There is a near-impossible standard that women should be able to be the kind, nurturing and ever-patient (and always available) mothers while also donning the pants and running corporations-- nay, countries!-- as fierce, inspirational squadron leaders. And that doesn't even begin to take into consideration the age-old stereotypical conundrum of women as virginal, saintly icons to be revered versus women as sexual, liberated temptresses to be desired and feared.
I had this vision that I'd be baking cupcakes and running my business-- doing everything I used to do-- with Aria on my hip. Ha! I've discovered I can barely get anything done with her, but I've also discovered that that's okay. So far, I tote her around wherever I go, but as she's preparing to crawl and become more autonomous, it's clear she's developing a will of her own, and I need to actually focus on her enrichment rather than just hope she'll be a quiet, cooperating accessory I carry around.
Aria is over six months old now, and she is still the best thing that has happened to me. It's funny how I can look at my little girl and still feel surprise that she's actually my baby. I also still think she's the most beautiful thing I've seen, and I think it's partly because she's a smaller, cuter, more beautiful version of myself. She's still perfect, and that's part of the magic of children and babies. We adults have scars, both physical and emotional, and we've all made poor decisions. Children and babies especially are still unblemished, and their innocence and complete honesty is refreshing and humbling.
So, I don't want to miss any more of it. I'm sad to say that I spend pretty much every waking minute working, thinking about work, trying to catch up on work-related emails, and so on. I'm embarrassed to admit I've kept my baby (and my partner) at my coffee shop until the wee hours of the morning on numerous occasions, where she's crying, hungry and sad, and I feel like the absolute worst mother on earth. Well, I'm not doing that anymore. I've found an incredible business partner who supports my wanting to spend time with Aria, and I feel a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. I don't know if it will be as perfect as I imagine, but I feel I've gotten a new lease on life while still getting to be a part of my business, and I couldn't be more grateful.
Thanks, life. I love you and am coming back to enjoy you again.