If my daughter can have anything in life, it’s that I hope one day she can be as happy as I am right now.
Right now I am a stay at home Mom who blogs and enjoys selling bargaining treasures on eBay. I even bought a mannequin to practice putting the outfits together before I sell them. I am having a blast. I enjoy the creative energy and connecting with people from all over our country to make a profit and connect them to a great bargain.
Were I not a mom, I would most likely still be working in my profession. Yet, life threw me some curve balls. Her dad died and she was born all in the same year. Every time I tried to work outside the home in my chosen profession, I could not seem to invest myself to the degree I used to be able to devote to my field. I used to live and breathe therapy. I still love psychology and I truly imagine I will always find ways to use my degrees. Even so, I am very fulfilled being involved in my daughter’s life.
I think today there is a push for us women to be more than moms. This push is both good and bad. Just as I threw myself into my career in my days before motherhood, I throw myself into parenting. It’s just how I am.
Doing the eBay I do not feel as though a person will suffer abandonment or lack of good care if they do not receive their product immediately. I can work the hours necessary to sell items and be fully involved as a parent. In fact, I am not worried about my customers state of mind. I am simply enjoying giving them a great deal on something they love. It’s truly fun.
But, my parenting is what I think about. How I parent is my constant concern and both my joy and my work. What works for me to feel useful is being here. I don’t have an immaculate home. I did not do this to become a neatnick. I stayed at home to fully invest as a mom.
I also enjoy making time for myself more the older I get. In that way, I feel I grow younger. I enjoy life more, and yet, I feel as though I could not imagine the challenges of being a young adult again. I imagine this reason is why I like to surround myself with teen-agers.
My writing is a habit since I could hold a pencil that I can not stop. I need to get my words and thoughts out, and I need them to be heard. Even so, my main joy is not my writing, my bargain hunting, or even my time to myself. I truly love spending time with teen-agers and with my kid. You see, I was not your run of the mill kid. I struggled in school and studied about four hours every night. Imagine studying for that many hours and hearing every day from different teachers frustration over your grades. There were many who helped me to find my way. Even so, the negative ones haunted me in my low moments, and I often wanted to stop trying. I found my way, because many people believed in me. For this reason, I find myself being probably a bit overly positive and putting my energy to hearing teens talk, loving their jokes and hoping they keep themselves out of trouble. I want them to feel heard, valued, and know they can count on me to be a true positive voice.
I hope my daughter will know that we never stop learning how to be good friends and keep good relationships in our lives. I make mistakes. I still am learning about the value of friendship and family, but especially how I fit into the web of energy that is all the people in my life. I do struggle still with relationships and yet I allow new ones to form. I keep branching out, as I remember my roots and that all branches start with one strong limb, then a few hands, and even fingers, until all we see is the leaves. All depending upon one another for support, they are together for every change, both good and bad. Branches do break from weight, age, and heavy storms. Sometimes they support nature by providing a home for birds and many types of insects. Their purpose is only found as they grow and reach.
Maybe for me having it all has not been having it all at one time. In fact I have had more than it all. My life has overflowed with work in my field, relationships, different places I have lived, dear friends, working with young people, seeing them grow, and finally having my own 15 years ago.
I feel blessed beyond words to be married to another wonderful husband, and I can not believe one can be happily married twice. I guess so, because I am happy again. How many women have two awesome marriages?
My life has been full of struggles, but an abundance of gifts that is beyond my wildest dreams.
My hope for my daughter is that even as I encourage her to plan and work toward her dreams, that she enjoy every gift she is given, that she not press herself to be what she ought to be, but to be who she is made to be. So, if her career falls through, or her husband is a jerk, that she can come up with a new direction, that she can adapt.
The oughts have always left me feeling guilty. I ought to be able to work while I am in graduate school like the other students. I ought to have had kids by thirty. I ought to do more volunteer work. I ought to be a working mom. I ought to be a mom by now. If I were a real mom, I would have at least three. I ought to bake pies. I ought to be able to be involved in everything I can be and be friendly, but assertive. I should give up carbs. I should enjoy alcohol. The no carb beer tastes great. I love it.
The problem with all of those shoulds and oughts is that we lose our very identity, our soul even, in trying too hard. The spark that we felt as a kid when we found we were good at dance or violin is gone. We become robots. Dreams and plans are important and my point is not that we give them up when the going gets rough. My point is that sometimes we must remember all our gifts, and be willing to use different ones at different times. Maybe we focus on one and one only for 50 years, or we don’t. Neither way is wrong.
I want my daughter to enjoy life. I hope with all my heart that she can be in charge of her decisions, seek God for direction in how to live and be and do as He has designed and written this beautiful story, this beautiful description on her heart describing exactly who she is to be, and live her absolute happiest life she could be. It will have falls, sadness, and loneliness even. And, she may compare herself to others as she stands back up finding her way. My prayer is that in that moment, in the robot costume, when she is moving rhythmically without human breath at a numbing exhausting pace, that she shed that bulky exterior, that she walk free, the way God made her to be in all its perfect simplicity.