Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Obeying Bonnie

Bonnie says it's time for a new post here. She's right, but my creative energy is at an ebb right now. I mentioned the big Grandma party event at the end of May. And then there was a novel I finished writing. And then busyness with work. And then hosting a church lunch for 100 or more people. Plus the regular madness of three sporty kids. And new work contracts.

I go back and forth between loving my life for its diversity and flexibility and interestingness and being flat out exhausted by it.

My sister always says that it's all about expectations. I think of that comment often. What are my expectations for this stage of life? For myself?

Last week, I compared myself to Barack Obama and commented that Mr. President has far more on his plate than I do. My friend's reply was to ask me what the differences were between BO and me. Well, I said, he's black. And male. I meant to be funny, but really there is something to that latter distinction. And, she added, he has staff. Also true.

This is, in some ways, the most challenging stage of parenting so far for me. Because the kids are big enough that I can do my own thing, work-wise or otherwise, a lot of the time. However, their independence (and mine) is also somewhat illusory: they still need a mom available a lot of the time. When they absorbed nearly my full attention, I was happy to give it to them. Now, I feel a push and pull between my work and my parenting. And I attempt to do both well. Earlier this month, when things really were crazy (see first paragraph above), I kept saying to myself, with exasperation, "Oh, and I'm trying to finish writing a novel too!" Like it was a little thing.

I'm trying to be kinder to myself with my expectations - and yet, not to expect the glass of wine in the backyard every evening. That stage will come and I will miss these exuberant puppies.

There, Bonnie. There you are. Or there I am.

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