I was at dinner with a friend. She is a very successful executive, lives in an affluent area, doesn’t have kids and is really fun to be around. We were having a glass of wine when all of a sudden she said “you are such an outgoing and talented woman, what do you do all day? I mean I know you stay home for the kids, but what is next for you, what’s next, what makes you feel fulfilled?”
I chose to down the rest of my glass as thoughts raced around my head, trying desperately to formulate a very intelligent answer. I didn’t succeed. My very deep ability to reflect and formulate a well thought out response simply abandoned me. We all have reasons for doing what we do. When I was a single mom I had to work for financial reasons. I now have a choice that many women do not have and I currently stay at home. Some mothers work and juggle their careers and their kids and after school activities. Some mothers work out of their home. We all have one thing in common. Sacrifice.
This did not come out in my brilliant answer. Sorry ladies, I put us all back a couple of decades!
“Laundry. I do laundry. I do loads and loads every week. I put clean clothes in small baskets for the kids to put away and they stay in those baskets until they make it back to the dirty pile. That’s what I do. I’m a hamster in a wheel.”
I truly have the chance to redeem myself. I’ve gone through some emotions thinking about this answer and I’m happy to say that I now understand myself better and the choices ALL moms make, whether they work or stay-at-home.
“I am a mother. I have made a conscious decision to sacrifice myself for the good of mankind. I don’t always use my interpersonal skills to sell a company’s product or service. Sometimes I use those skills to put more good into the world. Through my children, these three boys, I have the chance to give back.. It’s a ripple effect. The kindness, the guidance, the character that I instill in them will be magnified and ripple into future generations. So although sometimes it is difficult and my days can be full of mundane tasks, deep down I know that there is nothing more important than the sacrifice that I am making for future generations. What do I do all day? I live a life of love and sacrifice. I am a mother.”
My dear friend is correct though. Although I am a mother for life there is an aspect of “what’s next.” My children are getting older and are more independent. Am I ready to retire? Should I commit more time to the blog? Write a book? Go back to work? What is next? I don’t know, I really don’t, but I will make an effort to enjoy the journey.
I would love to hear your thoughts on motherhood, staying-at-home, working, just all of it. What makes you happy? What fulfills you? What’s next? If you’re not a mom I would love to hear about that also! This is YOUR life. These are your choices!