Teaching and learning. I find I’m constantly doing both as we raise our children. And so are we all -it’s a full-time, non-stop learning academy, this life.
Approaching 40, I am learning two lessons in greater more meaningful depths.
One, that everything takes time. That’s a hard one in our instant gratification first world filled with ease and accommodation. I am not a patient person to begin with, so learning the life lesson that everything is a process and growth and change occur incrementally -one step at a time on a long journey- has been rather revolutionary.
The second, that what matters most is what’s closest to home.
Our legacy lives under our roof.
Rocking my baby to sleep at naptime, I found myself daydreaming about an acting submission I recently sent out. It was for a QVC host position. I’ve always wanted to host a show -perhaps someday I will. I began imagining all that would be involved in doing so -the social media presence, the polish to my persona, putting the job at a top priority for my schedule and life. I thought about how “important” and fancy that’d be to friends and acquaintances -“I’m on TV, folks. People know me.”
I thought about all the no’s I’d have to say to my children. I thought about how me getting a full-time job would mean someone else would be raising my children. I thought about how that was, in my previous mentality, totally acceptable and the mindset of the majority of the women I dealt with and knew. Work, then family. The kids are fine with a nanny; the kids are fine in daycare; the kids are fine in school and then after-school programs; the kids are fine only being parented on the weekends -and then, only partially.
Absolutely and unequivocally NO.
I finally understood my sister (mother of 6, stay-at-home domestic goddess and everybody’s favorite person to be around.) She always knew that the greatest, most important job she could ever have was being mother. The saying, “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world” is more true than I ever knew. And it’s not just the mothering part. It’s the being a strong woman behind a strong man part. Being a stellar wife and mother -the greatest and most impactful jobs I could possible have.
And the most rewarding.
Every day I get to mother and I get to focus on my husband and family truly is a gift. After 8 years of being the provider and always feeling like I was missing the mark as a wife and mother, I am so grateful for the chance to spend my energy not just managing my household, but nurturing it.
The best strategy for a successful life is to, every day, remember what really matters and use your energy to advancing that.
For me, it’s my family. A year ago I probably wouldn’t have said that, in all honesty. I would have said “my business.” I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to be a mother and wife, and do both with all my heart.