Readers, I am having one of those days.
One of those days where I feel flat as matzoh (I know that's not the expression, but really, pancakes fluff in a way matzoh does not; hello leavening agents!). One of those days where I wonder if what I'm doing is what I should be doing and/or if it matters in the slightest. One of those days in which "is this what it's all about?" flutters through my mind frequently with a "don't answer that!" following close on its heels.
With about a 90% chance of accuracy, I can probably blame said malaise on some shitty hormones in concert with the 4-day holiday being good but long. Too many early wake-ups/unread everythings/half-finished conversations/too-quickly done whatevers. And, it didn't end today like it was supposed to.
Jack stayed home from camp today, sick with a croupy cough, though his fever has stayed at bay since Friday night. I cooked dinner for the Grands while he took one hour to write/draw a thank you note (it is spectacular but that pace leaves a tad to be desired in the efficiency department, yes?). A little Harry Potter here, some of a new puzzle there, to the Grands', to pick up Ol...I am hoping for a return to regularity tomorrow, but I kinda suspect it'll be Camp Mommy again.
All day I was hounded by a sense of insufficiency. That's not totally right, but it gets at part of what I felt. Here's what I know: I cannot just be Mom; I must, however (because I want to), be a stay-at-home mom. So, how to negotiate this?! And yes, I am fully aware that this is a luxurious, 1%er type of dilemma, but you know what? It's real, and hard, and painful, regardless of who is struggling with it.
I want very much to be the primary person raising my children, but I also want to honor and pursue and stay connected to the woman I have become and now am. I want to model for my children that mothers are multidimensional beings with lives and interests that both evolve from and are completely unrelated to them. Plus, we have friends and spouses and jobs and such. But I digress.
The point is, it's really fucking hard to balance it all and sometimes, I feel like I'm the one getting the short end of the stick despite my very best efforts pretty much all.the.time.
I've written about this dilemma so many times before yet I've never arrived at an answer that is either sufficient or reasonable, not least both. This evening, my constellation of disgruntled queries found focus in a questioning of Em-i-lis. Now approaching its 2½-year anniversary, I love writing it each and every day but it what does it mean, and to whom, and why? Is it a worthy undertaking if the audience is relatively small?
To me it is I think because I receive kind notes of "thanks" and "yes" and "I love what you write" on a regularly regular basis. But I'm not The Pioneer Woman or Smitten Kitchen or any of those other behemoths and I don't know if I could be or would want it.
~~~~ Pause... ~~~~
At precisely that point, Jack started wailing from his room, refused medicine, asked for tea and then had some cockamamie idea about making cookies. I acquiesced, asked him to read me the recipe (as a result we now have a teaspoon more of salt than called for but so be it), and got those puppies in the oven. He doesn't want them anymore.
So now I'm back, cookies all over, knowing that tomorrow will be another Camp Mommy, somewhat dreading the revisit to the pediatricians' office, somewhat inordinately thankful it can be me there with J. And I'm again left hanging in the balance between two often-competing identities of import.