Friday, March 7, 2014

A conversation in the park.

Yesterday we tried to interject some fun into a long day of appointments.  After taking Amaliya to the dentist and receiving an excellent report on the state of her teeth, we stopped by the park to let her run around and bury herself in woodchips.

It always feels strange to take a day off of work and do normal things, like shop or take my kid to the park.  I feel like an anthropologist, studying everyone around me, imagining what life would be like for me if I wasn't sitting in a cubicle all day long.  Swinging in the park with my daughter is extremely special to me because I rarely have the opportunity to do it. I want to celebrate, because it feels like a holiday whenever I spend a weekday morning with my family. Then I look around and realize that for most of the people at the park, this is just another day. This isn't a break from life; this IS their life. Moms who stay home, or work part time, and aren't chained to a desk from 8-5. A group I envy, yet don't envy, and whether I'm envious or not doesn't matter at all because I am excluded from this select group anyway.

I chatted with another woman pushing her little girl on the swings, who invited me to join her mom's group. I was excited- she was nice, and I'd love the opportunity to have Amaliya interact with other kids while I enjoy some down time with friends. "Do you meet up on weekends?" I asked her. She was apologetic and told me no, they rarely do anything on the weekends, because that is the only time they get for themselves or to spend time with their partners.  "Of course," I said, "that makes perfect sense."  And it does.

I need a better balance.  I will always be juggling the need to make money with the need to be with my family, the need to nurture my friendships with the need to pursue my own creative or athletic interests.  It is a struggle, but even though I may feel isolated sometimes from the greater community of mothers, at least I know that I am never struggling alone.  We're all in the trenches, doing our best every day to keep all of our balls in the air.  In the meantime, I am grateful for those few and far between days where I can play hooky, cast off responsibility, and spend time outside giggling with my girl.  

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