Going from a full-time to part-time working mom has been an enormous shift. One that is reshaping our family and how we do things pretty much on the daily. Big change brings about learning and a fresh perspective. Over the last 8 months I’ve learned quite a bit- not only about myself, but about my children, my husband, and about my expectations for the extra time I would have with my kids. A recent realization prompted me to write one of the more shocking things I’ve come to understand. Something that I hope will give full-time working parents a splash of cold water on the face of guilt they wear each day as they trudge off to work.
Continue reading here.
Beaming in the backseat of the car you gleefully exclaimed that you had finally found something that you “actually like”. We were driving back from your first hip hop dance class and sweat was glistening on your blonde brow.
During the short ride home we bantered about the feeling that comes over the both of us when we dance. More specifically, when the song is really cranked up and you feel it on the outside and the inside. Hearing that you had not only found your “thing” but that we share the very same interest made my own excitement palpable.
We’ve always enjoyed breaking it down together in the kitchen in the privacy of our own home. This was different though. This was an activity you consistently asked to go to, and you were seriously bummed about missing if I didn’t make it home in time from work to take you to a class. I wondered still if it would be a short lived interest and you would move on to something else or lose interest as you had with soccer.
It was almost a year ago when you made this announcement about finding something you really enjoy. You’ve since shared a stage with your best friend, performing in the variety show as a second grader. And now, in just two days, you will be on stage again for your second time ever doing a hip hop routine with your peers. You’re both excited and nervous -you’ve mentioned this now a couple of times. We chat about how it’s normal to feel that way before a performance and that’s what makes it fun. The thrill of going on stage, the lights on you, lots of people watching and the fear mixed in are all part of the territory. I watch you dance at home and in the car and at rehearsals – and you just beam. You go into your own little world and it’s really cool to watch.
When you’re older, I’ll talk to you about this time in our lives. “This time” as in the right now. I want you to know how momentous it was for me to be your mom watching you grow, develop interests, and experience this piece of your personality unfolding. To share a common interest that we both feel so passionately about makes this a true bonding experience for me. I didn’t think it was possible to actually notice bonding. I can’t say that I’ve had any bonding experiences thus far in life quite like this one.
Someday, when my body doesn’t quite work the way it used to, and I can’t dance with you, run with you, or keep up with you the way I do now, I’ll have to think back to this beautiful experience. A shared love of something that allowed us to be a part of something separately but together at the same time. I’ll be so grateful, my heart will be immensely full and I’ll sit back in my wheelchair and wipe a tear from my old wrinkled cheek while reminiscing about the glory days of motherhood and a body that still worked. And then right at that moment, more than likely your dad will dare me to get up out of my wheelchair and twerk… and the sentimental moment will pass.