Motherhood in May / Part 1
The Motherhood in May series meets the How to be a Bad Mom series.
In the early days of teaching Rubina her colors we would play the “color game” and one day, this transpired:
Me: What color are your boots?
What color is the box?
What color is mommy?
(I was going for brown…this exchange was posted on social media and hashtagged #makeupfail.)
When I started writing the blog, the book, and working on the documentary almost 2 years ago, I was at my desk or on my phone far more often than had been typical around here. Rubina hated it. She dealt with it but she hated it. I didn’t love it either. For the first time since becoming a mom I was balancing motherhood and work; it was stressful and I felt tugged and pulled in so many directions, but it had to be done. My daughter spent much of her time playing on the floor, directly behind my desk or in an awkward embrace in which I was part hugging her, part typing.
Rubina has had the luxury (as some would call it, although she may not) of having me home with her. Since her birth, I’ve given her my (mostly) undivided attention. And then came the blog…and the documentary…and the book…and the speaking engagements…and the article writing…
Suddenly, Rubina had competition. These days I am still on my phone or sitting at my desk much more frequently than she’d like. I can be distracted and busy. Recently, she said this to me… “Today your face is always blue from the reflection on your phone! Put that down; I need you to look at my face!”.
Apparently, blue is the new orange.
Once we got through the “it isn’t okay for you to talk to me that way” portion, we moved on to discuss my need to better balance work and the opportunity for her to practice patience. It was a tough moment for me, though. Children are the the best mirrors; if you’re looking for an accurate depiction, that is.
Overall, it’s been good for Ruby to entertain herself and get lost in play land while I’m unable to entertain her every whim. She’s got a wild imagination and plays so well on her own. However, I find myself constantly in search of a balance in which I’m fully engaged as her momma and in demonstrating good work ethic and a passionate drive to fulfill my other dreams. I, personally, deem mothering her as the most important work I’ll ever do. She is my full time job and I’m thankful I’ve been given the title of Ruby’s mom. I’m also thankful for the titles writer and speaker. Being Kevin’s wife and Rubina’s mom are the two greatest purposes I’ll fulfill in my life. I do have purpose beyond those two roles, though. I want to show my daughter that with diligence and commitment you can fulfill the many purposes for which you are created.
I’m constantly in awe of the working mothers who are able to live a balanced life. While it isn’t possible all of the time, the strive is where we get points…
Its important to me that my daughter feels like a top priority. It’s also important to me that she understands life is about balance, sacrifice, and hard work. I had to share my mom a lot growing up. She often acted as everyone’s mom. She played a motherly role to many of my friends through every phase of my life; elementary school, high school, college, and beyond. Sometimes I was jealous or annoyed when anything (or anyone) took her away from me, but I can now see that as one of the additional purposes she fulfilled beyond the walls of our home. After she passed away I received countless cards, emails, and texts from friends who said they considered my mom as their own or as an addition to their own mom.
There is life beyond potty training, mac and cheese vs. organic veggies for lunch, learning the alphabet, and whether or not our husbands have clean underwear. There is life beyond deadlines, paperwork, emails, and paychecks, too.
When you work, work hard and well. When you mother, be present and engaged. When you wife, be encouraging and passionate. There isn’t really a choice in doing it all. It all must be done.
The beauty isn’t in perfecting balance. The beauty is in the strive for balance.
I’m going to start by striving for a better balance in my shade of foundation…
Motherhood in May