Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Motherhood: A Blur of Babies (Guest Post by Daleboca)

For the month of May, I'd like to profile or feature guest posts from some of the many inspiring and beautiful mothers in my life. This one here is from my partner in crime at skipriporplay.com, Daleboca. Daleboca is the proud mama of four children: a seven year old girl, five year old boy, and twins (boy and girl) at 14 months.  She is one of the busiest people I know but also has the amazing ability to balance friendship, pursue her passions (film, volunteer work),  keep up with a career as a teacher and tutor, and still go on dates with her husband. Daleboca refuses to lose her identity to motherhood, recognizing both herself and her children as individuals first. You may remember her from an earlier post I did about how she walked the NYC marathon last year with her own mother which I found to be a beautiful accomplishment. Without further ado, I give you Daleboca...

"A Blur Of Babies"
The head of my twin 15-month-old babies’ day care just called me that recently. She meant that I rush in and out of the center and that she never sees me.  I think that for some, however, who do not follow me too closely, I am just that, a blur. I like to think this refers to my rapid moving and not to my deformed silhouette. Sure, I have gained and lost 35 lbs and then 45 lbs and then 40lbs and delivered a baby girl, a boy, and then one of each in the last seven years, but believe it or not, I have done many more things. I refuse to allow motherhood to be the only term that defines me. This overarching and heavy term surely evokes different joys and sacrifices for each individual woman who considers it. I will not condescend nor claim to be any sort of expert just because I am a mother of four.  Everyone has a mother, many become mothers; it does not take any special qualification or prerequisite as we know. The real issue for me is how do you balance being a mother and just a regular person, one who can interact with adults who do not care about your toddler’s potty training, your first grader’s spelling tests, or your son’s karate. I ADORE my children but I also think it best to not be with them all of the time, micromanaging their after school activities, their social lives, and their clothing. I was an individual before I became a mother and I work hard to still be one now. I do not think that motherhood is quantifiable, but I do believe that I may spend more real time with my children than some mothers who do not work do. Let me clarify, when I am not with my children I am teaching other people’s children. I try to be busy when they are but they do plenty without me.

Seven and a half years into this lifelong project I feel like I am on an upswing of the learning curve. It has not always been this way however. Currently my partner in crime (aka their father) and I have the morning down to a science. Unless he is away, we each take two children to school/day care. Our kids eat home cooked meals every night and get read to before bed. Weekends and vacations are 100% family time. When I first became a mother I could not fathom where the hours of the day went. Yes, there is awe and amazement at the miracle of life, of the incredible power of the human body and then there is the fact that caring for a newborn is thankless and exhausting. My first-born, M, arrived on a Thursday. By Saturday we were home, elated, surrounded by family and visitors. Monday came and I was, like Macaulay Culkin, home alone. Four days into the adventure, all of my family members and friends had work, and I had M. The thought of having to keep this baby alive all by myself was daunting. I fretted when she cried, nursed her until we fell asleep, and focused 110% on being her mother. A few weeks and months into this sleep deprived and repetitive life, I realized that I had to go back to work. Not that I felt like I had to, I really had to, so that we could pay our rent. Consumed with guilt at first, my spouse helped me realize that I had to keep my sanity and continue to function in society in order to better perform my duties as a mother. Oh yes, there is that detail as well. Not only do you become obsessed and consumed by your newborn, but you also have to squeeze in your significant other, in this case M’s father, as well as carving out some time for yourself and then of course for your job, maybe some exercise. I digress.

There are women who begin Act II, the Mother Movement  of the piece known as Life, when they enter this phase. Their entire lives stay in the above-mentioned newborn mode, with the child at the center of all endeavors. I do not know how they do it. I tip my hat (to some of them) and it bores me just to think about it. I do not remember ever being idle, or lazy or free, but the more I have to do, the better I function. Pressure, time constraints, many responsibilities and interests, things I need to do, these elements help me feel fulfilled and satisfied while allowing me to better enjoy my time with my children. Sure, there are instances when I fantasize about nobody needing me for 48 hours but the reality is that when I get “away” for a night I miss them and I realize that the psychotic puzzle-like life that we have is exactly what I need. I may run around like a maniac, seem like a blur, but I am grateful to have somewhere to run to that makes me happy, allows me to earn money, feel satisfied. I am privileged enough to have help so that I can pursue most of the activities that I want to pursue and still put all four children to sleep and feed them dinner 95% of the time.

1 comment:

Carmen said...

yes! an amazing mama/person