July 15th, 2014
Today my fourth child, Laila, turns 6. Above is a picture of my four daughters and me at her party this past Sunday. It was an ocean theme and we all wore shades of blue. I'm going to use one of the most common parenting clichés here in a bit, so hold on to your seats.
Where did the time go? It seems like just yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital, and now, in a few weeks she’ll begin school as a first grader. Slow down time, seriously.
Have I been working too hard? Too many nights? How did I notice my gaggle of girls has grown up so much? Well they have. And they’re beautiful. Each their own unique and amazing young lady, a blessing and a joy. Though admittedly, [also], often a headache inducing, blood pressure raising, patience shrinking, voice magnifying, sleep depriving, temper flaring and wine glass raising brood of chicks.
My toddler son is a whole other story. Boys are different. He’s a whole other can of worms. But these beautiful farmer’s daughters of mine are something else. My poor husband shares his castle with four princesses, each with their own proprietary blend of drama, fairytale, and twirly skirts. My husband and I are both self-employed. He on the family farm, and myself on my startup. Neither of us have the luxury of clocking out at 4:30pm. Time does not stand still while we entrepreneurs get our ducks-in-a-row and figure out that mysterious home-work balance.
I’ve seen infographics and read blog posts with fantastic advice and magic steps one can take in order to achieve that balance-nirvana that eludes so many, (myself included), but at least for me, things are rarely in balance, in fact, my scale is more like a tee totter on meth most days. Tilted and skewed one way or the other has become the new norm.
It wears on us. Yes even us, here in the boon-docks capital of New England, surrounded by hay fields and cows. And no, we are not sitting in rocking chairs snacking on Ben & Jerry’s pints in a circle singing a family chorus of kumbaya. (Though we did actually all sing a few verses of “These are a few of my favorite things” from the Sound of Music soundtrack the other night when the power went out and we had ALL FIVE kids in the bed with us. Brittany, my oldest has some pipes!)
I don’t like staying up late working, waking up tired, and losing my temper with my little cherubs. And they don’t like scrounging for snacks because mommy has been too busy to go grocery shopping at anything other than the gas station in who knows how long. (Note: a trip to town for us is at least 25 min drive in either direction, one of the pitfalls of rural life).
When I get weary from answering everything that is mompreneurship, and want to throw in the towel, or lock the door and hide under the covers, I think of the amazing young people in our home, who are growing up with two parents who care about each, their vocation, -who work hard, and don’t expect things will be handed to them.
They the reason I get out of bed every day and keep on going. They may not enjoy mom and dad being busy now, and they may lose out on 7 nights of from-scratch meals, a spotless house, and a dozen other ways we may not necessarily be able to dote on our children with, they are but they are gaining.
They are gaining examples of two people, male and female, who work hard to provide for the family they love and cherish beyond words, they are growing up knowing that accountability and responsibility trump entitlement, that life isn’t always easy or fair or make any sense at all, and that’s a good thing.