Today, while driving my new-to-me van for the first time and marveling at all the space, I was struck by the realization that I truly have everything I ever wanted. Today. I have it.
When I was younger I never would have dreamed that I’d want to be a full-time van-driving mother of three children under age 4, but here it is. It’s happening. I have become someone I never would have noticed before. Sometimes it hits me out of nowhere how blessed I am to simply be able to honestly say that I am happy.
I have a full life. A good life. But you know, a lot of people have everything I have and MORE and they are still not happy. You can be surrounded by bright and shiny things, but in order to be happy you have to notice and appreciate what you have been blessed with.
The people are what make life good.
Without my people, I would have nothing. I would have no reason to rush around in the morning to make sure they are fed, nothing to motivate me to keep the laundry under control or the house in order. No reason to try to keep myself healthy and strong so I can keep going. I would have no reason to think of anything other than ME. No reason to give. No reason to serve. No reason to live.
I spend a lot of time chasing after my 18-month-old (he likes to race into the bathroom and turn on the hot water faucet in the bath tub when I’m not looking … PLEASE PRAY FOR ME), and yelling at my 4-year-old (for doing things like waiting for me to chase his brother into the bathroom so he can find my scissors and cut things into tiny pieces), and feeling stressed out because I can’t seem to stay on top of my insane life.
But when I’m quiet, and I take the time to feel my third child thump-thump-thumping in my very tired womb … it hits me. My life, my children — it’s almost too much. We have nothing and we have everything. Isn’t it funny how life works.
Maison is the Cajun term for “house,” which is as close to the word “home” I could find through my friend Google. I haven’t talked much about how happy I am to be home this Christmas. Where else can you find a Blue Dog interpretation in the pediatrician’s office?! Totally made my day.
Moving back home to Baton Rouge was the best decision Husband and I could have made. There have been sacrifices, yes. This wasn’t something that was simple for us to do. We have a home back in Alabama that is now going through foreclosure, so that lets you know the kind of situation we’re in. But it was a good decision for us nonetheless, and being here during the holidays has been so much fun. Sometimes I feel like it still hasn’t sunk in that we are HERE, we really do LIVE here … there is still a novelty that hasn’t worn off.
I had forgotten about the culture, the way of life, the ease of the people here. There is a sense of neighborliness that I haven’t found in other places. We just fit here, in the mugginess that never leaves ... with the people who don‘t care what you’re wearing or who you know. Everyone here just wants to enjoy life. WE want to enjoy life. So there it is.
This Christmas for us means jazz music, shopping with my mother (a rarity before now!), leaving the kids with a grandparent so Husband and I can get holiday errands done, catching Mardi Gras beads at a Christmas parade, and watching lit-up alligators pull Santa’s sleigh instead of reindeer.
It means bananas foster lattes, OB’s named Dr. Boudreaux, and a family that’s growing. This year, despite all of our challenges, we are very, very BLESSED.
Sometimes I forget why I’m doing this. The stay-at-home thing, that is. It’s easy to get sidetracked by the bills that are stacking up … you know you can pay them, it’s just that you’ll be stuck eating Great Value food for another two weeks. Life happens. Things break. Little problems seem like big problems because you don’t have the money to handle them immediately. You have to wait. You have to plan. You have to be patient. You have to set aside whatever you might want.
Sometimes I get bitter. I forget. I get tired of being patient. I get bogged down by the constant demands of my family and the housework and I forget that I consciously chose this for myself.
I choose this.
Every day. Not because someone enslaved me or circumstances forced me into it, but because I find delight in it. That’s pretty deep. Not many women can say they find DELIGHT in what they do … can they? Although I realize I don’t always sound delightful. Half of the time I’m bitching about something and the other half I’m cackling like a loon or taking pictures of my undergarments cooking me breakfast. I need to post a big sign next to my bed as a reminder, for those times when I feel like my life has become a series of non stop drudgery:
“Hello, Bitchy Face.
You CHOOSE this.
It delights you.
Now stop that whining
and go wipe some asses.”
It really does delight me. I’m not being sarcastic. Yesterday I was close to tears when my little one, TWO, suddenly grabbed my face and (I think?) tried to kiss me, and then giggled like it was the funniest. thing. ever. He is my delight. His brother is my delight. My home and my husband are my delight. I truly have nothing to complain about. But yet, I do complain … because I forget.
I totally believe this is the main reason why some stay-at-home moms become one of the following:
1. Crazy. Not the fun kind.
2. Cold to their husbands.
3. Unhappy in their work.
4. Living through their children.
To my fellow Bitchy Faces, remind yourselves of your value. You are not just a maid and a supplier of food and water. Make yourself a sign, and carry on.
And if your husband randomly decides to take you OUT, meaning, outside of your home after 7 pm, then by all means make the most of it.
DO NOT THROW ON JUST ANY OLD THING.
Bring out the goods. Remind him that you’re not just a mommy — you’re his WIFE. I’m no marriage expert, but I know this: there is power in womanhood.
So to review: make a sign, have sex, be happy, and have a life other than your children. That will be $80, please.