I don’t have it figured out. I’m not even close. But this morning I woke up and accepted the challenge: try to be a mother and something else.
In my case, I am a teacher and an aspiring writer. But before my work begins and the sun rises, I am preparing my two children for preschool.
Today was supposed to be ambitious. An entire morning locked in my office with blog goals in mind.
But preschool drop-off came first. And, with it, a new revelation: “Now remember we have the Thanksgiving party today. You’re coming, right?”
I had missed the posted sign-up sheet.
I had missed the announcements.
I had missed the holiday boat entirely.
Immediately, conviction fell upon me. You must go, Lauren. You must go.
So I smiled and quickly departed to my office, where I knew any dream beyond motherhood would fall short, unfulfilled. Ninety minutes slipped through my hands.
But I arrived on time for the big event and a little turkey’s arms greeted me, outstretched with gladness.
In that moment, I remembered what the early years require: marginalization of self. The tasks I had been so desperate to complete were to wait another day – perhaps another week. And the ornate cupcakes were this messy reminder that if I fall short as a teacher/writer, there is no hope for me as a Pinterest mom.
So I drew up a tiny pink chair, cut my daughter’s chicken nuggets, and wiped her mouth at least a dozen times.
Today I showed up. There is no “job well done” for this kind of thing.
But the true reward is this: When my daughter was watching, she saw me appear.
And she didn’t even notice my empty hands.
One Year Ago: Descending the Ivory Tower
Two Years Ago: Deep Waters