When I first started TPB, I had a vision of offering a place for honest and candid discussion about Motherhood and family life. As a then new Mom, I was in a whole new phase of life and completely overwhelmed. I thought that no matter what my readers were experiencing- absolute bliss or exhausted insanity- they would hopefully find something to relate to. Even though we had planned for a family and I was so excited to be a Mom, sleep deprivation combined with a baby who cried for hours in the evening took a toll. And in those first few weeks, I felt that would be my life forever.
Since then, I’ve completely fallen head over heels with this experience and the precious first twelve months have come and passed- time really does fly. I’ve now entered another phase in Motherhood- returning to work- and have watched several of my girlfriends navigate this territory. Some with enthusiasm (at work you get breaks!), some with heartbreak and frustration (‘I’m missing time with my child for this?’), and others who have shifted to part time work (no more overtime or working on weekends) or changed careers to accommodate their familial priorities. As I seem to feel about many things in life, I felt like a combination of all of the above.
Will and I always had the hope that I could find a part time job or one that accommodated Motherhood, but suddenly I found myself yo- yo-ing with all the choices that suddenly lay before me. Work is work, and there is really no perfect solution. Add in trying to balance work with family and suddenly your head is spinning trying to figure out what a balanced life evens means. No matter what decision I made, I knew there would be some compromise. Welcome to life as a grown up.
I spent my mat leave trying to figure out what I would do when I returned to work. Unlike many of my friends, I didn’t have a career to return to. Our family business had closed it’s doors and I had no other option than to figure our a new path. Ultimately, I have found a job- career maybe- that I can do from home in addition to my work on TPB. But as great as this may sound on paper, I have had to accept a few things. The last year has been a learning experience in so many ways.
For all the Moms out there that have struggled with returning to work, trying to find time for themselves, felt guilty because they don’t spend as much time with their kids as they want, or feel guilty because they crave some time away from the kids, I hope this reminds you that you’re not alone. And it’s ok to feel the way you do. (PS a glass of wine can work wonders!)
Here are a few confessions (ie things I have learnt to accept) from over the past year
Motherhood & Type A personalities don’t mix
Some people make to- do lists to stay organized or to help them remember everything they have to do. Or both. Now I simply won’t remember everything I’m trying to do if it isn’t written down. My favourite line (admittedly one I’ve borrowed from my own Mum) has become ‘If it’s not written down I won’t remember’! This applies to everything from grocery lists to chores to you name it. There’s just too many things for one brain to process in one day! I’ve learned to let things go– something many wise ladies suggested for us to hold on to our sanity. trying to get everything done just isn’t worth the stress.
It’s a juggling act
Baby. Hubby. House. Work. Repeat.
The idea of being a work from home Mom sounds like a piece of cake, and there are definitely perks. It’s also very busy. My days look like a layer cake, with my time segmented with everything that needs to get done.When my young lady naps, it’s work time for Mama; I also get up 1- 2 hours before she does (5- 6am) to get work done and put aside time at night after she’s in bed. And then of course my hubby wants- and deserves- some time. Did you notice something missing? Where’s the me time? Squeezed in somewhere between hubby & bedtime most days. 😉
Sometimes you feel like a human yo- yo
No matter who you are, what your baby and/ or kids are like, or if you are lucky to love your job, some days you just feel haywire. We all have proud Mama moments- especially on those precious calm days- but all have those WTF days where you find frustration at every turn too. With each new discovery our children make, it seems to be a mix of excitement and anxiety: they’re learnt something new (exciting!) but what does this mean (they can do _____ now?!). I don’t even want to think about Ari learning to drive or moving out, or…I’ve been warned that I’ll worry about my kids for the rest of my life. I know that my kids have to learn and grow further, I just get worried! However, a friend of mine who has older kids has said that getting them onto IMPROV Online Drivers Courses has helped them learn about how to drive safely and efficiently so that they are more aware on the roads… I may just have to do that for the future!
There’s no such thing as perfect. So stop trying to find it!
This ties in with my first point. I’m far from a perfectionist, but it’s hard not to compare you and your family with others- no matter how hard you try not to. Things like Pinterest and Instagram glorify a beautiful home and family, and it’s always fun to look. But it isn’t worth stressing over trying to take on all the DIY projects and crafts and recipes and decorating, and, and, and…. Period. Keeping up with the Jones’s is a recipe for a nervous breakdown or stroke (there’s a reason heart disease is the #1 killer of women ladies!). Relax and enjoy life for the crazy, messy, coffee- needed journey that it is!
Messy house, dirty kids, happy Mom
Where housework got done on my days off before (and got finished!), it now gets slotted in where I can fit it. It’s a distant priority behind my family time and work. That being said, I don’t live in a pigpen and I do keep my house tidy, but I don’t fuss over the dusting and having everything perfectly in it’s place. Plus you know as soon as you’ve cleaned, it’s going to be messy 5 minutes later anyway! I’ve also learnt that like me as a kid, my young lady enjoys being active which can involve getting dirty. That’s fine. I’ll take my happy grass- stained kid over a primped miserable one any day (except for family photos!). 😉
So Moms, whatever it is you are facing, struggling with, trying to figure out- it’s ok to be whatever it is you feel. Bliss. Exhaustion. Both. And everything in between.
Relish in the joys and laugh when you feel overwhelmed. I’m just as guilty of the next person of feeling anxiety when I don’t know what the heck is going on. As my parents like to remind me, kids- and life- didn’t come with an instruction manual. So on the days when you’re don’t know whether you’re upside down or right side up and can’t get enough coffee- you’re not alone.
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