I KNOW BEING a mother is a lot of sweat, tears and unacknowledged work. I also know it is the best reward in life. Being a mindful mother is not easy, but is it enough?
I’m in a fortunate position where I don’t need to work.
I often feel like an asshole for saying the above because I know so many single moms and couples who are struggling to make ends meet. And the fear of not being able to provide for your family and children must be beyond heartbreaking.
But it’s also the most powerful motivator. Removal of choice means action. You may not be happy with the choice, or enjoy the job that you are doing, but you are doing what you need to do to provide for you family. And I commend that.
The blessing and curse of options.
Being in the fortunate position I am in doesn’t mean I want to join a housewives’ club, get my nails, hair and eyebrows done on a daily basis. It doesn’t mean I want to lounge around the house ordering around a staff of nannies, cooks and cleaners.
Having the opportunity to choose what I want to take on is a luxury. But it can also create an internal struggle of “What should I do?”.
Up until the last few years, I had my life laid out for me. I didn’t give myself the choice to quit school, so from grade school until University I had my life pretty much laid out. I took courses that I was good at, was easy, interested me, or ones that my friends were taking.
After University I had no idea what I was going to do. So I volunteered and traveled.
Since I was a little girl I’ve always had the dream of going to Africa to “save the children”. So that’s what I did… I went to Africa for 6 months. You can read all about my journey to Africa by signing up for my newsletters.
And after that I was stumped again, but I knew I was going to do more schooling. University didn’t prepare me for much, besides more school. So as soon as I choose to enroll in Naturopathic Medicine, that was another 5 years of my life set out for me.
Now, I can’t say school was “easy”, but it was straight forward.
In school, you know exactly what you have to do to be successful. Now, it’s true that some people are not great at taking multiple choice exams, but you still know exactly what to study, what assignments to complete, what the expectations are of you and there is a definite time after exams are finished when you are DONE!
And I mean DONE done. Unless you have to retake a test, you can let all those equations, theories, notes and memorized arbitrary facts disintegrate from your mind.
This is not how real life works.
When you are an entrepreneur, you are never “off”. You are your business and it’s extremely difficult to separate life and work.
I find it difficult to “take time off” or “shut off”. Jon and I try our best to take daily walks, explore new areas of the city, snuggle, or just do something fun. However, we also love talking about human philosophy, sharing concepts for new project ideas or exploring our deepest fears. We do what we do because we love it.
So although Jon’s income could support myself and our future family, the deeper question for me is not “Do I want to work?”, but “What do I want to do?”
Do I want to contribute in other ways to our family and my community?
Would I be happy enough to parent alone? Maybe volunteer? Join the PTA?
These are the thoughts that go through my head.
Having the choice to find my passion is a blessing I am thankful for each and everyday. No matter how frustrating and confusing the choices can be, I am reminded that having these options allows me the opportunity to support and help others, and spend as much time with my family as I need.