zondag 29 juni 2008

Tough choices

Lately I had the impression that my life became rather uninteresting. It seemed like more and more people around me did someting worthwhile with theirs. Ever since the birth of my son I faced a rather tiring life and I even had the intention to start a ABM (Anonymous Burned out Mothers) in order to find some kindred souls. We could then complain for hours, start publishing depressing books about motherhood and get bumperstickers printed !

But I wonder if I will find enough members to join? Because more and more I met people who made it sound that their children were going to be next world leaders. They were so proud of their offspring. My own child I considered rather average and I was already pleased if he was able to utter the magic word: please!! But then A is in itself a miracle. He was born premature after 31 weeks of pregnancy. He was taken out of my womb because I turned out to have a high bloodpressure and bit by bit got poisoned.

Once he was born P and I said that we were going to be realistic. He had to show us what he got. Well turned out he was quite a character. Day three in NICU and A decided that he had it with all those tubes. The nurse told me that he pulled out his SiPAP and decided that he could breath on his own. My reaction was that she had to put it back in place. Her answer was one I will never forget: 'No, I won't to do that. A gets then very upset!' She was the first one who made me realize that this little creature (39cm, 1kg4) was a real person who was already making choices of his own.

During the time of A being in hospital he showed enough courage and every hurdle he took with a great ease or at least that is how it seemed. But I was turning into a MUM ( Messed Up Mother) and seemed to be unable to think very clearly. Making up my mind was rather a thing of the past. Instead A took charge of it Many choices were made for me by him. Not that he was aware of that.

I had been warned by many others ABMs and MUMs but it hits you right between the eyes. It is your child who decides what you do when. He was the one who chooses when to wake up, when to sleep, when to go out for a walk, when to play, when I got the remote control back, when to mess up the living- and bathroom, what I had to cook for lunch, what to write down on a grocery list and when I had to be back from a ladies night, ....... I can go on for hours what choices are made by him.

One choice I was still able to make myself was not going back to work full time. Something I still don't regret. Putting children on this rather confusing globe meant that I wanted to be there for him. I didn't want my child to be raised by others. But I can understand other parents who decide to do this. In my case this would have meant that my inlaws would have taken care of him. Grandparents are no surrogate parents but are allies in a battle against common enemy: parents. So I cut down on hours. I try now to give A what he needs and it is getting more fun now that he is four.

An other choice I had to face, but this time with P, was if we were going to fill up the house with more children choices. Well this year we decided that one was enough. Not that this was an easy ride home. I cried me eyes out and even felt guilty when I started to get used to idea of only having A running around through life!! We talked for hours, got medical advice, tried to imagine what it would be like if we had to go through this again. P, being the rather less romantic soul, was very honest, he was not up to the test. He had treated me at the time and admitted that he would never do this again. And I? I tried to imagine what a second pregnancy would be like? Well not the same!! I could see myself running around like a zombie and not feeling at ease. Professor H told me that next time they would take a much closer look at me and that there were risks to take into consideration.

I have my moments that I can walk on air and just sense that this is the best decision but there are those times that you start to wonder. Of course it is now that people around me wonder when we start for number two!! Most people seem to be surprised when I tell them we will stick to one. I seem then to be rather selfish and I even have sensed some envy in the room. But this is a choice that partly my body made for me.

So I wanted some choices of my own. And along what that last rather painful choice came new born choices. What about going back fulltime, or going back to college, looking for other job challenges, trying to dance ballet again, writting a book, redecorate our house, taking cooking classes,........ What a surprise I have now a brand new list of choices to make. So Forest Gump you are right after all: life is like a box of chocolates!!

And this weekend I picked one out of the tasty looking box: work. I adore teaching, it is my calling and I am very lucky to work in a very challenging environment. My collegues keep me sharp and my pupils make still feel very useful. But still.... This year I felt rather confused. I sensed that there was something missing. That one force I need to go for the kill every day. One day I asked a friend if that women can get a midlife crisis? Was I also looking for a younger partner or did I want to drive a Harley in order to feel young again? She couldn't give me straight forward answer and so I was forced to look further into the issue.

One morning you wake up and then you know what you miss: DRIVE!!! It is that force that I need to get up in the mornings, get into my car and then face my audience and knowing that my entertainment is still worth to pay for. My collegues seemed sometimes to come from Mars. And the few ones who had time to listen seemed to sense that I had to move on. There were so many times that I was dissapointed in my working environment.

This weekend I made up my mind by writting a cv. I took a good look at it and then send it off. And now we will see what happens. If it turns out to be nothing I decided to go back to the university and push myself to the limits. Failure might be around the corner. But this is my OWN choice and I am very happy that I found back new choices. The next one is rather an easy one: vanilla, strawberry or peach? Uhm, .........can I have one scoop each?

2 opmerkingen:

Inge zei

Lieve Stallie,

Ik ben er zeker van dat je goede keuzes maakt op dit moment. Probeer, ga ervoor, neem uitdagingen aan, ook al ga ik je heel erg missen als de uitdagingen goed uitdraaien. Soms moet een mens eens een andere wending aan het leven geven. Misschien ontdekken we dan dat het vorige toch nog niet zo slecht was. Maar uitgebluste leerkrachten, die het mooie van hun job zien vervagen, die hebben we niet nodig. Dan is het hoog tijd om nieuwe horizonten te ontdekken.
Succes! Ik wacht vol spanning mee op het resultaat!


ilse zei

Hey Stallie,
weet je, ik en ik weet de andere ook, we staan achter je in welke beslissing je ook gaat nemen. Het zal misschien wel even wennen zijn om je nier meer op school te zien rondlopen. Maar ik weet dat dit is wat je wil en ik steun je daar volledig in. Geluk is namelijk iets heel belangrijk.