often result in said "happy home". So why am I am not allowing myself to stop and enjoy every moment whether Olive is with me in spirit or reality.
I want to be present in this gift of life. I want to enjoy all the blessings God has given me, but for some reason I am fighting myself. In a completely unintentional way, I am taking it all for granted. And, it has to stop. Not just for me, Brett and Olive now - but for Olive in the future. I don't want her to miss the best parts of life worrying if she is supposed to be somewhere else. I want her to know that the right place is ALWAYS with family and that learning to silence a phone and take advantage of the moment (snow and sick days included) will bring more happiness than a career every will. It may require late nights when everyone else is fast asleep, but as mothers - that is just the way it goes. The beauty is that we get to be mothers in the first place!
Okay mamas...any tips to deal with this constant, internal struggle? I think we can all learn a lot from the honesty of one another.