The game plan
When I was about 20, I had it all figured out. I was going to move to New York after college, serve my time as an intern and then land on staff at a popular magazine because of course no one in the city had met girls from Ohio like me. After putting in some years as a staff writer I would move on to an editor position and then start making the big bucks. With the ton of experience and met deadlines in my back pocket I’d then go on to start my own magazine and live the life I’d dreamed. A husband and kids were somewhere in there, but certainly not first. I actually avoided taking guys seriously in college because I was at a selfish place in my life. I had so much work to do. I was going to be an editor. That was the plan.
That of course did not happen. We’ll skip the flawed love story today, but when I look back and think about it, I am glad that I had my daughter when I did. I, not unlike many of my peers with standards rooted in varied women’s studies courses, wanted to wait until I had reached most of my career goals until I settled down and became a happy housewife. But I wonder, as I still wait for the hubs to appear out of thin air, if I would have gotten what I wanted down that path…
As it stands now, my every fiber is dedicated to being a great mother; though, this is not what I had planned to do. Frankly, as the nature of my entries suggest, I am conflicted between doing what serves my ambitions and doing what serves my child’s best quality of life. For instance, I sometimes fantasize about not jamming fifty activities into a day –some for me, some for her– and consider what it would be like to consistently be on time instead of late (not my fault I promise!). I remember one of my coworkers mentioning that she’d only planned one thing to do in a weekend every weekend so that she would have time to rest. I laughed hysterically, and cried a little on the inside as I accepted my situation. If I did one thing in a weekend, I’m pretty sure it would be for the kid and I would personally be unfulfilled. As I write now, I am neglecting preparing dinner and I am anticipating when a little person will knock on my door rightfully asking for food before bedtime.
It boggles my mind to think that there are women who sign up and plan to be single mothers. I have nothing bad to say about any of them I just don’t get it. I would welcome any forms of help. There is a reason it takes two people to make a baby. It is a two-person job to raise a child. Sure, I would like to believe that if I had planned this specific life for myself, had control over it and made the decision in my mind to be a married mother or even a single mother then I would not grit my teeth when I had to make the tough decisions about whose needs come first. But, just the thought of the phrase, ‘planning my life’ makes my eyes roll unconsciously. I believe it is fun to think that we can plan it all out and figure it all out before we let life happen but I have learned time and time again that life just happens.