11 August 2010

I'm a Mom and it's Okay.

Lately I've been reading a blog called "Get Rich Slowly," because let's face it: Who doesn't want to get rich? One of the things I really like about that blog is that it doesn't focus on riches in the traditional sense of gobs of cash, to be spent on hot pink leopard print stilettos and golden handbags. Richness is living a life where you don't have to worry about money for things like food and housing. The blog focuses on freedom from debt, personal finance, and uncluttered sustainable living.

GRS notes that to widen the gap between expenses and income it is often easier to increase income than it is to decrease expenses. This is especially true for Alex and me because we are already pretty frugal. So I keep thinking things like, "I should start an Etsy shop. Maybe I should find some freelance work online. I should sell our junk on eBay and Craigslist." I read about Sarah Agnes Prine (a fictional character), who ran her ranch, raised her kids, and had a soap business often all by herself, and thought, "I am a capable woman. I should be able to juggle my children as well as some extra work that could bring income for us with no problem. I don't even have to shoot outlaws in the meantime. What is wrong with me?"

Alex had an opportunity to do some extra work, and he didn't want it or take it. But I wanted it. I knew I would be good at it. It involved bossing other people around. I love bossing people around. I do it all day! It involved analysis. I love analyzing. I analyze things all day! I thought about the job a lot. I thought about how nice it would be to have extra money (all that fabric!), but every time I thought about it, I had this annoying sinking feeling. I knew that I just have to be a mom right now. Just a mom. And that's okay.

Maybe my kids will wear handed down clothes until they are old enough to get a job and buy their own. But while they are running around in those clothes, I will get to watch them. I will get to tickle them until they can't breathe. I will get to ignore them while I write sentimental blog posts. I will have the privilege of baking bread for them in the winter. They will run happily into the kitchen, and I'll pretend it's because they love me and not the hot bread. I will get to gently remove their tiny fingers from their siblings' throats, and lovingly place them in time-outs. And even though Mom is not a lucrative position that enables us to retire early, I will love it. Even if sometimes loving Motherhood is an act of will.

14 comments:

msjvd said...

Oh.

What a lovely essay.

Oh.

Jesse said...

I love this. Thank you for writing it.

Melissa said...

Jen i can completely relate. i was actually thinking about this just the other day. i'd too would much rather be poor in worldly standards and stay home with my kids. even though it is rough some days :D

amy said...

It's true! Ain't it grand?

Kimi said...

So nicely put!

The Lemmon's said...

Thanks. Well said, and glad to know others feel the same way. It's a great feeling to hear one's own thoughts written by someone else. Brings comfort and validation even without a conversation.

Tigger said...

With continual practice, I am getting pretty good at lovingly removing my older sons hands from my younger sons throat. Then, I lovingly put them in timeout. Good to know other people can. . . lovingly do this too!

Great writings thank you!

Marie Says Yes said...

an act of will. yep! loved that!

The Rookie said...

Beautiful, beautiful post. Trite and cliche, perhaps, but I really believe that you and so many others are doing the most important work there is to be done in this world.

Pots and Pins said...

I hope you print out your post and stick it in your kid's baby books for them to read later on...being "just a mom" is like saying a million bucks is just money. It is, but just think of what you could do with that! And your kids having you as "just their mom" is like them having a million bucks...lucky you, lucky them. xo, Nan

Saddie said...

Not the most lucrative choice, to be sure, but the most glorious in the long run. So here's wishing you good luck in all your maternal pursuits.

Tink said...

Thanks for that! I really needed to hear that. Because I have been thinking along the same lines lately. Thanks for letting me know it's ok to just be a Mom and love it!

Cory Reese said...

This. Is. True.

I'm a firm believer that some things are worth more than money and nice clothes (like time with family. And DEFINITELY fresh-baked bread).

angela michelle said...

I always kind of like it when someone admits that you can't just frugal your way to riches and that sometimes you just need more money. I recently saw a money-saving segment on Oprah (Oprah! Talking about being frugal! Gag me!) and the people had a $600/month department store bill. So yes, they could cut expenses. I myself don't have that kind of low-hanging fruit.

I'm glad you're reconciled to being "just" a mom. I think you'll be grateful, especially with three kids.