Multifaceted Me

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Going Back to Work

I have so many mixed feelings on this subject!  While I am beyond thrilled to be starting at my dream job in less than a week, I a m petrified as to what that may mean for my family.  Even when I worked before, I worked from home-completely different dynamic that working outside the home.  Now for the first time since I had my now 6-year-old Matthew, I'll be going to work full-time.

First off, for those who aren't painfully aware, being a stay at home mom is exhausting work.  Right now, I am drafting next month's budget, preparing to do the mopping before the children get home from school and planning the afternoon/evening activities including sports practices, a trip to the library and dinner.  This time next week, I will be in scrubs in a cardiology office working away.   So who will be doing the rest?

People often say to me, "It must be great having and older child.  I'm sure she can help a lot."  The key word in that sentence to me is CHILD.  My oldest is a very pleasant and capable 13-year-old.  She does most of what she's asked with a smile and a "yes ma'am."  Me going to work doesn't mean she must cut her childhood short.   I have no idea how everything will get done but I'll keep you posted.

So then back to the dilemma.  I know what my problem is-my mother.  I'm not about to go on a rant about  something my mother didn't say or do leaving me lost in the world to find myself.  Actually it was quite the opposite.  My mother was so incredible, so available, so ahead-before we could ask for anything she had it ready.  It's taken me years of being a mom myself to realize that she wasn't setting the bar too high, she was just being herself.  Myself is different.

Closed mouths don't get fed in my house.  If you're hungry you better make some noise because I'm always doing a million things and half the time don't feed myself let alone anyone else.  I'm not a neat freak like my mom was when we were little.  I have nowhere near a place for everything and everything's in a place but who knows what that place will be.  I say my problem is my mother because she is my example for what a mother is.  She was university educated but stayed home because she felt that was where she needed to be until we were out of school.

When I'd hear my peers talk about their childhoods and speak of daycare and having a key to their own homes, I'd feel this twinge of pity.  It's taken some time but I'm beginning to see that they are my peers. Today, we're in the same place.  Our early years may have been totally different but today we have much in common.  Will it make that much difference in the way my kids turn out if I work?

This question was posed in a debate in a psychology class I took a couple years ago.  One thing that stuck out to me was the statement, "What's good for mom is good for the kids."  It's not the 80s anymore.  One income doesn't cut it a lot of the time.  My husband up until very recently was working three jobs and seven days a week.  My stress was off the charts.  Just the thought of having income again removes so much of that stress.  I have wanted to be a nurse since I was in middle school.  My favorite speciality is cardiology and by the grace of God, I've got a cardiology clinic nursing job.  I know this is good for me.  I hope it will also prove good for my family.

I'll be back after my first week to let you know how it went!


Friday, January 6, 2012

Pinterest, YouTube, facebook and Real Life

I look at pretty things.  I watch tutorials.  I love hair and am embarking on the journey of locs for myself.  I pin pictures of all things Devyn.  But in real life, I'm plain.  Why is my internet self so colorful, brilliant and artististic while I am so....normal?

I get up in the morning, fumble until I find my glasses which I never put in the same place, make coffee or tea and proceed to cook breakfast in a robe that resembles a Snuggie with a house dress underneath and slippers.  I wonder what the virtual me would be doing?  Soaking in a tub three stories in the air watching the sunrise....holding her breath underwater and popping up with a huge gasp for air and laughing out loud at herself....  her life and my life are nothing alike.

Nor are they mutually exclusive.  It's me that chooses what's pinworthy.  It's me that takes such intricate hair tutorials and does the rushed version on myself.  It's really me who admires my own home, while not as creative as what I fantasize about online-it's still art.

For instance there is a pile of pistachio shells next to me right now.  Why?  Because I have a bowl of pistachios on the table and when I shell them I'm not thinking.  They become this growing pile of evidence that as type A as I can be-I'm also carefree.  There's a boy on my couch watching Cats & Dogs and even though it's a school morning and quite early, I don't mind.  I enjoy Kitty Galore singing, "I'm coming up!  So you better get this party started!"  This is my life.  It's not perfectly tucked and polished.  But it's still beautiful.

In fact, it's a beauty that cannot be replicated.  It can't be copied and slightly altered to tailor another's style or personality.  There can only be one me.  I'm not a picture or a song or a video.   I could never be summed up in a word or catchy phrase.  So why then when I browse the internet do I find myself feeling these twinges of jealousy-my hair will never look like that...I could never afford to decorate that way...-feelings of 'if only....'

More often than I'd like, I close my laptop with an idea that as much as I try to run with, she gets in the way.  The real me.  The one with children who interrupt her train of thought.  And instead of having the discipline to stay on task, she welcomes their questions, needs, curiosities and even interrupts herself to parent, take phone calls and other silly things like use the bathroom.  No one online is going to the bathroom.

This morning and this year I want to celebrate my real life.  All the things that make me, me.  The present contributions to the parts of who I am.  Sure, I have wants, goals and dreams-but if we stay focused on the future, the what ifs and if onlys-we may miss  or worse despise the present.  This morning I'm deciding that I don't want to be her.  I like her.  I admire things about her.  I enjoy browsing her albums, statuses, pictures and videos-but she is missing something so precious and intangible that it can't be captured in any of the aforementioned-breath.  You can't take a picture of it.  You can't describe it.  You can't teach someone how to do-it-yourself.  We all have it.  In different rhythms and depths and tastes depending on what we're doing.  Doing.  Living.  Breathing.

Celebrate your reality.