Have you ever been to a play or even the circus? If not imagine it is your first time as a guest in the audience. You are so ecstatic as you find your seats. You can smell popcorn and other goodies in the air. The lights start to dim, the music plays and the performance begins. You sit in awe of the dancers, singers, jugglers or actors. Everything around you fades away as you become part of the performance. As a member of the audience, you rarely catch mistakes that are made by the performers (unless you have been in the business at some point). Before you know it, the show is over and you are already planning your next visit. When the curtain closes, the performers go back to their dressing rooms and you head home. While you were sitting in your seat and snacking on popcorn, the performers were hard at work doing everything possible to make sure their performance would entertain and keep you entranced. They had been practicing for months to get this show perfect for you (someone they don’t even know). Working long hours, seven days a week, these men and women put their other interests and aspirations on hold, because this is what they want to be doing. This is their job and they want to succeed at it. They want to make a difference in your life, even for just two hours. Their abilities are critiqued by experts, by their fellow performers and themselves. Their job while enjoyable, is physically, emotionally and mentally exhausting. They have put every ounce of themselves into being the best they can be. Each day, they take the mistakes made during the performance and work to improve on them. They will be even better next show, because they have learned through trial and error what works best for the audience.
I’m currently starring in a production called “Motherhood.” Many of you have held the same role. I currently play the lead part, which is very time demanding and stressful. I work seven days a week and 24 hours a day. When I go to bed at night, my performance that day plays through my head on repeat. What could I have done better for my audience (kids)? Did they enjoy the performance (their day with mom)? Did they understand the morals and values taught to them during that short time? Will they go to sleep that night remembering the good parts and wanting to return for another performance? As a mother, I feel like a performer. Constantly juggling the many responsibilities of a parent, while trying to balance on the beam of sanity. I absolutely adore my children and am playing the greatest role of a lifetime, but that doesn’t mean it comes without struggles. Each day is a new performance. It either goes really well or needs improvement. I am critiqued by others around me. Some have negative opinions and will gladly share them with you. These critics you just want to hand a stale bag of popcorn and a watered down soda to. Other critics recognize the role you are playing is tough and you are working on it daily. Many of them have been in the same boat and are cheering you on. They are the ones who are giving you the standing ovation and continue to support you in your endeavor as a performer. I have found that the toughest critic is the lead actor. Most days I am very hard on myself. Second guessing my performance on a daily basis. It isn’t until I hear from the only critics that matter (my kids), that I realize I am not doing so badly after all. When they wake up in the morning with a huge smile on their faces and shouting for me, I remember that the performance the day before doesn’t really matter. I should only focus on the day ahead, while making the improvements needed to better myself as a mom.
My children mean the absolute world to me. They have given me the role of a lifetime. A role I wouldn’t turn down for anything in the world. Despite the hardships I face, I know that these little boys love me and are appreciative of everything I do for them. I also recognize that they are my favorite critics, because they are the ones in the audience who cannot wait to come back for another performance. They are very forgiving of the mistakes I make as a mom and are willing to help me improve on my performance. While this role has been challenging, it was given to me by the greatest director ever (God). I couldn’t ask for a better life.
Sorry for all the similes. This post came to me in the middle of the night, while nursing my youngest. I have realized that when inspiration strikes, I have to quickly write my thoughts and ideas down or my mom brain will forget it all. Very much like the wet laundry that has been sitting in the washer for the past two days!
I hope you are cherishing your roles in life. Whether you play the role of parent, teacher, spouse or some other important role, know that our director chose you for a reason.
Much love and blessings,