Tunnel Vision


As I round the third base corner of my 37th year and start my head-first slide toward my 38th birthday (three months from today in case you're wondering), I am certain of a few self-truths, including:

:: I can't go a day without reading something.

:: I'd rather wear five extra pounds on my frame than totally swear off sugar, especially sugar contained in chocolate.

:: I am a multi-tasking FAIL.

That last one isn't totally true; when it comes to the mom-type stuff, the making-dinner-with-one-hand-tying-a-kids-cleats-with-my-other-hand-thinking-up-a-mental-grocery-list-and-remembering-to-toss-the-wet-clothes-in-the-dryer kind of stuff, I actually kind of rock.

That's what ten years of motherhood does to you: you either sink or swim.

Plan, or be overwhelmed. 

After ten years doing the stay-at-home mom gig, the only truth I know about motherhood is that it wasn't until I gave up on trying to be the perfect fill-in-the-blank (mom, wife, daughter, friend, volunteer, employee) and just aimed for good enough that I finally found a measure of inner peace.

But here's the thing: I also discovered that when it comes to the big goals in my life, I do best when I focus on one thing at a time.

Being a mom who made a commitment to being at home with her kids until they were all school age has been by far the biggest, most daunting, and self-sacrificing goal I have ever set for myself in my life.

I didn't grow up dreaming of marriage and a family; I had career aspirations, a desire to travel (which, given Knute's different jobs in the Navy and the corporate world has actually been partially fulfilled), and no real desire to get married before thirty or so.

Then I met Knute after my first year of college. 

And I knew.

{Thankfully, so did he; both of us did right from the start. This would be a mighty awkward post otherwise.  ;-) }

Suddenly, marriage and a family weren't vague ideas somewhere in my foggy future; they were real possibilities, and they were really important to me because Knute was real, and he was really important to me.

Had we found ourselves living near family when we started our family, maybe I would have tried to find a way to balance working part time while raising kids.

Maybe...but I'll never know. 

It doesn't really matter now; I am glad I had the choice to stay home with my kids, glad I did stay at home with my kids... and not because I loved every minute of it.

{I didn't - I mean, come on.  I had a 2 or 3  year old underfoot for almost six consecutive years - who loves enduring years of temper tantrums and timeouts?!}

I'm glad I did it because with all my flaws, all my mistakes, all my Mommy Meltdown Moments spent crying in the laundry room of one house or another, all the worry and ice-cold, wild-eyed fear that seizes you when your child is in a hospital bed, with all the days that blurred from day to night to day again, punctuated only by a fresh round of vomit-laden sheets to wash and dry, it was worth it.

They were worth it.

I'm glad I was able to spend the last ten years focusing on bringing them up and getting them ready to take on the world.

Tunnel vision isn't such a bad thing after all.