Friday, January 6, 2012

Fulfillment - A Journey

For many years in my life I've asked myself the question "What's it all about?  This thing we call life? Day in.  Day out.  What's the purpose of it all?"

No one ever seemed had an best friend and I would discuss this subject at lengths as teenagers through to our 20's. We went over scenerios, things we could do, give away, give up, places to go.  To find...what?  Ourselves?  The meaning of life?

It was always fun to an angsty way.

Now, more than ever, there are thousands of books, hundreds of movies, too many television shows that are about the angst of the living...the human yearning, wondering what this so-called life is all about.

Mother's that leave their children.  Searching for something else.

Father's that leave their families.  Searching for someone else.

Scenes of a Mother standing at the sink, washing dishes, a desolate look on her face, far away eyes, a listlessness to her body.

I was always terrified of having this feeling after having children.  Of the feeling of never feeling fulfilled.

There seemed to be such cynicism surrounding the Stay-At-Home Mother role. Yet I knew it was where I was meant to be.

At home, raising my children.

After a brief stint back at work when Adrian was 11 months to 18 months it was time for me to call it quits.  I missed him too much.  I felt like I was missing so much...and I was due in a couple of months with his brother...or sister.  I wanted to soak up every bit of him that I could before our life would, again, change as we knew it.

As much as I can be a fatalist, I am just as much an idealist.

Just as any first mother dreams, I had this romantic fantasy of what being a Mother would bring me.

Morning's lazing in bed with our baby, playing peek-a-boo and this little piggy, plane rides and tickle games, with beatific smiles on our faces as the sun shone upon us through a picturesque window.

I was in for a shock when we brought our beautiful baby boy home. Of-course.  I remember us looking down at him in his car seat, minutes after we walked into our small 2 bedroom apartment, looking down at him asleep (finally) and feeling the same way though not voicing what we were feeling.  "What now?  What the hell now?"

I think all new parents feel that impact, that jolt...those tremors of the world as you once knew it, shaken to its very core.

And then we had another sweet boy.  Wow.  My world shook like it never had.  The beginning was SO DAMN HARD.  I can't tell you how hard it felt unless you've been through it yourself.

But in time those tremors subsided and with the lessening of them came waves of relief...sometimes minutes at a time, hours at a time.  Days, where I would say to myself, "Yes, I did it.  We made it.  I'm doing okay.  We are doing okay."

There have been moments lately when I've asked myself, "Why am I satisfied when it seems like so many Mother's are unhappy?  Why do I feel content in this role? Fulfilled?  Should I want more?  Should I want to be more? Is there something wrong with me?"

I've finally come to the conclusion that I should feel lucky that I feel this way.  Satisfied and happy with my life, raising my children, being home with them, watching them grow, keeping the house clean, organized, cooking dinner, baking with my children, teaching them everything from their ABC's to manners to how be a good person.

This career I call Motherhood?  Is kind of a big deal.  We are raising human beings...human beings that will grow into adults, make friends, become wives, husbands, have children of their own.  And these people they meet, love and grow will have an impact on their's and so on goes the chain of events.

Of life.

Though there are still moments when I become frustrated, exasperated and stretched beyond all limits I know with a fierce profoundness, that this place in my life, where I reside  right now, is exactly where I need, where I must, where I want more than anything to be.

I've finally found my answer.

This is what MY life is all about.

Living and loving presently in each moment.  Moments that will never get given to you again.

Cherish your life.  LIVE it.  LOVE it.


Anonymous said...

Hey January,
Very beautifully written! And SO very very true! I've learned (or should say I am learning)that life isn't about a destination that we race to reach but it's about enjoying the journey & we need to apprechiate every minute of every day of it! And you're right motherhood is the BIGGEST deal! I mean, you're only shaping our nations future. :) Nate informed me the other day that he wants to be the Prime Minister! (What 5 year old even knows what that is??? I guess one who has done lots of door-to-door canvassing during elections with his mom, hey?!?! *S*)
LOVE your blog... So real it feels like you're in my head or a fly on the wall watching my life! Thanks for all the smiles & sometimes outright belly laughs it's provides!

Ellen said...

Very profound. How fortunate that you've had the epiphany early in your career as a mother. I was in my 50's before I reached: "This is where I'm supposed to be and this is what I'm supposed to be doing". It required adopting a life philosophy of "Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and always do the right thing....and be grateful, ever so grateful, for all the wonderful people that are in our life."

Ado said...

You so perfectly described the rainbow of feelings I had right when I came home from the hospital w. Fi - "What now? What the HELL now??" and all the idealism tinged with the cynicism. But I know it's where I want to be. That said, I really stopped judging my friends who really do not want to stay at home because their fulfillment is thru a balance of work and parenting. Anyway - a great post, as usual.

January Dawn said...

Exactly Ado - fulfillment is completely different from one person to the next. I place no judgement on anyone for their choices of whether they stay at home, work at home or work away from their home.

January Dawn said...

And Robin - thank you for your awesome comment. So happy you read my blog.

@Mom...I must've gotten my wisdom somehow, somewhere. ;) Thank you for always being open with me about many things. You've taught me many life lessons already. Intentionally and not so intentionally. I love you.