I am a blessed mom to be able to work part-time from home. By part-time I mean only 10 or so hours a week, but I can do it during nap time and the pay is good enough that it takes care of some bills. On an unprecedented occasion we had a “work day out” to a vineyard in the nearby Hunter Valley here in Australia. It was for a cooking school/competition and I knew I pretty much had to go.
My son is only 4 months old and I debated leaving him although I have milk stored for the occasion. I was encouraged to go by those around me. Perhaps it was obvious I needed some grownup time. At any rate off I went to see if I could survive a full 10 hours (shock…awe….) away from my little boy. Spoiler: he was alive when I came home and hadn’t forgotten me.
What I learned.
1) Being a mom is the best job out there. Every woman is different, as are their preferences and tastes, but for me parenting is the best flipping’ job around. Just to be nauseating and totally supermom like, I get up in the morning and hold my two littlies and think “this is one of the best moments of my life.” Go on those of you who read this Don’t Carpe Diem article earlier in the year about not enjoying every minute, mock me. Maybe I’m like that lady who said she enjoyed [almost] every minute. I don’t care if it makes me look sappy and stupid. Brothers and sisters, I am what I am.
2) All moms are different. As I was sitting at a table discussing the joys and trials of parenting with a few men and women (yes, we all were away from our children yet finding it hard not to discuss them) I realised that all parents are different. One mother said on the first day of the year at her children’s school they have Champagne and Tissues outside the Kindergarten classes for mothers sending their babies to school for the first time. She colorfully said, “I’ll never understand those $#@^&$# mothers who cry when they drop their kids off. I say, forget the tissues, give me some champagne. Anyway, it’s only five hours. I wish it were $%^&&$ longer.” Well, at least she was honest. She too, however, found it hard not to discuss her young ones. It takes all kinds.
3) I was made to be a mom. In college I made fun of my friends who were there to get a “Mrs. Degree”, if you know what I mean, and who serially wanted to just marry every guy they dated. I thought about how much life was out there and how I wanted to live it. I thought I’d get married and have kids when I didn’t have much life left. After having gotten 2 degrees, lived and studied in 6 countries, learned 2 foreign languages, worked for a famous football player (which is a big deal in the South, okay?), and travelled all over the world….being a mother is still the most exciting thing. Sure the diaper changes and spaghetti tossed walls try my nerves, but even in those moments (sorry non Carpe Diem mom) I think being a mom trumps it all.
And funnily enough, I don’t think my life is over. I think it has only just begun to get interesting.
PS – Click here to read more What I Learned articles, like What I Learned in my 1st year of motherdom and What I learned when my daughter was in the hospital for 3 days!