- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.TapQ9hQj.dpuf gap creek gourmet: Mother and Wife. The Other Option.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Mother and Wife. The Other Option.

When I quit my job in November as the executive director of a nonprofit community arts organization that I started two and a half years before, I had the next phase of my life planned out. I would write. I would start throwing pots again. I would reclaim my creative self that had been obsorbed by a borage of work related tasks.

I immediately got back into the studio. There was a glimmer of inspiration on the first day: the smell of clay, the feeling of slip on my fingers, but it quickly faded and the glimmer had turned to toil by the second day at the wheel. The inspiration I expected from the wet clay moving under my hands just wasn't there. I gave it a couple of unempassioned weeks then cleaned the clay from my hands and tools and went home.

When I was a sophomore at Winthrop U one of my professors asked a class full of mostly girls what we wanted to be when we grew up. I told him I wanted to be an educated stay at home mom. This memory came to me unexpectedly as I was relaying the story of my professional journey to my friend Carla (ex-intern) over coffee at Starbucks. She would be graduating from college in May and had no idea what her next step would be. "I wanted to stay at home and take care of my family," I told her. "He told me, in front of the entire class, that I was looking at the world through Rose Colored Glasses." To that classroom full of two-generations-removed-from-the-women's-liberation-movement hopefuls, I must have sounded like a crazy woman. Indeed. Apprently, my goals shifted shortly after I walked out of that classroom.

I finished college in '97, got married, and spent almost ten years testing out careers. I laid out my timeline of careers to Carla as she listened intently: human resources, advertising, massage therapy, E.D. I was hoping to be able to give her some insite. Some tidbit of inspiring advice that would send her away from our meeting with a shining beam of inspiration for her future. But the bottom line of our conversation, to the shock of both of us, was that it might be okay to oneday aspire to be very thing we held dear about our grandmothers: they were good at being stay at home mom's and good wives... good grandmothers. Why, in this great big world of options, isn't that on the list anymore for a college educated woman? Why can't the post-college work world just be a tiny step to obtaining the bigger goal?

I was in the middle of making my bed last week when I realized that I was completely still. I didn't know what that felt like until it happened. I didn't have a "mission" for the day. I didn't have a grand endeover or looming deadline. I made my way from room to room putting my home back together... made beds, stacked magazines, put books on shelves, washed dishes and put them away, arranged stuffed animals on my daughter's bed. I never expected to find peace in the mondane tasks of home. It is amazingly meditative. I've actually found that in the stillness I've been able to start writing again. For months I'd sit at the computer and nothing would come. When my daughter and husband come home, now, I fix their dinner, give my daughter a bath, read her books and put her to bed. And each and every moment I am present and involved. This is a big change from my working outside the home life, when we all worked hard, even after we got home, to somewhat keep our house together. Before, my mind was constantly milling over press releases and grants that needed to be written. Emails that needed to be sent out after I put Sierra to bed. I would put my head on the pillow each night without fulling connecting with my husband or child. Now, my husband and I sit together and talk when he gets home. The household is taken care of, so we are all free to spend time together... to connect with each other and our daughter.

I can't tell you what I'll be doing in the next five years. I haven't been able to prodict where I would land from one step of my life to the next, but I can say this. If the only thing I ever occomplished from here on out was to be a good mother and wife, I'd be satisfied with that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Nic, wonderfully written - and a good choice for you and your family it seems ! Happy Easter !!!
Love, Svenja