Donna Reed

Monday, 26 March 2012

The Picture of Motherhood

I want to be Donna Reed. Well, kind of.
Today, while sitting out back at our picnic table discussing work with Sarah, my colleague, in the sunshine (hey, that counts as working from home) something occurred to me.  I do love my job, and I love working in general, but I really wish I could devote more time to doing the things I feel I should be doing as a wife and mother.
Now don’t worry. It isn’t time to call the men in white coats for me… not yet, at least. You will not find me on my hands and knees scrubbing the skirting boards anytime soon.
Sarah said something that made me really think about my priorities. She was impressed with my greenhouse and seedlings, so I invited her to come blackberry picking (when the time comes) and to make jam afterwards. She then told me I was the perfect picture of wife/mother because I bake and make jams and sew dresses for Scarlett and read bedtime stories to Hunter. Funny, but I still worry that I don’t do enough.
I’m not sure who’s standards I am trying to live up to, but I do think I fall a little short of my own. I worry about work mainly because it gives me a place in the grown-up world. I’m not saying stay-at-home moms don’t have a place, but I tend to place a great deal (probably too much) importance on professional achievements. This is what drives me to work so damn hard. Often at the expense of my personal life.
I have been better since the New Year about carving out time for my family and myself outside of work, but I still have a long way to go. The dream, of course, is to become an established, published author so that I can set my own hours and work around the little things I like to do for my family, like baking cupcakes and knitting scarves for them.
So what is standing in my way? What is taking up all of my time? First off, this damn degree I am chasing. The good news, though, is that I only have 3 classes to go and one ends in June. Unfortunately, there really is no way to speed that up and I really do need to finish it.
My coaching certainly used to suck up all of my time, but I have gotten really in the habit of delegating tasks and I seem to be cutting back on that. Coaching is tricky, though. It is a mountain of stress all year and I spend a good deal of time wishing I could give it up, but then there are many moments of absolute bliss, as well. Like when one of my athletes finally gets a skill they’ve been working on for ages, or this last summer’s competition when we came home with three 1st places and one 2nd. And for the record, I did give it up from the time I was 7 months pregnant with Hunter to when he was 6 months old and I really did miss it. I felt lost.
Work, while perhaps the biggest time-suck of all, is obviously not something I can get rid of, but I think without the added university assignments and cheer paperwork, I would still have my evenings. I just wish I had more flexibility in my days.
I want to have fresh-baked cookies waiting when the kids come home from school. I want to keep the house clean enough to not need an hour’s notice if a friend wants to drop by. I want to plan Easter egg hunts in our backyard and host neighborhood bbq's.
I just want time to be a bit more Donna Reed-y.

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