Content or Complacent?

8:12 AM

   Being a mom can be strange. It is probably the only job in the world that comes with no training and yet it is one of the hardest (along with being a dad, of course;)).

   Whether stay at home or working away from home one thing all moms have in common is that they get a lot of unasked-for advice and they never have enough time. 
   Ever since I got sacked from my first job in Madrid (It was downsizing....I swear!) I have been a stay at home mom. The eight have ....passed.....well, fast. Queenie is about to turn eight and last night I was stunned to think about that very fact. Wow. She is not my chubby cheeked baby, she is groing into a young lady. So curious, so tender hearted, and so knowledgeable. She will be the first to tell you that while she doesn't know EVERYTHING, she knows CLOSE to everything.
   Did I forget to mention that she is humble?
   The years as a SAHM have been both pleasant and painful. It is a decision that Principe and I made together, but one that was also made due to financial reasons. I looked for jobs in Madrid but could find nothing that was worth the long hours away from Queenie, who was a difficult baby, for the money they were offering. Principe worked long hours as he does now, so it would have to be a job that was strictly 9-5 for me. I had to turn down the job of executive secretary where I would travel to South America. Who would watch my baby girl?
    It wasn't a hard decision to make. While I love to travel and the fleeting dream I had of wearing suit skirts and high heels while organizing things and feeling important... I knew it wouldn't fulfill me like taking care of my little girl.
    And then we moved and I was pregnant again. This time because I wanted to keep with the family making. Moving to France gave me little chance to work. My French wasn't good enough and I never even thought about it. I had a toddler who couldn't speak and was showing signs of needing help and a colicky baby who screamed all day long. Who has time to think about working under those conditions? Principe continued to work late and I continued to do the best I could.
    And just as life was settling down I convinced Principe to let me have our last baby. Boy, aren't we glad we did? She is just as cute as those sisters of hers!
    While I understand my role as a mom and woman at home, in the past few years I have started to feel discontent. I kept feeling this nagging to get back to my own work. I have shifted back and forth between binge reading blogs and articles about learning to be content during this time of life and decided to stand up and shove everything else aside to do what I feel I needed to do. But it wasn't easy. Queenie had to learn to read while still going to Speech therapy to learn to speak, Firecracker decided to be jealous of her baby sister and the baby, while good, was still a baby and needed *gasp* attention.
   But my desire to write never faded. I started the blog and tried to channel everything there, but honestly my desire to not complain or be negative stopped me many days from writing there at all. Because, you know, some days there just isn't anything about mothering that is worth writing about.      I tried to wake up early and failed, tried to set aside Saturdays and failed, tried to write at night and failed, tried to write during naptime and failed. Failure seemed to loom over me. So I decided that being discontent was my problem. So I turned my attention to forcing myself to be content. And failed. Again.
   Whenever I would vent my frustration I found that most SAHM felt the same way and we tried to comfort each other in the strangest ways, myself included. "Why beat yourself up?" "You might as well wait until they are grown" "You're driving your self crazy trying to do anything right now." "Try to look at life now through your 60 year old eyes and instead of thinking of the things you want to be doing, enjoy what is in front of you."
    Are these bad suggestions? NO! But they didn't help me.
   Rarely did I hear (myself included because I am a sucker for peer pressure. Need to work on that) any encouragement to keep going, rarely do others give me pointers or suggestions to try a different way of organizing my day or my work or....anything.
   Instead we would share articles about how to be content with our lives and our children and our work.....and I would try. I try to be content. And I would fail. Then I would feel foolish for having tried, for failing, for being a bad mom because I was no longer content.
    But in the midst of it all I started listening to Terri Savelle Foy and Joyce Meyer. And while I listened to them during these years while I would say the wrong things with my friends or feel like a failure, little by tiniest bit little, I would implement their suggestions into my life. Millimeter by millimeter. I listened to them again and again and again.
    Now I no longer feel guilty. And I no longer think that it is a mother's sin to follow her own dreams. Why? Because I realized that I was not discontent with having chosen to be a mother. I wouldn't give them up for the world and knew that in my heart to be true. I was discontent with being complacent, and there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, there is everything right with that. We are not made to be complacent! We are made to keep moving forward, keep learning, reading, exploring, experimenting, talking, listening, etc. We were not made to stay still. We were not made to SETTLE.     I am happy and very thankful for what I have and who I have around me. The kids don't need me always, it is alright that I take some time to research or write while they play. It is alright that they eat chicken nuggets sometimes, it is alright that sometimes they watch television. Or maybe lots of times.... It is alright that I leave early on Saturdays to go write. It is alright that I have plans for my dreams to come true and they may have to wait on that play date or joining that club in order for me to get things done first. It is alright. They do not always have to be first. Neither does my husband always have to be first. Sometimes I can make me first and my dreams first. And everyone will survive.
   I am content with my past choices and I am content with my choice now. And I will never again be complacent.

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