Prioritizing Parenting

On Monday I had the pleasure of visiting my alma mater for the Senior Class Legacy kick off.  I was so excited.  I haven't been to USD since May and was really looking forward to hitting up my old haunts, visiting friends, and breathing in the intoxicating smell of Aromas.  I never actually left the alumni building though, too busy catching up with old coworkers, which mostly consisted of me showing off Anthony.

And it hit me.  I am now that mom.  I talk about him constantly, not just because he's fabulous and amazing, but because I have nothing else to talk about.  Usually it's not a problem.  I go to work, I hang out at my mom's house or with a mom friend or two, I see my husband.  Talking about the cool things my kid does is normal, it's expecting, it's exciting.  So what do I talk about with someone who doesn't care that my child has started barking or throws a ball like a pro or has been sleeping well lately?

Then I realized I don't care.  Anthony is the best thing I've ever done.  I've got him hung up on the wall with pride, my very own Ph.D. He's all my pride, all my joy. I place all my love and attention into him, and sometimes it's work, but most of the time it's love, passion, commitment.  He's all I've ever hoped for, and after growing him for 9 months and sustaining him for the past year I think I've earned the right to yap incessantly about the words he's learned or what makes him smile.

Being a parent is weirdly awesome.  It's put a bullet proof shield around the heart on my sleeve.  As long as the people I love are happy, nothing else seems to matter. If my excitement over a new flavor of puffs or my son's exemplary singing voice are off putting, maybe putting off that friendship is for the best.  It's 18 to life folks, I'll be thrilled over every moment for the rest of forever.

That makes me a mom first, with alumni somewhere down the list.  I'm so proud to be a Torero, but it means that my time can't be spent volunteering and visiting as much as I'd like to.  USD isn't my home anymore, my home is where my family is.  And that's okay.  It's better than okay, it's exactly the way it's supposed to be.  We grow up, we move on, we turn the pages and start new chapters in our lives.  If that means taking a back seat and doing what I can until Anthony enters class of 2034, I will take that.  I will still look forward to doing what I can, like reading to local kindergarten classes and getting them hyped about college, like coming to alumni events (and this time getting a babysitter), like continuing to love USD with all my well-educated heart.   Someday I'll be able to give back like I'd like to.  Someday I'll be able to focus my time and energy making USD a better place.  But today, I am limited in what I can do, because my time is best spent loving and raising children; which is exactly what I'm going to do.

2 comments:

  1. This is a great post. Sometimes I forget that I'm not giving up all the old things I used to do (volunteer, etc), just changing the order of importance. Family first!

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  2. This is a wonderful post and great reminder to be a better mother. Thank you.

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