I just finished reading this book in about three days. I was hooked immediately when I started to read about the stay at home mom who didn't feel like she fit in with the "mom's who do everything right and by the book" in her neighborhood. She basically feels like she's a nobody. Just a housewife. (Which her husband actually calls her in the story!) She gets caught up in trying to investigate the murder of one her neighbors, mostly because she feels bored with her life and just needs something to do. In the end, she realizes that the lives of these "perfect" moms aren't so perfect after all. I kept thinking how weird that I got hooked....it just doesn't have any relevance to my life whatsoever! ;-) Well, definitely not the murder part.
Although the book wasn't deep by any means, it still made me think about being a mom, and my role. Which I often think about anyway, since it's what I do all day every day. No matter how put together a mom may seem, we are all having issues behind closed doors. That may mean not showering but a few times a week, to something much larger. But, hey they're all issues!!!
Being a mom is amazing and wonderful, but it's also very "other" oriented, and not much about us. We don't get raises, we don't get reviews, we don't get a pat on the back for a task well done, and we don't get the satisfaction of a clean desk with the to do list all checked off when we go home. Our job begins when we wake up and ends when we go to sleep, which often times, goes right along with the times our kids wake up and also fall asleep. Can you imagine a life where every night before you tucked in your kids, they said..."Mom, you did just amazing today. I really loved how you followed through with your threats by putting me in time out the first time I disobeyed. I can really see how you are molding me into a better person. Thank you for loving me so much to say no. I adore you mom, and I can't wait for yet another day of life lessons with a beautiful, thin, and wise mommy. Oh, and just because I love you so much, I'm going to sleep till nine tomorrow. Kiss kiss."
It's been difficult for me sometimes. I miss getting dressed up all cute, and having somewhere to go. I watch Jimmy go and head to hang with his friends, have adult talk, do something useful with his time. He gets two ten minute breaks, and an hour lunch in which he can do ANYTHING he wants to. I often tease Jimmy that he gets to go to work to take a break and hang out with his friends all day. Work Schmork. Then he gets to come home to a child who has missed him and can't wait to see him. And their two hours together for the day are blissful as they walk off into the sunset. =)
But, of course, that's not the reality. And when I really think about it, I know that. What is reality is that I get to be the one to kiss my son when he gets hurt, I get to snuggle him in my bed in the morning while we slowly wake up together. I get to run to Target for a wander-less trip for an hour, and not have to rush off to do anything other than what I have decided to plan. (Unless of course, he's throwing a fit over a toy we aren't buying...but, really, how often does that happen? ha ha) I can go to the gym three days a week, and take full advantage of the childcare. I get to plan walks with my neighbors and allow our kids to sit and babble to each other while in the joggers. I get to basically, mostly, plan our time together so that when he remembers his childhood, he'll remember that it was spent with a mommy who loved to be with him so much.
I really am blessed...and like that song I posted earlier, I know that what I am giving will all be worth it in the end. I'm changing the world by raising a child who is loved and cared for. (And by cared for, I mean, he's dressed, fed, and alive.)
My last thought is this, I think it's so important that women are honest with each other. There is nothing wrong with striving to be better, but be honest about your faults, your issues, your stuff....that's what will help encourage each other and build each other up. Not that we need to be drowning in our sorrows together, but sometimes it helps just to know that we are all human. We are not alone. And we are really more alike than a lot of us realize.
And I thought I was going to be reading a mindless novel by Jennifer Weiner.