The decision to become a mother wasn’t one that I recall consciously making, at least not initially. I wasn’t the girl who grew up with a check list of must-do’s and gotta-have’s by a certain age or else. I didn’t have the big vision for my wedding day. I didn’t have a birth plan, except to yell ever so politely “get that thing out of me!” I had goals, but they were simple. All I wanted to do was graduate university and prove I could make the world a better place.
I had a vision for my life. I was going to be a brilliant historian, changing the way Canadians perceived their nation’s past. Then I was going to be a famous writer, like Oprah famous.
Eventually, the Carpenter and I would have two happy, healthy, quiet children who would play quietly whilst I typed away at my novel, and sit quietly in the library of my esteemed university, while I researched theories of law and nationalism. Yep. My children would be on a strict schedule, they’d be constantly good mannered and in bed on time every night. You can stop laughing now.
Motherhood caught me off guard. Like all of the best things that have happened in my life, I didn’t plan it. I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my pants kind of girl, and well, I’ll leave the pants punch line alone. I swear I don’t know how these children of mine got here. I had nothing to do with it. One day, they just showed up.
I was still trying to figure out who I was, what I should be doing with my life. I wasn’t ready then, and it I’m still not sure if I’ve got it down pat, but here I am, a Mommy of two amazing individuals, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
For years, I confess, I felt lost most of the time. Mothers aren’t supposed to admit this. We are supposed to be grateful. I was grateful, just lost. I felt scared almost all the time, a little jealous that my life seemed to no longer be my own, and a little relieved too. I questioned my goals, my dreams, why I worked so hard to get pay for a degree that was collecting dust on the wall. I worried constantly about what was I going to do next. When was “next” any way?
For me, “next” is right now. I have proven that life balance is a myth. It’s taken me ten years in this overwhelming job to realize that Mommyhood is supposed to be challenging, it’s supposed to be wonderful and heartbreaking, terrifying and exhilarating, super fun and super exhausting. You are, after all, chasing your heart through traffic all the time. You are supposed to feel insane. You are insane. You’re a Mommy. Stand proud. You are a survivor, a role model and a sex goddess, (own it). That means I can relax. So can you.
Recently, someone asked me about my education. When I replied that I had a degree in Canadian History, he asked me, rather patronizingly, “What does someone with a degree like that do for a living?”
I had the best answer. “I am raising two amazing children who are going to grow into amazing people who will change the world for the better. That’s what I do. It’s the best job in the world.” My children beamed. “And sometimes, I write too.”
Nothing about Me is lost. I’m still in here, I’m just better. My glass is full. My plate is too. My dreams are bigger, because now I have people to share them with. Everything that happened in my life led me to this point, for a reason. I’m a Mother. I was born to do this job and a thousand others too. Be careful what you wish for, you just might be lucky enough to get it. The real gift is realizing how blessed you are.
Writing has been my passion since I learned how to hold a pencil (which I still cannot do properly). Despite my father’s insistence that I would starve to death in this career, I remain well fed and eager to write more. They say you should do what you love: I love to write.