real talk

Everything the Light Touches, a metaphor by Lauren DeMarco

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You know that scene from the Lion King when Mufasa shows Simba his future kingdom? There is “everything the light touches”, but then there are those “dark shadowy places”.

I think of this scene as a metaphor, when I look back at my childhood, I don’t remember all of the small details, it’s more of a glowing joy over the whole thing, with just a few “dark shadowy places” representing what I considered harder times. I think part of my job as a parent is to do my best to make their childhood mostly glowing with the fewest “dark shadowy places” as possible.

When we got home last night from this little festival, I morphed into the i’ve-had-a-long-week-at-work troll, was selfish and irritable and impatient. I lost a few nice hours with my babies because I couldn’t fully morph back. And when it’s over I get sad and scared and mad. I don’t want these times to collect and become “dark shadowy places” that they remember. But also, I can only do my best. I can apologize to them when that happens, it’s good for them to see me as a human who makes mistakes.

We wake up, God willing, and get to try again the next day.

When you look back on your own childhood, do you think those “dark shadowy” spots came from these types of things? Am I crazy for processing things this way?

Working Mother Truth--First day back to work by Lauren DeMarco

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How is this for some truth:

I 100% need to work because raising children costs dollars. I can’t live in a safe town AND have my husband home on holidays AND shop at Target for Christmas decorations to make our home feel more magical AND have health insurance AND go to DisneyWorld once every couple years AND buy shit at the craft store to make homemade birthday gifts with my children for their friend’s birthdays if I don’t have dollars.

My children do not need a mother who is impatient with them because she is so exhausted from resisting that which she can not control and that which gives her the dollars, every weekday, for 8 hours, times eternity. Seriously.

And I earned this job. By making tough choices and real sacrifices. And now, I can barely accept, let alone embrace this role as a nurse because I am arrogant enough to think that my presence alone is enough for my children? Ego check, Lauren, just breathing air in the same room as your child because it hurts too much to be away from them is not enough. They need to be taught about sacrifice by example because it’s a part of life that we cannot hide behind these tiny squares. Every single thing in life costs something else. Every woman who stays home with their children is sacrificing something painful to do so.

As much as I want to believe it’s not my choice, I am consciously deciding to sacrifice 40 hours away to make real dollars and to secure a pension for our future because in my personal case I am privileged enough to have my own, healthy, also amazing example of a woman for children, mother to care for my kids during the day.

Accepting and embracing my “though-is-doesn’t-feel-like-much-of-a-choice” painful choice has been deep down in my psyche making me feel like I am pulling a sliding a scale away from being a quality mother but just the opposite. Accepting and embracing my choices shows my kids how to accept, embrace, & OWN their choices, no matter how others may perceive them.

I will need to come up with a little, 1 sentence mantra to remember this truth during the hours away from them, when the pain feels too sharp. I choose to give that energy them not to the pain