Well it is 6:00 AM and I am sitting in my kitchen having the first coffee of the day. This is the time in the morning that I am most grateful for because it gives me some time to myself (sometimes). Lately, I have been thinking a lot about my life…. meaning MY LIFE, not my kids lives, not my husbands, but my life and what I have accomplished. Truthfully the last ten years is a blur as I am sure it is for most Moms I know. It is the time in which I bore three kids, continued to work part time, tried to be mindful about my health, sold a house, bought a house, renovated a house, etc. Sometimes, I think of this period of time as “ The Lost Decade ”. You are probably thinking what does that mean?
Here is my definition. The Lost Decade – A period of approximately ten years in which you start and typically finish your family. It is a time where you have lost yourself in the shuffle of life. You have feelings of inadequacy in everything you do. Not knowing if you should become the better parent, the better worker, the better wife, the better school volunteer, etc. Possibly giving up your career or downgrading it, along with your health, your freedom, and your lifestyle. Because heck, you just can’t do it all!
Even though when you start this journey you are thinking no sweat, I will just pop out that kid and life will go on. Oh it sure does, but very differently than you had imagined. For some people this decade starts at 25 and for others it starts at 40. In any which way you look at it, once you make the decision to have children, you are also simultaneously making the decision to sacrifice yourself. Although you usually don’t realize how much until you are in it! Boy this blog is starting to be an ad for birth control. We often laugh in our office which is a mix of Moms and young women, that we (The Moms) need to adjust our conversations to protect the virgin ears of the soon to be Moms, so that we don’t scare the begeezus out of them. BTW, there is a moral to all this and I am slowly getting to it, so be patient.
Back to the sitting in the kitchen. So this morning as I write this to you and think about the last ten years and how I can now reflect, because my kids are now 6, 8 and 11. I am thankfully starting to see the light and regain my sense of self. I get dressed in the morning and actually put on makeup and wear accessories, I workout a few times a week, I go to work (all be it still part time), I make more time for friends and my hubby and I are trying to do more date nights. Life is getting back to “normal” in between carpool, birthday parties, school and camp applications, play date schedules, meal planning, food shopping and whatever else we somehow fit into our days. I am beginning to be less bitter about the decade I feel has been lost. The mediocrity that I am always feeling is the “new normal”. I also realize that as I feel a lack in confidence in all that I do, it doesn’t seem to show up in the eyes of my kids. Not only are they growing into strong confident young people, they are HAPPY! Why, because they have a Mom that is not to shabby on most days, and although I may have lost a little of myself in the last ten years I gained mountains of joy in three little faces. What made me come to this epiphany is the gestures of kindness that I see emulate from my kids to each other and others on a daily basis. They all have a strong sense of self, family and community. They hug and kiss one another before bed, they look out for each other at school, and they love to just hang out. When someone asks them, what do you want to be when you grow up; one of my daughters says a “doctor” the other one says “a MOM”. Then my older one says, “ You know, you can be a Mom and something else, just like Mommy”. And then the younger one says, “oh ya right…I’ll do that!” In those moments, I am so proud because they give me gifts of confidence like this all the time as little reminders that my “lost decade” was not lost after all. It was just redefined to something of greater meaning. So here we go….
The MORAL of this story is ……GET LOST from time to time, because what you will find in the end is always a chest full of treasures all wrapped up in one, two, and three beautiful smiles.
By: An anonymous mummieslist member