“It’s a form of human love to accept our complicated, messy humanity and not run away from it.”
The quote above is from a New Yorker article on Martha Nussbaum. I read it last week and it has stuck with me since. She isn’t speaking specifically about the complicated, messy of motherhood but that’s front and center in my life so I applied it to motherhood, of course.
And what is my messy you might ask?
Well, it’s the very thing that brings me so much joy, which also complicates things.
You see, being a full time stay-at-home-mom was never my plan. My mom worked full time while we were growing up and I had every intention of heading back to work after Noe was a little older, and I did. But then the work didn’t feel right and we moved and we couldn’t take our wonderful nanny with us. Then I got lazy and didn’t find childcare here in California so it was just me, every day, which can be really wonderful at times. Like on that random Thursday afternoon in June when Noe took her first steps. I wasn’t in a meeting or on a conference call but right there in front of her, watching that determined girl walk toward me. Those are the moments when I am wholeheartedly and wonderfully thrilled about being at home, watching my little girl grow.
But there’s the flip side as well. One that is hard to put down into words and especially hard to share beyond the little circle of friends that I confide in. But here it is.
I crave something that’s mine. I crave purpose, purpose beyond child rearing and house keeping. I cringe each time I meet someone new and they ask the dreaded question, “what do you do?”
Now don’t get me wrong, I realize the importance of the job I’m doing. I realize that shaping a little human and giving her a solid foundation is the most important thing I can be doing with my time. But, I still long to be doing work: building something, being a person that has answers, owning something that is all mine, contributing monetarily to our family.
It is a struggle that rears its head everyday.
It is a struggle I know my other mom friends share.
It’s a struggle that comes laced with guilt and a feeling of selfishness.
It is a struggle, plain and simple.
The truth is, I’ve felt stuck for a while now. Feeling unbalanced, being fully aware that this time with Noe is fleeting and conversely being honest with myself that 90 minutes of nap time isn’t enough time to dive into the things that are calling to me. The short and simple is, I need some space to pursue my own goals, to own something again.
What this looks like isn’t totally mapped out but logistically it means that Noe will be starting daycare this month, three mornings a week. It feels like the right balance, for the time being, and like an important step in her growth, but selfishly for mine as well.
I know that everyone’s balance looks different. However, I’m excited to have a little bit of space to explore “my complicated, messy humanity” some more.
Today’s Makings Of Small Step: What complicated, messy of motherhood/humanity can you confront?