If you are easily offended or a whiner of sorts, this post is not for you.
When I was a teenager, my parents thought that babysitting infants and toddlers was a sort of birth-control that might keep their daughters from having sex and getting pregnant. I always knew I wanted to have children, I remember thinking at one point that I wanted five kids (so that I would never be alone) - but when the time was right of course. I felt deeply that I was meant to be a Mom, that I would be a good mother, and that my kids would know love like no one else's.
Oh that phrase..."When the time is right." Anyone who has ever had, or tried to have, or tried not to have kids - will tell you, there is no right time. I have a list, hidden away somewhere, called, "Things I never did." A couple of the items on there might maybe one day happen, but mostly it is a list of things that are pretty far out of the realm of possibility at this point. Would it have been easier to finish school if I didn't have a baby half way through? Would I have immediately gone to grad school afterward if I didn't have Aiden? Could I have gone out and had a million girl's night with my friends when I turned 21? Would I have traveled to the end of the earth to find the inspiration to write the next Great American Novel when I was done with school?
Well, it's easy to talk a big game when you have a 3-1/2 year old out clause I suppose.
I have never asked for anyone to applaud my efforts, and frankly I don't expect it to ever happen. I am certainly aware that I have had more help and support than a lot of people do and I definitely recognize that there are people who have done much greater things than I, with much greater setbacks on the table than I will ever see. But that doesn't mean it hasn't been difficult at times - to juggle Virginia Wolff and bed time stories. It doesn't mean that I haven't had my fair share of lonely nights watching Thomas the Train instead of a movie with my friends. Above all, sometimes there are just pieces of parenting that override all of the "I Wants" with "He Needs."
I am not complaining - I have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams with what Aiden continually brings to my life. Nope, no complaints. But I am also striving. Constantly asking myself if I do enough, if I support him enough, if I make the right decisions for us, if I am doing everything I am capable of to be the best mommy I can be.
Doing everything I am capable of.
I was raised with the expectation that I would carry the burden of doing everything I am capable of, into every task. Fly or fall, as long as you bring your A-Game, that's all that counts.
So that's why I didn't quit school. That's why I worked all day to make money and all night on homework for 3 years. That's why I am still striving, to make ends meet financially and prioritize my time. That's why I am still striving to make my dreams come true. I know things get hard, and I know people are often forced to make tough decisions regarding what they can and can't force themselves to accomplish. But if you aren't bringing your A-Game, I don't care how difficult your life is. I don't expect compliments, and I certainly don't hand them out until they have been earned.
No excuses, work harder. Be smarter. Play better.
And before you have kids, consider this: