This week I had somebody ask me what I’m doing with my life? I responded ‘Well, I am a mum of four and…’ and just as I was about to finish my sentence this person cut me off. She seemed irritated by my half answer. Suddenly I felt as though I was on the defence.
This lady, who will remain nameless, growls “I know you are a mother, everything about you says ‘mother’, I want to know if ‘Sarah’ still lives in there?’. She even used her quotation fingers! I was stunned at this woman’s attitude. Who did she think she was?
It’s taken a few days to work through this one. I couldn’t understand how another woman, another mother, could ask such a loaded question to another fellow mother? I have however realised that her problem is not actually my issue, but how I respond to her is my responsibility. Her words stung and lingered for a while, but at the end of the day I am comfortable with my/our decisions thus far, and I’m not accountable to her for our lifestyle choices?
What a freeing realisation!
Over the last few months I feel as though I have been morphing into ‘A new me’. I feel as though I’m able to shake off other people’s negativity easier than I used to be able too – not that it happens very often, but I handle it far better these days when it does happen. I think it has something to do with how I see myself these days. I’m no longer ‘Just’ a Mum.
I think its hard to see yourself as anything but ‘just a mum’ when the kids are little. Particularly when your a breastfeeding, house is a mess, and your handbag is full of nappies, dummies, bum cream, wipes, and spare clothes, but when those stages are in the past and your toddler becomes a toilet trained little person rather than ‘the baby’, life seems to even out and its easier to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Theres a change in the dynamic in not only your role as a mum, but also in the household.
Right now I am in the Stay at home parent phase (which isn’t an easy role by the way), I also have personal ambitions that I work on when I have opportunities, but being a stay at home mum right now is a privileged phase because I know many don’t get to have this time with their kids. I also know that as Jaden heads off to school I will see the end to this phase, and the next phase of our lives will start – I will never be ‘just’ a mum. I have come to realise how important it is to just enjoy where your at in life and be present because time just goes far too quickly. If your not present, you’ll miss out on the little things that matter.
Since catching up with my ‘not so dear friend’ at the plaza this week, I have been thinking about the word success, and her question – does Sarah still live here? Just like so many other women I wear many hats. I’m a woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister, niece, aunt and friend. I don’t do all my roles well all of the time, but I will say that I do try. My identity is all about who I am, what I like, what I don’t like, and it also comprises of my qualities – am I honest, loyal, forgiving, patient, kind, humble, fair, happy?
Am I still in there? Yes. I’m just a little time poor, but I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing in my life at this moment in time. Life is short and I don’t want to regret not having this time with my kids. I remember my grandma saying to me years ago ‘Imagine yourself as an old lady. Your children have grown up and they are now busy with their own families. What you have left are your memories of the years that are behind you. How do you want to remember those years? Do you want to regret not having the time with your little ones, or do you want to remember making each moment count?” (Grandma McGarry)