Friday, February 26, 2016

The Season of Motherhood

Oy... I can't tell you the number of times I wanted to write here. And yet, sleep, dishes, zoning out and part time work won out. But I'll admit that as someone who loves to write, I've been missing this space and know I need to carve out the time for myself. Now on to motherhood...

When I first started this motherhood journey I'll admit I wasn't sure how I felt about the whole stay-at-home mom gig. I knew I wanted to stay home with our little one for a period of time, but I also had hopes I'd move on to a career or back to school within six months or a year at most. In hindsight, I know now that I was a bit naive in having such expectations without yet knowing just what taking care of a child would be like.


Since I was little, I have always valued career as highly important in the scheme of one's worth (although I know it certainly doesn't paint the whole picture). And in my career, I always felt I was several steps behind where I "should" have been. It's one of the first things I want to know about anyone I meet.

Over the past nine months, I've noticed my perspective shifting. I am still highly fascinated in the career and the story behind someone's career (how, what and why), but I'm realizing that not having a career path carved out can be okay too. Yes, it gives me mild panic attacks to realize I'm in my 30s and still don't know "what I'm doing with my life," but I trust I will figure it out.

As a mama, I'm now keenly aware of how many other stay-at-home mamas there are in our community, from women I meet through friends or moms we connect with at the birth center (where I received midwifery care) during a weekly baby weigh-in.

And these women certainly aren't sitting around eating cookies and watching movies all day. These women are taking care of their kids, feeding them, taking kids to doctors appointments, doing the majority of the dishes, laundry, cleaning, paying bills, often working part time/evening gigs and trying to find a moment for themselves on occasion.


By no means do I believe that a stay-at-home parent is somehow holier than the full time working parent. Both gigs are HARD. Both have advantages and sacrifices.

But I guess this is just a long winded way of saying that my perspective has shifted. Staying at home with a baby is as exhausting as it is awesome. I'm slowly giving myself a bit more credit for the work I'm doing to raise a happy, healthy and curious little boy.


In fact, until recently the guilt for staying home was really getting to me and I found myself apologizing in various ways. At one point I finally had to say to myself "What you are doing matters and so what if someone else doesn't think so." So I'm working on not negating my role. I worked full time before and I'll likely work full time again. But this time right now feels sacred and I feel humbled and thankful to get to spend my days chasing Henry around.

How's your week been? What's one thing you want to give yourself more credit for? 

Also, how is it already Friday?? We have been packing up slowly and are planning to move the majority of our stuff into our new place this weekend. I can't wait until we are moved and unpacked!

7 comments:

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I am glad that your perspective about being a SAHM + part-time working mom is shifting. You are doing important work! I have had to learn to separate my self-worth from what I do for a living as I realized in the last several years that it is a slippery slope to do that. Maybe it is fine for other people, but I have had a lot of volatility in my career and have gone through some tough times at work so when I attach so much of my worth to my job, it makes for some really tough times in my personal life. These days I still value the work I do and I want to do a great job at work, but it's kind of the least interesting thing about me - at least when I am conversing with others. Like I hate talking about what I do for a living because while it's interesting and challenging work for me, it's not interesting to others and I don't like trying to explain what I do since it's kind of technical and a niche sort of line of work.

Something I'd like to give myself more credit for is probably the growth and development that's occurred in my relationship with Phil over the last year. I've gotten so much better at speaking up when something bothers me or telling him when I am frustrated and working on what we can change when things come up.

Good luck with the move! I know how much work it is to move! I know I'll be moving again in the next several months so I am trying to get as much stuff out of my place beforehand (I'm donating A LOT of books!!) to make the move a bit easier!!

Heather @ Real Talk RD said...

If I've learned anything in the past year, it's that we should never be judging another person's situation, much less our own. We find ourselves in a new job, city, life, role and have a hard time embracing it because our first thought is often "What does/will someone ELSE think?" instead of "Is this working for me?", which is a hard switch to flip. What you're doing absolutely matters, no matter what it is. :)

Love seeing pictures of Henry, and that big mama smile!

Anonymous said...

Yes and yes! Three cheers for you. I always feel like we're on the same page. Keep on doing your job, whatever it might be, and do it well. Just remember that NOBODY ever said, "I wish I spent less time with my kid(s) when they were little." Xoxo, Siri Mom

Jessica Jarrell said...

I definitely understand where you are coming from. I had to deal with my share of guilt when I quit working, especially the first couple of years. I've also had to deal with my fair share of judgement from other people. I get the standard "What do you do all day?" from people that assume I do nothing all day. It's taken me quite a while to get the point where I just have to shrug off the people that think I'm doing nothing that matters. I credit not working with helping me to be more open-minded, as I did sit in judgment of people who went the non-traditional route. I'm definitely less judgy now, and I think that's a very positive thing.

Good luck with the move Lauren, I hope you have a great weekend!

Amber said...

I'm so glad you've been working on shifting your perspective. What you are doing right now is SO SO important. It's funny because in Canada it would be totally typical and normal for a mom to be at home with a child Henry's age since our maternity leave lasts a year. If a mom was working when her child was 10 months old she'd be more likely to be getting questions as to why she's working vs why she's at home :) That first year is so key and this is something you will be so grateful for down the road so definitely don't beat yourself up though I know how hard it can be to avoid the comparison game.

Good luck with your move!

Katie said...

I'm a mom who works full time, as does my husband, and many, many times over the last 4 years I've wished our family structure included a SAH parent. It's not possible for either of us financially to not work or even to reduce our hours, but SAH parents provide so much value to their families and do so many important things. What you do definitely matters!

Elizabeth said...

Woohoo---being a mama is a full time job plus! Sounds like you're in a great season of life and what a beautiful time to be present and loving it. I can imagine that it's both exhausting but oh so incredible. Love seeing the pictures of the two of you and the adventures. What an incredible set of memories you're forging together :) Sending you much love lovely mama!