I know, I just put myself to sleep too.
Sometimes I have great angst about my professional life on a train going nowhere and what I've chosen to give up in replacement for being a stay-at-home mom. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful in every way possible that I get to be home. I get to send the kids off to school. I get to volunteer in their classrooms and be around when a kid (or two) gets sick. I get to be standing there every afternoon when the bus pulls up in front of my house. I love that! I really do. Some days less than others, but you know what I mean, right mothers?!
However, on the flip side, I've taken myself out of the rat race for eleven years now. I'm not building my retirement plan. I'm not buffing up my resume. And, it makes me scared in many ways. It was like as soon as I push that first baby out into this new life, I also walked off the face of the working force world. And now, I am 'just' the designated cook, laundry doer, maid, food shopper, waiter, dog walker and personal chauffeur. I walked this weird, tight-rope, journey. I had baby blues, and moving blues, and gaining weight blues, and questioning my role in life blues. I sort of flipped everything I had worked towards for all my life (ie: college, job, marriage, house, family, back-to-work...in that order) and got all Willy Wonka on that sh*t. My picturesque image wasn't as white picket fence as I had imagined. Not bad! Just different. And, sometimes sad.
In March 2011, I made a big decision to do something for myself. I elected to have surgery on my guts which essentially took 'me' out of the equation for a solid three weeks and it caused stress on my family. Things didn't run on autopilot. Meals might not have been the healthiest. Neighbors complained about barking dogs left out too long. The house was mostly messy. I didn't feel 'good' and I suffered a full gamut of emotions. It was hard at first, and I felt guilty for putting hardships on my family. In the end, however, I wouldn't have done anything differently. Almost two years later, I am ninety-five pounds lighter and totally feel like I've taken me back.
In January 2012, I was given an opportunity to spend ten days in Costa Rica. It was, in two words, LIFE CHANGING! I went into the rainforest just a tired mom of three but I came back to my life with renewed spirit and a positive outlook on everything around me.
The little non-sense dramas didn't bother me. The over analyzing of trivial problems were brushed off. The jumping on bandwagons to criticize others were pointed out as such. The importance of family and loving one another was more important to me than ever before. But besides all that, which is wonderfully awesome, I also realized in full force how my absence was difficult on my brood and my husband. Stress was transparent. But this jungle I emerged from helped me to see that even in the trials my family faces with my absence I can find good. Meaning, I am a much needed, intricate piece to this little world I call my own.
Slowly I put my home and my people back in order. And my life fell into a routine which included sending my peeps off to their workplace and learning institutes, as I was left behind to clean, cook, dog walk and organize once more. Welcome to the world of motherhood and wife of one. Glamorous ain't it?!
That said, my renewed spirit carried me far. I mothered better. I wifed harder. I valued friendships more often. And, I organized like no other. I looked back at my experience fondly whenever I felt low. Like mini-Costa Rican pick-me-ups. Anytime, my life was rocked by a little unpleasantness I would remind myself of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I was able to experience and remembered what is truly important.
And THEN!!!! Out of the blue and totally unexpected, the opportunity to go to Costa Rica again (at the end of this month) fell into my lap once more. The pieces fell into place in a days time, literally. Getting struck by lighting can happen twice for reals people!!! I am nervous about leaving my family while I trapes back into the rainforest, I cannot lie. I know it's stressful on my man and the normal routine of the my kidlets is rocked. That said, I won't be gone as long this time and my mother-in-law kindly agreed to stay with the fam to ensure the place isn't burnt down. Her being here also ensures Mr. Hawthorne's work schedule won't be effected. I'm crossing my fingers everything goes smoothly for everyone here in my absences.
I will miss them much but I firmly believe this is a good thing for all involved. I do. I feel much guilt for leaving, again. But I know the good it does for us all far outweighs the tough.