You know how you have those ‘ages’ that you aren’t very excited about turning? For me it’s been 26 and 33.
So….seven years ago, and today.
It’s not that I’m sad about ‘getting old’. I can’t argue with the family of crinkles lining my tired eyes….or the purple fireworks on my pale belly….or the fact that I get am called ma’am more and more.
My back always hurts….what’s up with that?
What I’m feeling more is the conflict of what I want to do at 33 and what feels doable.
I was excited about 30. It seems that 30 is a turning point for many women. We spend our teenage years trying hard to be the same but feeling like we are so different. Then in our 20s, we realize we are all linked by this ‘sameness’ and finally let ourselves be different.
So our 30s is a really nice plateau to reach, you’ve worked out the kinks of being who others want you to be and who you really are. You can kind of settle into yourself.
But then your heart might start stirring….you might feel restless.
That’s how I feel, restless.
For the past five years, each birthday had a different tone to it. Each year was a different temperature with different needs and hurdles, different shifts in my heart and body.
Now I am coming out of the baby stage (the kids are 1, 3 and 4 now!). It feels like a new horizon in how I get to mother and live each day. I don’t want to live it on autopilot as I did for so long of my life.
Now I’m just bursting with the queue of lofty ideas I had only imagined another version of myself living out. That version that has heaps of indulgently free time and the ambition and energy to wake up early each morning.
There are so many things I want to do. But I feel this tension of being at home with small kids and trying so so hard to just get a little bit done each day without the luxury of time. At the same time being the mom that I AM, the mom I want my kids to remember.
I know being a stay at home mom is something I signed for. But I desperately want 33 to be a year of progress, of purpose, of helping people, of changing more than just diapers. Maybe I feel like this is bigger than me.
Every day I stare at this giant brain dump list that I keep in the kitchen. I choose that ‘most important task’ to try and complete.
Work is done in waves between snacks, naps, play, outings, cleaning, meals. Mothering is that relentless task of always being physically and emotionally needed. But every time they call for my attention, I need to let them remind me of the reason I chose to be home, with them, for this short time in the grand scheme of things.
They constantly remind me that motherhood is the only thing I can dive all in to at this year of life. I know this isn’t something Conor ever has to deal with, and maybe it’s frustrating to both of us, but it is my own lament to unpack and be shaped by.
It is something I have to ask God to guide me in.
He knows the visions of my heart feel conflicted with the demands of my life. He knows what I can do and what I can’t. He knows what is fruitful and what isn’t. He knows that I will be faced with making choices on how I use the time given to me each day.
It all comes down to making choices. Little cumulative choices to live the life I want in the ways that work RIGHT NOW.
So, here is to another year of trying to do less of what I don’t love and more of what I do.
To enjoying the youngest my children will ever be.
To showing my kids that you should wildly run the path of your passions, even if a little step each day.
To a few more laugh lines and pretending that a green smoothie will cancel out the carb loading.
To being surrounded by legos, barbies and my lists of perpetual brain dumps.
If all else fails, at least there will be baby cuddles, an evening whiskey and round the clock waffles.