Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A is for Aspirations

Teaching little humans to eat at a table is a feat, I tell you.

There are so many things I want to do in my life. I have aspirations of becoming a writer. I have aspirations of graduate school and maybe even one day teaching. I have aspirations of running marathons. I'd like to learn how to play the piano and swim with dolphins. I have a whole long list of aspirations for my life, but most of it is on hold right now. Right now is all about being a mama. Some people might think of it as a sacrifice, but I honestly don't see it that way. I think being a good mother is something to aspire to as well. It is certainly one of my aspirations, and I'm all in at the moment.

Too often I feel like I come off as apathetic towards motherhood. Even though I see it as my highest priority and quite honestly believe it is the hardest job I could ever have, I tend to belittle its importance in my life when talking to my peers. Because being in your early twenties and having a child is no longer the gold standard of achievement. If I were living in the 1950's I'd be killing it. Husband, check. House, check. Child, check. Awesome cooking and cleaning skills, check and check.

But that is no longer enough. Success for women is no longer measured by a beautiful family and an extensive mastery of home economics. In fact, it is just the opposite, especially as a young college graduate. Success is individual, not collaborative. So although I may get a pat on the back for marrying a good man and having a baby an inevitable question is always lurking close behind the praise: Well what do you do, aside from being a mother, of course? Or the ever popular: What are you going to do?

Because what I'm doing right now, it's not allowed to be enough. Not anymore. And quite frankly, not at this juncture of my life. Your twenties is for seizing your career and pursuing your dreams. It's about chasing those aspirations. It's about being selfish in the name of personal advancement. It's about moving and shaking. Your life can't be stagnant. It's go and go and go some more. It's all about you.

And I'm cool with that, but let's face it, it's not my life. Currently my world revolves around Lucas and my husband and the upkeep of a house that is trashed on a minute by minute basis. Life is busy and crazy and anything but stagnant. It's harder than working 40+ hours a week and taking 18 credits at the university; I know from experience. But it is also more worthwhile. This journey is wild in the best sort of way, and it is something to be excited about. And although I do have other aspirations for my life than staying at home and running a daycare for the rest of my days like my mother, I need this to be enough right now.

And you know what? It is.

Daycare may not be what I want to do forever, but it is certainly what I want to do right now. I get to spend every day with Lucas; I don't have to miss a moment (though I'll admit, I wouldn't mind missing some of these tantrums). I don't answer to anyone. I make my own schedule. And I have the sweetest gosh darn kids you could ever imagine. I love my kids, and I love what I do. I can't imagine a better "dream job" for this time in my life.

And being a mother, despite my age, is something I'm proud of. It's something I wanted and something I work hard at. It is a job, often thankless and always without pay, but it's the job I chose and the job I want. It is an achievement. It is something I strive to do well. It is important.

It is a worthy aspiration.

* This post is the first installment of Blogging the ABC's, which I found through my blogger friend Stephanie Abeyta. It seemed like a good challenge and a great way to keep writing consistently. Stay tuned for more!




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