Thursday, March 18, 2010

having it all

"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things only hoped for. "
~Epicurus ~

Before they were born, I used to lay in bed dreaming of my babies.

Motherhood alluded me.

For years I had no babies. Only work.

I sold books. I was the storytime lady. I wore stylish glasses. I went to fancy dinners with famous authors.

I sat demurly in my seat and listened to industry talk. I really wanted to be home bathing tiny bodies and reading to my own. I laid my hands in my lap and focused on the ache of my empty arms. People argued over what children really want these days. Coffee cups were refilled. First editions were signed.

There aren't many fancy dinners these days. Placemats are optional.

My manicures only last a day at the most. I find boogers on my couch and Legos in my shoes.

Sometimes I get to go to out without my children and eat on china and use fabric napkins. Not very often.

But when I go to those dinners, I want to talk about what people really want these days. And I want to be the person signing the first edition. And refill my drink please, because I've got a lot to say.

I really want it all right now.

Motherhood, a successful business, a clean house and trimmed yard. I want time to create. I want time to make dinner for my family. I want time to go to the gym. I want to travel and learn a new language.

Everything. I want it.

And it's a painful realization that I can't have it. Surely I realized this before?

You'd think. But no.

Sometimes I'm very childish.

So it's come down to this.

I can't have it all. Okay.

Can I have it little by little? If I focus on what my heart tells me is most important, can I still have a little of everything else?

And can someone please come over and clean the boogers off my couch?

32 comments: said...

Thank you so much for sharing! I woke up and spoke these same words to my girlfriend today. Just know you are not alone! Have a wonderful day, you just made mine!

lorie said...

Beautiful, April. I so enjoy your blog.

Sharon said...

mmmm...what heartfelt honesty. Believe it or not-I even miss the boogers! Its all part of this life isn't it? Blessings on your day...and your heart.

aprongirl said...

Oh, this brings tears to my eyes. I was once where you are now. My children, I have three, are grown now, but I know exactly how you feel. You have to everything there is a season...and those little ones grow up way to fast. Many times I have wished I could have my children tiny again to hold, snuggle and read to them, but then I think only for a short time, because yes, I am ME, and I have things to do. Enjoy your children!

Jeanette said...

I swear I could have written this post - not as well as you have, but my feelings are the same. One of my favorite quotes is "it's not having what you want, it's wanting what you have" and I have always lived by that credo. Lately, just lately, I feel like I've started to soar and it makes me want to fly higher and further. You can and will have all the things your heart seeks. I will not come and clean the boogers off your coach - my own house is a mess! REALLY liked your post today.

Char said...

You so made me smile! As like Aprongirl, my little blessing are all grown up. She is right,enjoy those little "buggers", they do grow up quickly! You miss those fingerprints, toys all over and endless days of exhaustion. But, don't fear....they come back in the form of grandbabies and you get to enjoy it all over again. I'm still waiting for my time for ME. Smile.....

Molly said...

Oh this post made me miss my brother and sister badly! I remember our outings and spendind Saturday mornings in PJ's and them cuddling with me as babies. They are now 12 and 14 and I wish they could shrink back to being little. But they are so much fun to "hang" with these days!! Glad I was there second mama!!
~Molly P

Haley, Brad, Davin 16, Perry 13, Josie 11, Emmie 6, Brody 3, and Kellen said...

You can do everything you want in life, but you can't do everything at one time - that is why you have a lifetime:)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for what you said. This is the conversation I just had with my little sister. In this moment is what you have.

Anonymous said...

I'm sitting in the Taipei airport waiting to catch a flight home. I know you're asleep right now, but I wanted to tell you how much I love and appreciate you. Since I can't call you, I guess this will have to do. I can't wait to see you.

Tina S said...

Oh, but you CAN have it all...just not all at the same time!

Erika said...

From my view, you DO have it all already.

Wait until your kids are all in school--then you'll have more time to do those things that you want; I know it's been heaven for me and I have been so much happier as a mother. I don't know how mom's who homeschool can do it. I'd seriously go mad. said...

I need to "hear" this today...Thank you! I read through all of the previous comments and now when I hear "mommy hold me, lift me up, carry me" for the 10,000th time this day, I know I am not alone and that I will make it for another day :) I can empathize with you. I'm stayin' at home trying to live all the bits I want to & provide the life I want for my little one too...blessings!

Terri Fisher said...

Boy can I relate! But a wise person told me that this is just a season. I need to enjoy it to its fullest because it will soon be over and another season will be upon me. So I try to remember that every time I hear, "Mommy, read!" or "Mommy, hold me!" Too soon they will be beyond this stage and I will miss it. I don't want to have any regrets. Enjoy the season!

Anonymous said...

WOW this moved me..... I don't have any children and I am all work. I am trying for a child and wake up sometimes at night in a panic worried about all the things that will change. (like no more time for the gym and fancy dinners) This helped me realize what I might be missing is something more amazing then I have ever felt. Thank you!

