“Mama?” Kate asks. “Is being a mom a hard job? Because you’re like a writer and a yoga teacher and work for Miss Jen and take care of three kids!”
Snapping open a garbage bag and leaning over the trash, I answer, “Yep, it is a hard job.”
Turning towards her, I give a wink and follow up. “But just because something is hard doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing.”
But sometimes I’m concerned about what I’m showing her.
As many mothers who have gone before me have pondered, I myself often ponder: Am I doing the right thing?
Did I give the right answer? Say the right words? Give the correct response? And what about what I’m doing? Should I be working like this? More? Less? Differently?
I can play this game all day.
I’m putting her to bed after reading our new favorite series, the Ramona Quimby books. We love Ramona and her antics. I pull the covers up to her chin and hand her her favorite stuffed bear, the one her dad got her in London on a business trip.
As I lean over to kiss her cheek, she grabs hold of my face and says “I know, I can be an artist AND a mom. And when I need to work, my husband can pick up the kids.”
I freeze, and for a minute, I’m concerned. Have I planted worries in her head about how she will manage work and childcare? When Dan and I talk logistics over the dinner table, does she worry? Find this all concerning?
“Oh,” I say, as she rubs my cheek and gives me a big smile. “Yep!” she says. “Just like Daddy does.”
It’s my sister’s birthday, and we’re eating grocery store cake loaded with sugary pink icing, and, of course, fights over who gets the frosting roses. Somehow we get on the topic of “passions.” Kate announces that Thomas’s passion is “to be annoying.”
We all laugh. And agree. And I say, “Kate, what’s my passion?”
Without a beat, without a moment’s hesitation, without a thought to consider the question.
“Family!” she says.
Maybe I’m not doing such a bad job after all.