It’s like pouring your first glass of wine while watching the rain fall on a warm fall night, while Miles Davis floats about in your dimly-lit living room. It’s like kissing the dewy neck of your baby boy while he doubles over in laughter before bed. It’s like hugging your daughter so tight that you feel her heart beat rapidly above your chest. It’s like hearing your phone ding in your sleep, and having an overwhelming sense that it’s a text from your man- letting you know he’s almost home; your bed is empty and the lingering scent of him on his pillow just won’t suffice. It’s like feeling equal parts accomplished, tired and content after a long day. Such is life right now.
The other day while talking with a friend, in-between one word and the next, she interrupted me to give one sound piece of advice: “You have to pick a lane.” She said it with respect and I took it as such; it stitched itself in me.
“You just have to pick a lane.”
So I did.
Months of going back and forth, answering emails during naps, complaining of sleep deprivation and feeling like I was juggling one too many balls at any given hour, I picked a lane. I’ve focused in. This lane didn’t come easy. Often, I felt guilty about choosing this path, rather than the one that seemed to garner more respect. Who chooses not to be home? See, I never quite understood the position of a working mother. Rather, I never tried to understand her path, and why she chose such. I grew up with a single mother, and though she worked and often instilled an overwhelming sense of independence in my adolescence and early adulthood, I never really asked why. Why did she work? Beyond the need to provide. Did she enjoy it?
Working as a woman, is always assumed to be out of necessity, rather than out of choice. I’ve picked a lane, I’ve chosen to commit myself as a working mother. I’ve chosen to welcome a switch. That switch turns the working me off, and the mama that I hope they adore on. That switch offers my marriage a new-found ease, direction, and space. The switch allows me to be present and loving when I’m there, and productive when I’m not.
To my surprise, my choice wasn’t riddled with guilt. It was accepted in truth, knowing that the choice means more happiness for my family in it’s entirety. Being present is the greatest gift I could give to them and me. The rain has finally stopped, my finger is eager to hit the last key for these words, and my heart is longing to welcome this weekend with my loves. Them and all of me-until a new week arrives, inevitably, calling me for work from B hour to C hour on X day. This is my choice. I’ve picked a lane.
*speaking of work, I did an interview with Design Sponge on the topic. Have a great weekend!