I had an interesting conversation with my daughter yesterday. We were all discussing things the kids wanted to do when they were older (i.e. professions). This daughter lives and breathes the idea of motherhood. She is very nurturing and has dreamed of being a mother ever since I can remember. She also wants to be an artist and a "famous singer" when she grows up. :-)
So, last night she says, "I think I'll have an office in my house where I can just go in there for like an hour every day." I told her whether she works on music and art for money or just as a hobby, she could still do that. I then said, "I used to do that...shut myself in a room downstairs to do stuff." She asked why I don't do that now and I told her it was because I just had a baby. Always the perceptive one she responded, "But you didn't do that even before you had the baby." I told her that I preferred reading more, I guess. Her response? "Oh! I hope I don't get like that when I'm older!"
Now, I could've gone into a panic fit that my daughter doesn't want to be like me. Or I could have gone into a depression that I don't have an "out of home outlet." Or I could have felt like a total loser because I don't have any hobbies other than reading. But I didn't. Because I konw it's not really true. Still, this morning I found myself going over that conversation in my mind over and over again. First of all, thinking about how early the autonomy between mother and daughter begins! I think most women want to but don't want to be like their mothers in one way or another.
My second thought has been that yes, I did just have a baby (and pregnancy is not a project-doing time for me) and so, for almost a year taking care of the home and reading has been pretty much what I've done. I'm okay with that. Really. I have found much more JOY in being "just" a mom than any other time in my life as a mother and it has felt really, really good! So, I will not apologize to my daughter for dedicating my time to being in the home taking care of them & enriching my mind.
My third thought was that maybe I do need to better show the kids (daughters especially) that I do have hobbies and talents. I have them. I use them sporadically. I'm a big proponent of mothers having outside interests. What are some of mine? Card making. Playing board games. Going out with my husband (does that count?). Social time with friends. Reading and more reading! Writing (this blog, journals, poetry, notes to friends). The Piano. Sign language. Hiking/walking in nature. I love those things. I don't do them "for an hour each day shut in my office" but I do them, and enjoy them.
Right now, though, I can say that I'm perfectly happy with how I use my time these days. I'm happy being in the home. I'm happy being "just a mom." And I'm happy that my daughter doesn't want to be exactly like me! (who would!?) :-)
p.s. i'm now going to clean "my space" in the laundry room so I can get back to using those talents on a more regular basis! :-)