I have been thinking a lot about trade-offs recently. Probably because both B and I have been spending so much time working as of late. Of course this also means that we have been precariously dividing and juggling time with the kids. The guilt and conflict has been weighing on me heavily.
And to add to it all, C has begun to verbalize her vision of her future. She has told me multiple times over the past week that she wants to be a scientist, like me, when she grows up. This tickles me to no end. To think that my little girl wants to emulate me is very flattering to my ego, but more than that, I am just so pleased that she does not feel any limitations to her future possibilities. I believe that many little girls in this country and certainly in others, will never have such dreams. She also wants to have 6 kids, just like her Gunki. Good luck with doing both of those things, (I think to myself)!
And then the kicker. She says that someone will have to take care of her kids while she is working “from home” (oh, the niave innocence!). And then she can play with the kids on the weekends, just like me and her father.
When I told my mother this, she could emphathize. Apparently, my sister C also idolized her mother, our mother, when she was about the age of my C. But instead of wanting to work and only see her children on the weekends, she wanted to grow up “to do nothing, just like mom.”
I’m sure that comment stung for my mom, just like C’s did for me.
And to set the record straight, both my mother and my sister have certainly NOT done nothing. I am just a little proof of that for my mother and there are four amazing people who are proof of that for my sister.
So, I think that my guilt is just that – mine. My children know that I love them, feel that I am there for them, but also recognize that I have a life beyond our home. For any mother, her children only know their own reality, and don’t impose society’s judgement on the decisions their parents make. And for this, I am thankful.
There is nothing wrong with C’s dreams for her future or the dreams of my sister many years ago. They are just different.