AUTHOR: Marty, a.k.a. canape TITLE: Everything else can wait DATE: 2/11/2009 12:31:00 PM ----- BODY:
Last week I found myself at a monthly gathering of women. It's mostly social, but the women on the invitation list are all very politically and community minded. I haven't been since I quit my job as director of a local non-profit. For some reason, I decided it was time to go back last week.

I baked my brownies to take, prepared dinner, and made sure that Kevin had everything he needed for Little Bird and himself before I left. Kevin was going to feed and bathe Bird and then I would be home to nurse and rock him to sleep.

When I arrived, I found the friend who I knew would be there. Getting to catch up with her for a few minutes was the deciding factor in my attendance in the first place. However, I didn't want to monopolize her entire evening, so after catching up for a few minutes, we moved on to join some other conversations.

After the common pleasantries regarding the wine, the food, and the view from the amazing downtown condo, the next question was always, "What do you do?"

I would answer, "I have a one year old. I stay at home with him."

Crickets chirping.

Chirp.

Chirp.

Chirp.

It is just the conversation stopper I had heard it would be.

Looking back on it, I could have said, "I'm a musician," or even "I'm a writer." Both are true, even if they aren't full-time work for me right now.

But the truth is, I do stay at home with my son. I am a mother first, and everything else comes after that. It was my natural reaction to answer that what I did was to be a mama.

The conversations didn't stop long. I was perfectly fine asking them about their jobs, talking about the economy, and even slipping back into conversations about the grants process and the state of arts funding in our community with a city councilwoman. Talking about what I used to do came naturally, and fit in with the evening, so I did it.

I don't want to only talk about what I used to do though, and on the way home, I thought it might be time for me to think about getting back into non-profit work. Maybe look into doing a little lobbying. I got excited driving home with possibilities of working for the community once again playing through my head.

As I walked through the front door, I had my mouth open, about to call out for Kevin. Before I could get a sound out, He came running on tiptoe down the stairs. Without the baby.

"Shhhhhhhhhh!" he said. "I've just gotten him to sleep."

All of the swirling thoughts that were spinning in my head dropped like anvils, and I started to cry. No rocking. No nursing. No Mama. He just went to sleep without me for the first time.

I realized right then that there was no job I could do that would be more important to me than being here for all the little things. Nothing that I could accomplish out there that would make me feel more fulfilled than to spend as much time with my son as possible right here.

Everything else can wait.

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Banteringblonde DATE:Wednesday, February 11, 2009 at 2:36:00 PM EST Absolutely! I have similar thoughts every now and then but in the end I always realize that I am so blessed to be "at home" with my kiddos! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous wildwesthome DATE:Thursday, February 12, 2009 at 10:10:00 AM EST There's a great quote, "No success can compensate for failure in the home" and it's so true! Home comes first. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous toddlerplanet DATE:Thursday, February 12, 2009 at 10:13:00 AM EST This makes me proud of you.

Of course, I was proud of your other work too ... but this? This is great. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous FishyGirl DATE:Thursday, February 12, 2009 at 2:24:00 PM EST I'll have thoughts of other things from time to time, usually after I've had a craptastic day with my kids, the things I gave up to be here with them, and then, like you, something else will happen, the little one will put his hand on my face and move it to his for a kiss, or my oldest will ask for my involvement in a story she's writing, or I will hold a child in my arms and instead I will think how lucky I am that I get to be here. Great post. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Beautifully Unique DATE:Thursday, February 12, 2009 at 11:12:00 PM EST There is no better job in the world than being a mom! There is no place I'd rather be than home, raising my children. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous @sweetbabboo DATE:Friday, February 13, 2009 at 10:52:00 AM EST Marty,

Thank you for the beautiful reminder as to why I stay home with my little guy. The feminist in me wants to get out there and make a difference all the while remaining super mom at home, but then what left of me at home probably wouldn't be worth getting.

When I was teaching I would tell myself that I'm doing this now for other people's kids but that once I had a baby, he would be my priority. I forget that sometimes but you helped remind me.

Christopher is a VERY lucky boy having you for a mom. I'm a very lucky woman having you for a friend. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Becki DATE:Friday, February 13, 2009 at 11:50:00 PM EST I hear ya! Raising the next generation is the most important job.

And besides that? Why can't women just support each other instead of demanding a resume before they'll indulge in a conversation. Seriously, chicks.

BTW - I gave you an award on my blog :) ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Clifford DATE:Monday, February 16, 2009 at 12:52:00 AM EST *rowlf* There's enough cheese here to fuel all the bbq nachos at Vaught-Doublewide this year. We. Need. Testosterone!

Aside from that, I double-checked your LinkedIn profile. You are a DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS. Esquire. If only we could all have that kind of cred. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Bubblewench DATE:Wednesday, February 18, 2009 at 9:27:00 AM EST Great post. Very sweet. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Susie DATE:Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 8:30:00 PM EST Thank you. This was the perfect day to read this - to be reminded of how I feel when I'm not stuck on all the other hard things. Thank you, thank you. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Smalltowngirl DATE:Tuesday, February 24, 2009 at 5:53:00 PM EST What a great post- love your perspective...I am a SAHM and am so thankful this is what I do right now....doesn't mean I sometimes wish I could do more- but right now this is what works for our family and I would not change it!!!! ----- --------