Yesterday my friend, Emily, sent me a link to a blog she has been reading. It is called Momastery (after monastery) and I immediately fell in love with this writer and her blog. She is hilarious, witty and real. I, like many others, am drawn to people who are real and honest, and maybe in addition to that, people who see (and bring out) the humor in daily life. I laughed so hard reading one of her posts called "911" that I actually had tears in my eyes and I read another post that brought tears to my eyes for an entirely different reason.
One of the posts I read was a beautifully written, heartfelt piece called "Don't Carpe Diem" and it received over 2000 responses from readers. It spread across the internet like wildfire and from what I read, her words were well received. If you haven't read it, in a nutshell (a much less eloquently put one) she writes about people, namely older women, who look at her with her three young children and tell her she should enjoy every moment with them because time flies. Receiving this advice, she often feels guilty because in reality she doesn't enjoy every single moment with her children. She described two types of time, chronos (the slow moving less enjoyable time that makes up most of her days) and kairos (those moments with God, the moments when she really notices how beautiful her children are, etc.). These moments are short, but there are many of these brief moments each day and she ended her post by saying "Carpe a couple of kairoses a day."
It wasn't until I got home and thought about it that I became sort of bothered. Not overly so, but just a little. I still LOVE what she had to say and agree. When I hear carpe diem from anyone at any time I think, "Well, drat, the last time I did that was on this morning's run and then I forgot for the next 8+ hours I was at work."
But here's the thing. I plan to be a mom one day and I do not have delusions that it is going to be all roses, soft, sweet babies, and sunshine. I know there is teething, crying, colic, endless dirty diapers, lack of sleep etc etc etc (moms post it ALL on facebook so I get a full picture). And then they become toddlers and there is another set and then they become tweens and have another set and so on and so on... But as someone who looks forward to being a parent, I WANT to believe that it is better than what I am doing now.
For now I am a working non-mom and I do not always enjoy my job. I print endless copies of seemingly meaningless pieces of paper, I deal with countless engineers who don't pay attention or read instructions, I deal with co-workers who sometimes get on my nerves, I sit in a dark room and record instructors talking about things I'm not interested in and when I work over 8 hours I am not always given that time back. And I get really tired of my phone ringing. I'd rather spend more time running, reading good books, walking in the woods, writing, maintaining a clean and orderly household, and running my new little coaching business. But right now, this job is something I'm doing. And I know for a fact that I do not carpe diem when I am there. I get through it.
Still, I do get a paycheck. And despite how my co-workers sometimes get on my nerves, I love them all and enjoy their company. I am glad I know them and I believe my life has been enriched by theirs. The engineers who don't read instructions are very grateful and kind when I help them with their classes, and it always feels nice to help. I like having a schedule so I get up every morning and run because I know I will need to go to work for 8 hours. I feel that having that time spoken for makes me more disciplined with my free time than I otherwise might be. And my office is really nice and the toilets in the bathrooms flush automatically.
All of that... the good parts and the bad parts, that is LIFE. It is just plain life. Life has good parts and life has bad parts. Life is hard and life is wonderful. (I like how the Momastery writer calls it "brutiful" which is brutal and beautiful.) We have an amazing God who stands by our side through it all and in Him is where my hope lies. Most days. And while I think parenting is WAY more important than my little job, sometimes I just want to say that (especially when the things they are complaining about sound so lovely to me).
Now, I'm not bashing moms who reach out to other moms and share their wild and woolly stories of child raising. I talk to my friends and family about the woes of my job. I tell Jason and Jason tells me and then we feel better because we've been heard and someone understands how we feel. And I'm 100% positive I will join the masses of moms and have plenty to say about the challenges I face when raising amazing little people to be amazing bigger people.
But in the meantime, just let me believe. As I sit in my office printing and pushing paper around and putting numbers into a computer that makes my eyes hurt after 8 hours, let me believe that I will like being a mom better. Let me look forward to it. Let me approach it with more hope and excitement and less fear and trepidation. I know I am the one in control of my thoughts and feelings, but I'd be lying if I did not admit that all of these posts and facebook statuses get to me once in a while and I wonder WHO in their right mind would have a kid after reading that. And I really don't think that's a mom's intent when she puts her woes into writing.
What I believe is that being a mom will be tough and new and challenging, and there will be days I want to take a leave of absence, just like I feel about work sometimes (or a lot of times if I'm honest). But here's the other part. I believe being a mom will be MUCH more rewarding and...dare I say it... fun than pushing paper around, answering phones, and dealing with people I don't want to deal with all day long 5 days a week, countless weeks a year. And I REALLY hope that on those rough days when I am a mom, I will remember how I feel now. I really can't imagine wishing for this life over that one, but I've never had that one so I don't really know... But for now...I want to BELIEVE.
And despite all the "woe-is-me" moms, I know a ton of other moms who LOVE what they do. My sister is one. She's the reason I was brave enough to take a good look at motherhood in the first place. My friend Shannon is one. She gets her run and her workout on while being an awesome mom. My friend Emily inspires me by all she fits into a day and how she makes it all work. All of my running girls amaze, encourage and inspire me by who they are and how they raise and love their children. And the author of the Momastery is another. For her it is real and challenging and wonderful and hopefully as hilarious as she makes it sound.
So I guess all of those women would be the basis for my belief that motherhood, whenever it should come, will be an amazingly challenging and wonderful adventure.