Motherhood is an art form and a balancing act. You are always "on" and you never really know if you're doing it right until they're grown up and it's too late to change anything. You just dive in feet first and hope/pray for the best. Good luck and have faith, Momma!
As moms, we always think we have to be all things for everyone all the time. That's absolutely crazy. No one can be everything for everyone 24/7. It's insane to try and it will almost certainly make you lose your shit.
I was visiting my mom and younger sister recently (with my boys) and my sister asked me this question (or some variation of it) and I struggled to put into words how I feel about this particular topic. I've been thinking about it for a couple weeks now, trying to find just the right way to answer this question and similar questions that I've been asked since choosing to stop job hunting and be a stay at home mom (SAHM).
In short: No, I don't want a career.
The long answer is a bit more complicated, so here goes...
I love Thanksgiving. It's quite possibly the best holiday ever. Yes, I do think Thanksgiving outranks Christmas. Wanna know why? Because the whole point of the holiday is to be grateful for what you have and focus on all the good in your life.
It occurred to me this morning that I had an OB appointment on Friday, where decently big things were discussed and I never actually posted or shared any of it. We went from super exciting news to mildly high stress information in the span of a couple hours and I guess I needed a few days to process.
First of all, Kylar is doing great! Growing right on schedule with my belly measuring at 31 inches (1 inch per week of pregnancy and I was 30w6d at the appt), no diabetes, no anemia, and I've gained 5 lbs since my last appt (a lb a week=perfectly normal and so much better than I did with Connor). To sum up: Mommy and Baby are doing great and right on track.
Now, I went in with 2 questions: How close will she let me get to my due date? How much control do we have when it comes to scheduling the c-section? Meaning: can we pick the day or do we just go with whatever they have? Turns out, any day in my 39th week is great, but the hospital would rather a weekday than a weekend (more staff during the week). We picked a day. September 7th. September 7th!!!! We're going to have a complete family on September 7th! It's freaky to think that exactly 8 weeks and a day from now we'll be in the hospital, getting dressed and drugged up to met our baby boy.
We couldn't actually schedule it on Friday, at my appointment, because I hadn't registered at the hospital yet. I couldn't remember how far along I was with Connor, but I knew it was now-ish, when we registered before, so we went on Friday after lunch. Got all the paperwork filled out and got a nice little mini-heart attack finding out just how much a scheduled c-section costs. Even with insurance, it's an insanely high number and not one I was expecting. Having a baby is expensive.
We've got all that squared away and set up, so my OB can officially schedule Kylar's birth! I have a finite light at the end of this tunnel and I can't wait to meet him!! It looks like we will be spending at least 2 nights in the hospital, which I'm less thrilled about because it means 2 nights and the majority of 3 days away from Connor, but we have a lot of family that live nearby who will eagerly help anyway they can. Hubby will do bedtime with Connor, as per usual, and just come back to the hospital with me after Connor goes to sleep. I just hate that I'm going to be away from him so much. I haven't been away from him for more than a couple hours in a over year. That will honestly be the hardest part for me.
It's only 1 full day. I have to keep telling myself that, but it will be fine. Connor won't remember any of this by the time we get back home. It's only 1 full day.
SAHM- Stay At Home Mom
I love, love being able to stay home with our son. This is my dream. I substitute teach a little on the side, and selling Scentsy helps bring in at least an extra couple hundred a month, which is fantastic, but my husband works incredibly long hours (10-12 hr days) which enables me to stay home and raise our son.
I've got Connor on a sleep schedule that allows him to stay up late and hang out with his daddy at night for a couple hours. He gets sooo excited when he hears Hubby coming in at night. Dropping whatever he's doing and heading for the door, then they place "I'm gonna get you" for several minutes and cuddle. It's freaking adorable. I wish he got to see his dad more, but those few hours every night and the weekends are so amazing.
Now, I love spending so much time with Connor, but when Daddy comes home, Momma needs a break. Dad does bedtime almost every night now (to the point that if I do it, I'm doing it wrong and Connor seems confused). Friday mornings (our version of Saturday mornings thanks to hubby's schedule) I don't want to get up with the baby. I get him to, because Momma needs some time. Honestly, for the first half of the day on Friday, I want to be the back up parent, not the on-call parent. I don't want to get him when he first wakes up, change him, brush his teeth, and feed him breakfast. I want to be the one who takes it slow in the morning. Just for the first half of Friday. Then I'm good.
I know it sounds selfish, but I'm literally "on" 24/7. I want 3 or 4 hours, one day a week, where I can just be a person for a little while, not Mom or doggie caretaker or maid or chef or any of that crap. Just for a couple hours a week, I want to take a long shower, shave my legs without rushing, do my hair and make up. You know, be a pre-kids girl.
Hubby is usually pretty good at accommodating me, even though I suck at articulating this feeling to him because I know he's been working 10-12 hours of hard, manual labor all week and he wants to relax and sleep in too. I try and keep the balance for us, having him be the primary with Connor Friday morning, and then I'll take the title back for the rest of the weekend around lunch time on Friday. Literally, just a couple hours to recharge and I'm good to go!
I've had conversations with other mom-friends of mine who think I'm being too passive because I don't want to make him do too much. Maybe I am, but I am a passive person. Ask anyone, I will do pretty much anything I can for anyone I know. To the point that I often end up doing too much and regretting it. But! If you are the person I'm doing too much for, you'll never know. I won't complain to you or tell you I can't help. I can help. I'll figure it out. That's who I am. I can't say no to people. I've been told it's a problem.
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Writer and Contributor for the Motherhood Community