Michelle Springer said...

Hey you,

As you already know, I learned this the hard way last year. It took me a while to figure this out too. This year has been a year of priortization for me, and the realization that family comes first before work. Hope you are well. On a completely different note, I LOVE your butterfly necklace. Me wanty one! Will be in touch to place my order!

sinnlighet said...

Your blog ..... it's amazing and soooo inspiring. Nice to find you!

A small footprint from Agneta & Sweden

Ps. I have an ongoing jewelry contest on my blog. Welcome! Ds

tuscanycastlegirl said...

beautifully written....
love your post today ~
my children are 13, 11, and 9.... and boy, do I know what you mean.

I believe we do have it stages...when we're "ready"... Just as Tina S. said, above.

Thank You for your well-thought words!

( have a clean house too? that would be something....)

Julie Bonner said...

I am so glad I blog-hopped tonight & found this - isn't it funny how someone else in this big wide world can be thinking exactly what you are - thanks for putting it in writing :)

suep said...

lovely entry.
i am totally with you.

i thought i knew what motherhood was, but i didnt.

its a secret club. and no one tells you about it until the babe is out.
and you ask every female afterwards "why didnt you tell me about that!?" and they say "I couldn't, you wouldn't have believed me anyway".
its true. i wouldnt have believed.

sometimes, all i want is a clean house for 24 hours.

later i will. for now its a messy home.


Jen said...

meh, boogers'll dry up fall onto floor where they'll eventually get swept away. Thanks for the wonderful post. It's relieving to read that other people feel exactly the same way I do about exactly the things I think maybe I should not feel exactly how you do about. ;)

Karen said...

You really can't (I don't think) have it ALL. But you can have most of it if you learn to let go of some. Personally I have mostly let go of properly folded clothes. My 10 and 11 year olds are terrible folders but its way better than the wads of clothing that my husband used to create and leave for me to find. I take help whever I can and I close my eyes when needed. Good luck to you.

phyllis said...

Ah being a mother. It's such a joy and mess of conflicted emotions. You can have most of it, just not all at once and the things you once wanted so much - a few hours of time alone, a neat house, get here very quickly. My 3 are 21, 21 and 17. It really does go by quickly, but I couldn't see that when dealing with 3 preschoolers. I am so glad we've outgrown boogers on the sofa. You'll make it.

Cindy at LottieBird said...

boogers. snicker.
Funny how I feel exactly the same as you, but I am in a different stage in my life.

But some days I know that I have it all. I hope you have days when you know that, too.

(think about the snuggles you will miss when they are older--that helped me--and now they don't snuggle so much. sigh)

Gina said...

Am I dreaming? Because I decided to check my google reader before slipping into bed and it says that you have a new baby boy, but the post isn't on your blog. Hmmm...well, I'm first going to tell you that your post made me cry. I am so very happy for you and your family (if this is in fact not a dream, mine or yours)! I immediately thought of the story you told a while back about seeing the woman with two babies in the store and feeling that it was somehow your destiny. You were right!!! God bless you all.

sheetal patel said...

I'm with Gina, read the other post in google reader, but don't see it hear. so beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes. i hope you are enjoying the new addition to your family

Laura said...

Please send the booger guy to my house next. Thanks.

Cindy at LottieBird said...

I had to reread what you said in your next (last?) post about feeling like you have come home when you met your newest son. That is one of the most beautiful sentences written. I have not felt that in your circumstance, but I have in other ways and will tuck your phrase in my back pocket to remember the coming home feeling.

I guess God told your heart what was most important right now, didn't He?

Warm and loving happiness sent your way from Atlanta. I hope we meet someday.

Laura said...

havent been here for a long time
and I am SHOCKED at your life and all that has gone on
and I am crying
and I love this post
and I am linking this, I hope that is OK
and yes, I am all over the place
because that is how I feel lately
and I have been crying a lot
for no reason I think
or maybe for a lot of reasons
who knows
but THIS
this post
says it all

I never should have strayed...
thanks for bringing me on home..

Lee Vandeman said...

Laura sent me. Yep right above me here in the comment section. I love her. And I also love this post.

The quote at the beginning says it all. It is perfection.

I have also struggled. But I never yearned for babies in my arms before I had them. But when I work, I yearn for them now. All three of my babies.And when I am at home, I yearn for work.

I want it all.

I never do this because I'm generally not into it, but I wrote this post not so long ago that speaks to this that I thought I would share. Forgive me for providing the link:

I am glad to have found you.


fiona said...

What a beautiful post. I am so glad I found you via 'Piece of Cake'. I am totally with you and would love one day to walk into a clean perfect house. That time will come though...we just need patience.

Jennifer said...

I could live here in your thoughts and trust that I'm right where I am suppossed to be but my heart gets fogged up with the to do list and places and fame I haven't met yet and then it comes to you your 16 year old is lying on your bed with you discussing the friend you lost through cancer and how sad it makes you and she comforts you and that is when the world stops and it's all enough. so thank you.