My sweet little girl had her 1st birthday party over the weekend, and I felt a lot of different emotions as I was getting ready for her party. This time last year, she was six days overdue – after we were told at 20 weeks that I had a high risk pregnancy and she would probably come early. I started my maternity on my due date, June 4th, with no baby in site. I ended up having six full days to myself before my new journey as a mother started.
It’s amazing how life changes the moment your child is born. Everything seemed so surreal at the time. I had baby fever for a while, and here was my baby, in my arms. I was finally a mother. A tired mother, apparently! The other night I was looking at some of the pictures right after delivery up to our first day at home, and I had no idea how tired I looked! That tiredness has not gone away in the last year. I can go on and on about my memories and thoughts as a first time Mom, but I’ve had some time to reflect on changes within me as a woman.
As I mentioned earlier, I took maternity leave. I went back to work after 12 weeks, and being a Working Mom has been my number one challenge this year. I cherished every moment of my leave, but discovered that being a full-time stay at home mom was not for me. The mothers who have this amazing opportunity are blessed, but I still want to have a career of some sort. Even though I feel this way, the guilt of leaving my child with another caretaker for eight hours a day, everyday, is extremely overpowering. I am fortunate to have a good job and can contribute to the household income, but since I don’t know if we’re having another child, I often wonder throughout the day if I should’ve (or should) just take that step of faith, be at home with my daughter and go back to freelancing. But then if I go back to freelancing, when am I going to have the time to network and bid for jobs? Ahhh! Too much to think about! The ideal working life for me remains to be seen, but I know everything will work out as it should.
Once upon a time, really just a few years ago, my weekends included Zumba every Saturday morning, maybe taking a trip to the local farmer’s market, and just doing whatever else I wanted to do. Now, my weekends are all about family. These days, if I am going out on a Saturday morning, it’s to take my daughter on a playdate, or she’s joining me on some of my outings. The change in my activities has also brought about a change in the people I do them with. Of course I’m spending more time with other mothers, some of whom I didn’t have a relationship with before we had children. I still hang out with some of my old friends who don’t have children, and I appreciate them for understanding the change in my life. With everything going on, it can be challenging to maintain some old friendships as well as create new ones. But with the limited time I have, I’ve learned that the ones who want to be in your life, will.
After being a wife, mother, and career woman…. where is the time to myself? I definitely enjoy the simple things, such as sneaking upstairs and catching a few episodes of my favorite Netflix shows when little baby decides she wants her dad. Also, a good pedicure or couple hours at the salon are an oasis to me. Sometimes a few moments to ourselves is all we need when we have a break from Mommyhood.