As a mother, I have always felt pulled and tugged at by the myth of what our lives should be, what my own life should be, and what exists in reality. I was a professional before I became a mother, and I decided early-on that I would not try to balance the life of a working professional woman and the responsibilities of motherhood.
I have never believed a woman could truly "have it all".
I believe that life is all about compromise and negotiation. I believed and still believe that having one foot in the professional world and one foot in the home would make me only half as good at either.
So, I made the choice to stay home.
But something in me is changing, waking up perhaps. Maybe it's because my youngest will be going to school soon. Maybe the act of writing our experience daily, weekly, monthly for the last ten months is the reason. Who knows? But I'm starting to think about old dreams long pushed to the back of the bottom drawer of my consciousness.
I'm starting to reconsider law school. I'm starting to re-hash my PhD research. My quieter moments are filling themselves up with a tiny voice calling to me.
It's time to be more.
If I'm honest with myself in those moments of wondering, I will come to the same conclusion I always have -- law school is too expensive. My PhD required for me to live and work in Russia, where I wasn't at all happy. I was surrounded by women who had made the conscious choice to let strangers raise their children so that they could pursue their professional dreams.
And yet, if I'm so busy being honest, I have to admit that I miss those dreams. I wonder what would have happened if I had fulfilled them.
There is a part of me (would I admit this to my children?) that still puts the words "just a" in front of the word Mom.
It's hard to admit, but there it is.
Even though I believe that my children are a gift and no other person in the world could do what I am doing to raise them, my mind aches for more challenging work and my spirit aches for acknowledgment.
But I don't like to wallow, and introspection only gets a person so far. Action requires risk, but if I don't take a chance now, I'll never know what the future may hold for me.
I feel like I'm at the jumping-off place and I need to re-start the portion of my life that was unquestioningly put on hold. I'm just not sure how to start.
But I do need to start.
- Midwest Mom