There was a time when I wasn’t sure I would ever be a mommy. There were the amazing moments that I saw my daughters’ heartbeats on a monitor for the first time, felt and saw their acrobatics in my belly, held them in my arms. And when I chose to be a work from home mommy, I had no idea the incredible love, isolation, frustration, and guiding factor it would have on my life.
It was incredible to be there for their first steps. To teach them their letters and get messy with crafts. The holidays have never been as special as when I could see them through their wonder-filled eyes. I learned to bake and decorate cakes so that each of their birthdays would be as special and unique as they were. When it became clear that I couldn’t keep up with them physically, I became a runner. My artwork became centered around childhood themes. They helped pick out the cover artwork for my books. We do a summer school each summer with fun themes to learn new things. In short, I totally immersed myself in being their Mommy.
The isolation of being a work from home mommy was something I didn’t expect, as I have always been a shy sort of loner. But there is a difference between working outside the home amid people your own age and working from home. Days, maybe weeks would go by that I wouldn’t speak to anyone in person aside from my husband, a casual hello to the grocery store clerk, or answering questions from the pediatrician.
Then someone would say, “How are you doing?”
And that simple question shocked me a bit.
Me? What did I matter?
“Fine! You?” I would say on a good day.
On a bad day, the answer would be riddled with my kids’ latest accomplishments or baby talk or BOTH.
“Good! Up to my eyeballs in baby spittle and boo boos, but my oldest gave up her paci so that’s new!” Then my eyes would get big, so would theirs, and we would move on. Me feeling like a failure, and them thinking that I was probably quite insane.
As my children grew and I started going out with other ladies on a more regular basis, I improved somewhat on the baby talk thing. But I guess I’m still a loner. I like people and I enjoy listening to their lives, hobbies, interests, but I still feel like when I open my mouth I get that glazed look of pity for my social ineptness.
Frustrating? Sometimes. I wonder if I had other interests, organized sports or PTA or what have you, I would fit in a little better with my peers.
Though I am so grateful for my life and of course, my associates. I wouldn’t trade those four for the world. (Even when they’re nutty and I threaten to sell them to the next traveling circus that goes by.)
Finding a balance is a struggle. Most days, loosely controlled chaos is what we get.
I wouldn’t be the same person if I had chosen a different path. If my life didn’t center around my children, I really don’t know who I would be.
The one thing I do know, there is always time for a snuggle with my sweet girls. Because that moment always reminds me that to someone very special, I am worth it.