As many of you know, I am a very goal-oriented, task-motivated person. I always have a goal in mind, and I work best when working towards something. I don’t like to stagnate, and I don’t know how to “just be”. Someone silly once asserted that since I was done with my Master’s, I could just “be”. I asked him, “Be what?” I don’t know how to relax; my mind is always running on something. I prefer working while playing. I have been this way the majority of my life, and until I hear otherwise from a medical professional, I don’t see it stopping any time soon.
Motherhood, and the duties that come with it, definitely put a big YIELD sign on some aspects of professional accomplishment. It happens to everyone I know on one level or another. I have tried not to let it slow me down much, but it has at times. I didn’t let anything slow me down on my Master’s, but I had to quit working while we were dealing with Caelan’s feeding disorder (let it be said, I do not feel like anything I did before teaching was in anyway a professional endeavor, but I am speaking in work-related terms here). Life with kids is a constant ride that ebbs and flows with the tide. It is what it is.
This weekend was an example of that. This weekend, my baby girl EJ was sick. She had a fever and was absolutely the most cranky, loud, unhappy person on the planet. Oh, she was a real handful. The only thing she wanted was me. Just me. All the time. I couldn’t do anything (and you all know that killed me). I couldn’t put her down. And it didn’t matter, she didn’t act like she felt any better really, she just wanted me to hold her. All. Weekend. Long. I am not used to that, and if I am being honest, I didn’t really like it all that much. Sure, I love my kids, but it was exhausting (she’s heavy, guys… I’m not used to holding that much weight!). She didn’t sleep, didn’t nap, barely ate and was an absolute bear the vast majority of the weekend. And all I kept thinking about was what I wasn’t getting done. Some people may think that makes me a bad mom. I beg to differ. I am a much better human being in general when I have time to myself to do what I need/want to do. I’m not used to the girls needing me; they’re not needy kids. It was just exhausting and frustrating because nothing we did made her feel better. She was miserable and wanted to be miserable as close to me as humanly possible. (In fact, she was on my lap the majority of this post.)
And then I realized something last night while I was in the ER with her (from 12:45-3:30 AM..that’s what mommies do!). Professionally, I didn’t get anything done. And that was frustrating to me. However, as a mother, I got a TON accomplished this weekend. I was there for my baby, 100% all-in, all-the-time, no distractions. And I can’t say as I have ever had the chance to be there like that for her before this. Caelan, yes. I have had to be there for her like that a ton in her short life. Ellery’s never needed that. And I am blessed that I have the kind of profession that I can take the weekend and just be there for my kids. A lot of people don’t have that. And I counted that amongst my many blessings last night. So, I guess I need to redefine what I mean when I say, “I did not get anything done this weekend!” Because, I always get stuff done. It just doesn’t always have to be what my students need. My kids, I am reminded everyday, still must always come first.