Lean In?

I met the coolest women today playing tennis. One was an architect and the other ran non-profit organizations. They both recently gave up their careers to be with their kids full time and were adapting to this new life stage. I was fascinated by their stories and could have spent hours listening to how they made their choices and whether they were happy.

They described how they were still recovering from post traumatic stress. It sounds like they were working so hard to do it all and to be all they could be to their employers, clients, partners and kids and they were now in recovery. They had long commutes and clients that demanded their attention when they were home with their kids. They had nannies they relied on who did things differently than they would have done. They would make it home for a few hours with the kids in the evening, put them to bed and then work again from 10 – 2 am. Is this what they meant by lean in? They must have burned out.

I’m so happy that they have chosen to lean out and catch their breathes again, and were out playing tennis. I’m sure it’s an adjustment period and I’m sure they will find their groove, if they haven’t already. These are smart, strong, beautiful women.

There is a lot of pressure on women to do it all. I’m sure there is a lot of pressure on everyone who works hard, but as a mama, we have double duty and the work doesn’t end.

So my point in writing this, is to acknowledge women and the choices they make and to support one another along our different journeys. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for them to give up their careers, nor is it easy to stay home with kids either. I think it’s important for us to talk about this and that when we choose to work or quit, that it’s ok. I hope they feel supported and give themselves some slack as they figure out their new roles and daily responsibilities and make time for themselves. We are always adapting and changing and the good news is this is just a stage. If we don’t like it, we can change it. Or the kids will grow out of it and we’ll learn something new.

Namaste.

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These trees are in bloom all over town right now and catch my eye.

Day 136: What’s Good About All Day Basketball Tryouts?

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We had to set an alarm on a Saturday morning. Christian had to be at school by 7:45 am to catch the team bus to the Hague for a mini-basketball tournament. Juliana had to be at school by 9 am for her all day mini-tournament at her school.  They have had try-outs for the last two weeks and after today, the coaches were supposed to make a decision.  I felt it to be important that we were there to watch and cheer and support our kids, so Jeff and I split up to make this happen. 

Since we have one car, Jeff came back after dropping off Christian to pick up Charlie, Juliana and I and to drop us off at school by 9 am, before he left for the day to watch Christian. Charlie and I stayed to watch Juliana play ALL DAY!  Well, actually, Charlie got lucky as his friend’s dad came to pick him up for a play date around lunch time and kept him until after dinner. I was lucky too (I guess) to be able to make new friends and chat with “old” friends while we sat on hard, cold bleachers all day, cheering on our kids!!

I love kid sports for several reasons, but my favorite (selfish) part is probably the community feeling of being together and cheering on our kids, collectively. I get just excited for my friends’ kids as my own. I cheer loudly and get excited and feel the pain when someone gets hurt and want to jump up at the ref when a call is incorrect and cheer loudly when my kid scores or passes and assists.  I  feel passionately about the whole thing… except when I have to sit there for 6 hours! Today dragged on a little longer past my comfort zone, but I did have fun nevertheless. 

I liked seeing my friends and familiar faces. I had fun chatting with the other parents and hearing the stay-at-home dad’s talk about their new crock pot purchase and plans to attend the Let’s Cook Indian food session next month. I haven’t spent too much time with stay at home dad’s and have such an admiration and appreciation for them and their wives and families and am so curious about their choices.  I enjoyed hearing their wives talk about their careers and travels and having time to just all be gathered for the same purpose – to support our kids and our community. I think sports are a wonderful thing and am so glad my kids are choosing to play so I can hang out with my new friends!!

I had fun watching Charlie make friends with the younger siblings and sharing snacks and playing outside in the snow. The boys went out to the soccer field and had snow ball fights and played tag before coming back in to warm up.  

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I love that there is a booster club and that parents volunteer to donate and sell snacks and drinks and make a little extra money for the school.

I love all of it (except for 6 hours of it at once!) and I love that Cami gave my kids and I a ride home afterwards so we didn’t have to wait in the cold for a tram, even if the commute is short. It’s great to have friends!!

Life is Good.

p.s.  Good news!  Christian made the travel team, and next week we find out if Juliana made the travel team, as well!  I hate waiting and hope she makes it too – Travel here we come!  Congratulations Christian! I’m so proud of you!!