It is funny how differently we see ourselves from how others do. How the image we have of something is completely different from the mirrors and from the image others hold of us.
I am way thinner in my head. I am stronger in the heads of my friends and capable of anything in the eyes of my kids.
I often feel less as a stay at home mom in this world of working. I work hard. I chose this life. I would choose it again. I love being there for my kids. I love that the idea of me being there or taking care of whatever, right then, is ingrained in my kids - mom can fix it - that the entire family never questions it. I love that my youngest want to be just like me. I love having the flexibility to go to random school events during the day or take day an just there for a friend. I love that our lives allow me to be present in such a full way in all these relationships.
But sometimes, like when a conversation is all about the wonderful/terrible things going on at work, I feel excluded from the world. I can relate. I remember that world - I held my last job for almost nine years - I know what it is like to do business well, to live in the cube-world and all the dramas and joys of it. But really, my stories are old and nostalgic, not fresh and frustrating. I am removed from all of this, left out.
And sometimes, like when a friend asks 'so you just have the house all to yourself all day?' or says something about being just a mom. I hover between guilty and envy. You dress up and go somewhere and have adult things to say and a schedule to keep. You make money in a capitalistic society. You... a thousand things I imply about your life.
We would not have more if I was working, we would have less. Less of me for my family. Less activities for the kids. Less chances to go camping, because the weather was good on Wednesday and I can get everything for the weekend and we can just go. Maybe we would be able to buy more, or save more, or I would have stories, but my choices were the right ones for us.
Sometimes, I think of myself as a list of things. Who I am as a list of associations and things I do. I've sold my crafts for a few years now, mostly sporadically, a business that is part hobby, part outlet, part dream. Imagine the start I got when at the bank the other day - Beaver got a job and needed a different account to have his checks deposited into - and they list me a working woman, owning my own company. I do. It is correct, but it is not how I think of myself.
Maybe I should. I am all of those thing, maybe I should give myself credit for being all of them. Maybe I should be easier on myself. And Just maybe I should enjoy it all more.