“Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.” -C.S. Lewis
I have to remind myself of this often. Especially when many of my close friends are on very different paths, ones that involve successes without children.
As a stay at home mom who didn’t plan to be a stay at home parent, but ended up doing so because of health issues with my child, I sometimes fall trap to the comparison game. I look around seeing others happy at work, using their skills and ambition to fulfill their career goals, gaining experience and experiencing financial gain…
It’s tough as an ambitious person with goals, skills, drive to have to shut off areas of your own growth in order to foster your child’s growth.
I’ve found how important it is though, while you feel all this creative energy spilling over as a result of untapped potential due to your current circumstance, that you remember what you’re doing is as equally important as your friends’ work: the one who is getting his master’s, the one who just accepted her big girl job, the one who graduated with a bachelor’s degree a year ago and has secured an amazing position at a well known hospital, the one who keeps getting promoted, the one who is self employed and living her dream, the one who is deployed and growing daily on her military journey…
Raising your child is just as important a job, and doing so is not keeping you from more important work. So, while sometimes this message may get lost in the mundane daily tasks that include feedings and diaper changes and baths and providing love and every care to another person, you must remember at the end of the day when you’re feeling drained from giving, and unfulfilled from putting your own personal goals aside, that their growth into a person who will change the future is the most important work you will ever do. Someday, when they don’t need you anymore, you will look back and be grateful that you had the opportunity to put your goals aside and help them develop theirs.
So give yourself some credit, and take a breather.
There will be time for that book you want to write.
There will be time for that business you want to start.
There will be time for that degree you want to get.
There will be time for that career you’ve been dreaming of.
But right now, someone is depending on you to help them take the world in their hands and do with it all the things you’re dreaming of. And when you watch them do just that, you will have never felt so fulfilled and you’ll wonder why you ever felt like all you were doing was laundry and dishes and wiping up poop and snot and baby food.
Keep going momma, you’re changing the world one diaper at a time.