4.13.2017

Musings on being a working mom, fitting into boxes, etc.

As I pray, I feel the urge to write. I feel the nudge to write.

I came here to write, and ended up reading my last published post about a dream in which I was accepted and loved, felt like myself and was torn between journalism and American Studies. That was in October 2015. Now, it's April 2017 and I have a 10-month old daughter. Things are very different now, but they are also eerily the same. I feel like I could've had that dream last night and it would be just as relevant. Reading that dream was just what I needed to realize I'm right where I'm supposed to be.

I have been such a misfit lately. I'm thinking of going to see a therapist, and I was daydreaming today about what I would say. And I realized the thing I would say is, I just don't feel like I fit into a box, and I wish I did.

I love being a mom. A stay-at-home-mom even. I love the slow life. I love sewing and baking. I want to live on a farm and sheer my own goats to weave my own cloth. I want to spend hours outdoors with my children in a magical fairy forest. But I've never felt like that was all I wanted to do. So it's hard for me to relate to stay-at-home-moms who insist that the best thing they can do for the world is to raise their kids. And I still haven't found a group of moms who aren't actually just spending time getting plastic surgery, arranging playdates and gossiping. That's simplifying things too much but this is a box I don't feel I fit in.

I've also always been ambitious. I've always wanted more than motherhood in my list of life accomplishments. I want to make big change or be recognized for something big. And it's not just the recognition. I like being out in the world. I want to work. I like studying and making money and having my hand in people's life that I am not related to or don't live next to. But I don't feel like I fit in that world, either. I'm too Mormon, too soft and sensitive, too much like a baby seal, as my last therapist told me.

I don't know why I want to fit in one of those boxes, but I do. And not only for others. I want to be in a box for myself, too.

In the Fall I'm going to law school at the S.J. Quinney School of Law at the University of Utah. I'm excited beyond measure! I know it's going to be tough but I can't imagine myself NOT enjoying reading case law and learning how these systems work. At the same time, I am already remorseful over future moments I will miss with Hazel. I'm not worried about missing too many "firsts" or milestones. It's more like this: In the time I have spent as a SAHM, maybe once or twice a day, Hazel and I share moments. When I get a laugh out of her by completing some ridiculous and difficult feat of silliness, like crawling around like a maniac or running around the sides of the bed to bend over and then pop up to say "Peek-A-Boo!" Or when I understand something she is trying to communicate to me without any words, and I'm able to accomplish it for her. Or even just a moment of eye contact when I know she can see me for who I truly am. She sees me more than anyone in this world. It's those minutes that I know will be lost, because the sheer cut-down of time spent together statistically reduces their occurrence.

There are a few moms I follow on Instagram and who I know in person who say raising kids is the happiest and loveliest time that they wouldn't trade for anything in the world. These types of comments bother me because I wonder if I should feel that way. Of course, I have those moments like I described above when I do feel that way. But I am going to law school. And after that I'm going to work to pay off my loans. And after that I'm going to try to do something meaningful in the community, outside my home. And I'm going to try to make a lot of money doing it. It's something I've felt moved to do. And reading that dream I had in October 2015--it's all the more obvious that this has been something a long time coming. And I believe it comes from God. But I made him promise me that if I go to law school, he will provide a way for me to still have those moments with my little Hazel bird.

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