An Apology and a Lesson Learned

Posted on | July 20, 2011 | 8 Comments

Earlier today, I posted about “Working woes.” And one of my favorite readers/commenters/twitter friends made an off-hand comment that it was part of being a grown-up…. and ohmigosh did that rub me the wrong way. When I first read it, I was all “what-EVER.”

But I kept coming back to that comment.

I kept reading it over and over.

And I realized that the reason it bothered me so much was …

it was true.

Hell, I’d love nothing more than to play with my son every time I feel like playing with him. I’d also love to have a spotless house, cleaned by someone else, and awesome, healthy dinners every night cooked by… someone else. I’d love a personal trainer and a size two body. I’d love a husband and a baby on the way. There are a lot of things I’d love to have… and if I want them, I have to … ahem… WORK for them.

Because what it boils down to is this: I am not a child, I have a child. I am not carefree, I am care-full. When I was a little girl, the world was ahead of me. I planned and plotted. I tried this and that. I signed up for trips I never went on and jobs I quit after a few bad weeks or months… or even days. I jumped from ballet to soccer to basketball. I did whatever I wanted, pretty much whenever I wanted to do it. And I was fortunate to have parents who made that possible for me. Yes, my mother was at home. Yes, she was there when I came home from school to listen to my stories. But at the same time, my father was working his tail off to pay for all of the camps and instruments and lessons and jerseys. My father was coming home late, bringing work alongside, and still trying to find time to do something more than just breathe on the weekends. Someone was out there working hard to pay for the things I carelessly threw away.

And in my life today, I am that person for J.

I am the parent working to pay for the roof over his head and the food in his belly.

I am the parent who has to put what I want on the back burner because it is more important to me that I provide for the wants and needs of my child.

If I want to be there for him, if I want to be the mother he deserves, that includes getting up off my tired, selfish butt and saying “I am a grown up.” I AM a grown up. And to sit at home and snuggle with my child might be fun and he might short term want me there, but long term? Long term, sitting home with my son is, in my situation, merely selfish.

Of course I want to be with my child. What kind of mother would I be if I didn’t want to spend every minute of every day soaking up the sweetness that is my adorable, blond-headed cherub? But if I want to be a PARENT… not just the woman who birthed this miracle… then I have to make the tough calls. I have to make the tough decisions. I have to make… the money.

And so to R’s Mom, let me apologize for my knee jerk reaction. I have a lot of growing up to do and you are so very correct. Being a grown up, being a good parent, means making the RIGHT decision.

And unfortunately? Unfortunately, the right decision is not always the one that positions you at home on the sofa, snuggled up to your sleeping son.

Comments

8 Responses to “An Apology and a Lesson Learned”

  1. Cindy
    July 21st, 2011 @ 12:31 am

    Boy can I relate to this post. Sometimes I get very tired of being the grownup..I wonder when is someone going to take care of me…then I put on my big girl panties and get back to work….

  2. R's Mom
    July 21st, 2011 @ 9:33 am

    O my gosh! No apology necessary!

    I still feel so bad that my comment rubbed you the wrong way. Because I really didn’t mean it in the sense of “buck up camper — you’re a grown up” (which is how it must of come across). In my head, when I was writing it, it sounded more like “I empathize with you because I have to go to work too and would like to stay at home when my son is sick and and have had to make that heart-wrenching choice and having to do grown-uppy things sucks!” One of those prime examples of when the written word can be taken way out of context without face-to-face interaction.

    So, I guess I’m glad you got something positive out of my comment! :0) But at the same time, I did not mean anything rude by it at all!! I felt sort of trollish when I realized I upset you.

    Hugs!

  3. Tara@DoTheseKidsMakeMeLookCrazy
    July 21st, 2011 @ 9:48 am

    You’re an awesome grown up.

    Know that.

    And part of being that is knowing that it sucks sometimes.

    If it didn’t suck sometimes, you’re probably not doing it right.

  4. KLZ
    July 21st, 2011 @ 10:51 am

    I.

    Don’t.

    WANT.

    to!!!!!

  5. Law Momma
    July 21st, 2011 @ 10:53 am

    I know.

    I KNOW.

    It’s not nearly as fun.

  6. Laurie
    July 21st, 2011 @ 11:02 am

    I know we all have to be grown ups but I think, as women, it’s in our genetic make-up to nurture our children. Hanging out with them all day is what most of us were programmed to do.

    Life gets in the way of us doing that at times, but don’t feel guilty for having mommy feelings! It’s all good and suppose to be like that!

    You are doing a great job with all you have to do! Keep it up and know everything you are feeling is completely normal!

  7. MamaBHive
    July 21st, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

    I dunno you all – I think there is another option.
    If you decide that being home is the most important thing, then you organize your life to live that way. I personally couldn’t handle living that way – I like my THINGS. But my sister did it. Does it.
    Single mom, two kids. A year and a half apart! She chose to bring in less money to be there more for her kids. She lives VERY frugally.

  8. Maggie
    July 21st, 2011 @ 9:49 pm

    Yes, unfortunately, I’ve found since becoming a grown up that it often sucks a lot more than I thought it would when I was a kid. Making good decisions and doing hard things and going to work every day, bleh.

    On the other hand, I just had ice cream for dinner. So, I guess there is that…

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