Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Total Truth Tuesday: A Domestic Fairy Tale

I was looking around my house tonight and realized I'm living a life I had never dreamed I would. When you're a kid, you dream about fantastic adventures in far off lands. You dream about the fulfilling work you'll do changing the world. You dream about a glamorous and exciting life.

You do not dream of playrooms overflowing into your hall or of doing laundry and dishes and cleaning bathrooms at 1:30 am. You don't dream about dirty sippy cups and crayon scribbles on walls. You don't dream about the inevitable clutter of a busy life.

But, it wouldn't be so bad if you did. Because, I must say, despite it's decidedly unglamorous nature this is an incredibly fulfilling life. It is not the jet-set life of a writer I had envisioned for myself and some people who used to know me think I've settled for less or taken an easier path. But, this is anything but easy and I can't help but think when I look into my childrens' eyes that this is by no means settling for less. (Though, I'll admit, before I had my kids I would have felt that way about others in this position.)

I don't think I am noble or righteous for choosing motherhood. I don't think women who pursue a career are less admirable than those who pursue a family. I think this is the right choice for me. And I think women have the right (and the responsibility) to determine what a fairy tale is on their terms. I guess right now, for me, my fairy tale is chasing preschoolers around and stepping on discarded toys on my way to the kitchen. And I fully intend to cherish every minute of it.

Is your "fairy tale" different than you had pictured it? How has your idea of success and happiness changed since starting a family?

This post was originally published March 10, 2008.


Anonymous said...

Yep! What you said. I totally agree.

Your twitter talks about rain + pouring; hoping it's just occasional showers at this point.


inhousetranscription at yahoo dot com

Fiona said...

Well...my life is not that different from what I'd imagined. I didn't envision living *here*, but I knew I'd go somewhere and that there was no predicting where. I didn't imagine my son, but I knew I wanted a baby and I was open to whatever we got.

I'm right there with you on the fulfillment angle, though. I feel pretty good about what I'm doing, both professionally and as a mother. It's domestic, but that doesn't make it meaningless for me.

And my work (I'm a historian) probably makes me feel *better* about home, since I sense the legions of other women behind me, cleaning bathrooms at 1:30am, minding children and tending homes and otherwise gluing life together. I find their company congenial.