Have you heard this before, “You want to be a writer? Write about something you know.” So I’m writing about being a Mom, something I know all about. Of course I only know what I’ve already experienced and hopefully I’ve made the right decisions along the way. One of those decisions was to go back to work full time. No more Stay At Home Mom for me. Is it wrong to say I’m happy? I miss my kids tremendously (and the control I have over their schedules). I went back to work at 5 weeks post-partum (definitely too soon but I didn’t have much control over that) and now I think I’m a better mom and person because I have time for my own creative outlet. Sounds selfish to say it out loud but I know that 90% of you moms reading this know exactly what I mean.
I want to quickly illustrate just how crazy life got for us in September. Hopefully it’ll shed a little light on why my head is spinning as I try to hold tight onto anything I may know or have known or am learning. Our beautiful Jaclyn came 5 weeks early and we were not prepared at all for that. I was in the hospital for the standard 4 nights after a c-section and Jaclyn was there in the NICU for 11 days. She was the easiest NICU case there, thank g-d! She was born on September 19th and came home on Monday, September 30th. Friday of that same week my husband was laid off. We can’t decide if they were being nice and waited until she came home from the NICU or if they would have laid him off 1 month before a new baby came had we not gone early. Either way, the company made their choice and lost an amazingly dedicated employee. That put us in scramble mode for income as I was a Stay At Home Mom. Enter my mother… she found herself in a pickle right after this happened. She needed help in her business and thankfully I was able to step in. Hence going back to work at 5 weeks post-partum.
So now I’m a full time, working mom with 2 kids. The last 2 months have left me with a feeling that I just can’t wrap my brain about what I know any more. How do you keep it all straight? And I know that I’m supposed to know everything – Mom’s are the go-to for an answer to everything, right? Even at my age I still call my mother for anything I may be unsure of. Let’s see… I should know everything about being a Mom, a Wife, a Friend, a Sister, a Daughter, and now a Full Time Employee who knows what she’s doing at work. Did I miss a role here?
What a learning curve this is! I’m curious as to how this all will affect me: what will become less important to me and my every day, who will I surround myself with, what will these experiences be like as I’m doing all of it and who I will be in 5 years. And let’s remember… I work for my mother! So we have to both learn how to stay in the close mother/daughter relationship we have while we learn how to act as boss/employee.
She and I have tried this before. Many years ago before I met my husband and had my kids and, in my mind, had a true grasp of what responsibility actually is. It did not go well. Let’s just leave it at that. This time, I’m happy to say that it is working. We are able to keep work and life separate. We are still as close as can be and I’m doing a good job at work. At least she keeps telling me I am!
What I didn’t expect is that it’s changing how I see my mother. She worked when I was young and my whole family could never (still can’t) relate to the amount she works. She has this incredible passion that I can actually see now as opposed to just hear her talk about. It hasn’t been smooth for her as a working mom, even with adult kids. She works ALL of the time and we could never cut her any slack for it. Now I can and I do – much to the chagrin of my family. I have no idea how she gets it all done. It makes me wonder if I’ll ever be as amazing as she is and it’s giving me more to strive for. I hope to share this passion with my daughters and instill in them a strong work ethic. But being a parent and in this situation now, I hope that I can find a better balance between work and family so that there is no resentment towards me as the working mom. I hope to be able to acknowledge the changes that will occur within my family over the years and with our family needs so that I can continue to keep the balance. That could mean working less or working more but not working ALL of the time. I hope to show my daughters that we can be powerful as working women and loving as mother’s at the same time. Thankfully, I work for my mom who will let this “employee” take off for doctor’s appointments and school recitals and sick kids and anything else that pops up. She’ll be taking off for those recitals too – after all, they are her grandkids!
So what do I know? I know I married a good man. I know my children are beautiful and watching them grow is a gift. I know that I am blessed with a family I like to be with let alone love. I know that having people to rely on is imperative in life. I know that I enjoy working and will continue to work forever. I know that I don’t know it all and that I have so much left to learn. I know that I’m looking forward to that learning and to teaching my daughters what I’ve learned. I know that watching them learn is the coolest thing ever. I know that I’m happy, even with the everyday drama of life and that this may be the only roller coaster ride that I don’t run screaming from.