Guest Post by Kathleen. Kathleen blogs at Kathleenbasi.com and is a perfect example of the old saying that “if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.” I am quite excited that she made time for a post about life as a hybrid mom!
Fifteen minutes was all I had. But it was a good, hard fifteen minutes—flaming through the same six notes twenty times in a row, surfing ledger lines that drive my piano-playing husband crazy. Again and again, a dozen times, two dozen, training the synapses to fire in the right sequence in a relaxed fashion, and allow me to nail the finale.
It wasn’t enough time to do it properly. My fingers were stiff, more accustomed to computer keyboards than delicate silver flute keys. But at 9:30 p.m.—bedtime for a mommy who gets up at 5:30—I ran the cheesecloth through my flute and put it away, knowing I had done everything I could in the time I had.
Kathleen Basi is a stay-at-home mom, freelance writer, flute and voice teacher, composer, choir director, natural family planning teacher, scrapbooker, sometime-chef and budding disability rights activist. She puts her juggling skills on display at www.kathleenbasi.com.
Yes, it is every bit as chaotic as it sounds. I live my life wobbling on a teeter totter with too many ends to count. I have too many passions, too many loves, and too many responsibilities to choose one. And so I choose them all—but that means that none of them will ever receive my full attention.
I used to be a darned good flute player. I still am a darned good flute player, actually, but every time I pick up my instrument—the one to which I devoted my entire life from seventh grade through a master’s degree—I realize how much I have lost.
Last weekend, I rehearsed with three college friends, flutists all—women I hardly see anymore. One is a full-time flute teacher, and darned good at it. One is a respiratory therapist pursuing her Master’s. One manages a local fitness center. Standing in that circle, it was hard not to feel some regret at having lost the focus I once had. But something had to give, and for now, the flute is it.
In many ways I think that the path I have chosen is the hardest of all options. I will forever be unable to focus on one thing; I will forever be frustrated because I can’t do anything to its fullest extent. Everything and everyone in my life—kids, husband, editors, inner muse—will demand my attention, and I will constantly have to amputate parts of one persona in order to attend to another. I will never reach equilibrium; life for me will always be a balancing act as I try to navigate the middle of the stream, so I don’t crush my family on the rocks of my own interests.
And yet, I wouldn’t have it any other way. The very thing that is so hard about it is also what is so wonderful:
I have it all.
I have a career without the pressure of having to make ends meet. I have a job I love, yet I have my kids with me. I get to share the moments, cute, poignant, triumphant, because even though I’m working, I’m with them.
For me, hybrid motherhood is the best of all possible worlds, and if the price I pay is amputating parts of my interests, then so be it. This is my life, and I love it.
Bring it on.
Go to kathleenbasi.com to find more of Kathleen’s writing!
- Why I Want to Be a Stay At Home Mom
- What I Want