The new semester is here, and the year has begun anew. I have not submitted any writing for some time now due to several factors. The two most influential were the craziness of finals, and the lack of wanting to share. I have found myself struggling with what I want to write, and what I wish to keep an internal dialog just for myself. In the past month, most of what I have on my mind is only for myself and my family. It is important always to remember the permanence of the written word. Especially in the age of internet sharing, nothing committed to the internet can truly be withdrawn. I have to be sure that what I share is something I want to, or even can put out for general consumption. I am not saying that I consider my readership to vast by any means, only that I am aware that hitting the publish button means releasing my writing to anyone who may come across it.
In the past month, what has weighed the most heavily on my mind is my role as a mother. I have wanted to be a mom since before I can clearly remember. There was never a time in my life where I didn’t want to have a family and raise my own children. It has been a stressful and emotional time to make a commitment that pulls me so fully away from home. I have a deep desire these days to be two places at once, and no amount of logic surrounding the necessity for my time away, or the relatively short time my schooling with take compared to the time in my life changes the ache to be home. I feel it’s important to note that I have never been a stay at home mom. Our finances have never allowed that to be an option. I was however, a part-time evening worker. I was home every morning, and around for almost everything. Switching to the day time hours and committing to work that takes me away for more than 50 hours a week has put a big upheaval into our routines to say the least.
I can hear the difference it has made in the tone of my son’s voice when he cries out for me when I am in my room finishing necessary home work. I see it in my daughters face when she explains what I have missed in her day. It cuts me like a knife. So why do I stay?
Why have I made these decisions?
The reasons I have arrived in the place in my life have not changed. I still WANT to be here.
I still believe that I am doing the right thing. I am going to be a very good nurse. I really feel this to be true. Also, I have had some hard days, but that also means we have become stronger as a family. The small daily sacrifices are adding up, but still, they offer us some good. My children are learning from me work ethic, and dedication, and the importance of education, even if they will not realize these lessons until they themselves are adults. I want to be able to look them in the eye and tell them that following dreams is not just for fairy tales. That is a gift that I can give them. I am still a happier person than I was because I am doing work that is meaningful and fulling to me. I am a better wife and mother because I put more focus and purpose into the time that I DO set aside for my family. I am truly present when I am there. When ever it is possible, (which is to say most of the time) I only do school work on campus. So when I come home and set down my back pack, I am mommy again, and my little ones are the only job I have. I may not be home as much as I like, but still I am succeeding at being a student, and keeping my role as wife and mother.
The balance is not easy, but it is doable. My greatest comfort is in a support group on campus just for parents. On days I feel I can’t keep up, I see them along side me getting by just like me. I see them succeeding, graduating, adding children to their family, and human just like me. To them, I’d like to offer a thanks. I have many things to be thankful for. I hope that you have much to be thankful for as well.
So, in this new year, this new beginning, what are you working on? I am working on being a better at saying no to commitments outside of my schooling and family life. I am working on staying positive and being present when I am home. I am focusing on gratitude. It’s a new dawn,it’s a new day, and I like it.