I was working full time when I found out I was first pregnant. I continued to work throughout my pregnancy… and returned 8 weeks after she came into this world. I understand the pull to both work and be home with your baby. Leaving her every day was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. In the beginning, I would weep on the way to work… over lunch… and sometimes on my way home. But then it became my new normal and we, as a new family, found our balance. Toward the end, I found a peace in my time away. Moments for myself, which so rarely come in motherhood.
The kind of guilt that comes with leaving your baby to head to work can be heavy. I found that it was important to let my husband understand that weight, rather than bottle it in. It made us a better team and helped me feel more understood.
There is a satisfaction that comes with working. It’s ok to admit that and embrace it. I spent nearly a decade pursuing my career, and I’m proud of what I do. Having a career and something to believe in outside of your home only makes you a stronger mother.
Whether you’re new at this or coming to the end of this, it’s exhausting… and rewarding, and frustrating, and gratifying, and overwhelming, and also simplifying. Staying home with my kids was so much more than I could have possibly imagined.
I had many lonely moments due to the lack of interaction with other moms, friends and co-workers. Learning to identify that and finding the outlet that worked was key for me. That outlet was constantly changing, too. In the beginning, the outlet was walking to a park to meet up with another mom in an attempt to get some fresh air. Then, it was joining a few different groups (ECFE is a good example) which I learned didn’t really work for what I needed (admitting that was tough, because it seemed to work for so many other moms). Next it was pre-school for my kids, which gave me a mild break and allowed me to meet other parents. Most recently, it’s been the gym and exercise. Though I worked out from the beginning, I found that I wasn’t really able to prioritize myself until my youngest was 4 (and my oldest was 6). No matter your outlet, the key is listening to yourself.
It will be tested. Be patient with yourself. I still tell myself this every day that I’m home with my kids. When the day doesn’t go as intended (which, let’s be honest, happens often) I literally tell myself: “Tomorrow is a new day.”
PART TIME MOM
What does this even mean?
Really, it means that you have two, seemingly, full time jobs that you can’t possibly give 100% to. I’ve worked “part time” a few different times throughout motherhood. I often felt very torn between how much time to commit to work and when to walk away.
Allowing yourself to walk away at the end of a day and leave your work at the office can be difficult. It’s ok to set your limits and stand by them. It’s often important to know your limitations with work and understand when you need to let go.
There’s not enough time in the day
Part-time usually puts you in a position where you have to accept that the week will fly by without you getting all the household stuff done. It’s ok to ask for help, even if you’re only working “part-time.” It’s ok to let your family know that you can’t get it all done. Recognize the things you’re falling short on, prioritize, and ask for help.
PROPS to you for whatever it is that you choose to do.
Whatever your calling, find your BALANCE. Find your inner mother calling out and telling you what you should do TODAY. It may change tomorrow. It may change next year. Motherhood is a meandering path that doesn’t always offer all the answers. Being FLEXIBLE is the best way to accomplish all that you hope. And at the end of the day, feeling good about what you’re doing is key.