If I won the lottery, I’d “just” take care of my children and our home.

I am that irresponsible. I want to be my children’s mother. I want to have the time and energy to do parenting very, very well in the way that feels right to me. I want to be the mother I am. I want to live a rich life as an individual, as a woman, full of variety and color and creativity, so learning from my example strengthens my daughters.

I’m furious that our country’s values make me feel selfish, self-centered, spoiled, and irresponsible because I want to care for my children and create a beautiful, loving, clean, and safe home for them.

Bills must be paid. My former husband is very generous in his support, but it isn’t enough to live on.

Typically, I’m not a fan of complaining without offering solutions. Right now, however, I am just too tired to figure out how this messed up system can be fixed. Somehow, somewhere, someone needs to find a way to make people see that allowing a mother to be at home with her children and be fully present as a parent is an investment in our country’s future.

Until then, I’ll do the work I have to do to make money. I won’t sleep much. I won’t have much patience or energy to just be with my children as there will always be dishes and laundry and errands and follow-up phone calls with insurance companies and just a quick email check to see if a client got back to me and and and…

Last week I put aside all of my to-do items and set the stage for finger painting with my toddler. It was extraordinary. In these photos she is looking at herself in the mirror. I grabbed the mirror after the first time she touched her hair so she would know what she was doing.

This is what beautiful, powerful, enriching, inspiring irresponsibility looks like:

2 thoughts on “irresponsibility

  1. I think it's good for a parent to stay home if they can. I did, for 10 years (not sure if it was good for me, but it was good for them). But we never did messy finger-painting cuz I hate mess. They still turned out OK. :)

  2. It's so funny that you mention the messy factor. It's difficult to talk about my desire to parent in *my* way without setting forth all sorts of disclaimers about how my way isn't the one right way, blah blah blah. If I slide into feeling I need to explain that I usually go back and edit pretty severely because I need for other parents to realize that on their own, if you know what I mean (like you do). Parenting is such a loaded topic for writing. Everyone has so many issues wrapped up in it. It's fun, though, to write about and in some ways that's because it is so complicated. Thanks for commenting, Paula (and reading, of course :-).

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