An interesting thing happened when I made the switch from a career focused woman to a mom who stays home with her kids. I didn't know exactly where I belonged.
In the beginning (when Max was a baby and I went back to work) whenever people would ask what I "did" I would always feel a pang of guilt saying I was a working parent. I wondered if they judged me for having a baby, but not being home with him all day, every day.
|Getting my snuggles in after a day at work. Circa 2010.|
After much inner turmoil and a lot of thought and number crunching, Billy and I decided I would stay home full time. I thought that the question "what do you do?" would become easier to answer because I'd no longer feel guilty about working. But I struggled to find the voice to say "I'm a stay at home mom." I would add the word "just" in there and smile...a little embarrassed. Part of me worried it would sound like I was boasting that I didn't "work". The other part of me worried that someone might think I was lazy because I didn't "work". It's such a weird paradox that I never imagined being faced with when we decided to have kids.
|Reading to Max after bath time. I cherished the short hours I had between getting home and putting him to bed.|
Too soon these "little" days will become memories neatly packed (and blogged) away. I know that one day I'll return to my career and begin to uncover aspects of the person I was when I was able to put myself first.
It's not easy to collaborate all of the parts of oneself. The mom and the wife and the person I am at the core all find a place within me and constantly work to live in equal harmony. One not overpowering the other. But it takes a conscious effort to keep them all thriving.
I don't think I have it all figured out quite yet and probably never will, but I'm committed to living each phase of my life in a way that feels right to me and in a way that's best for the people I love most.
There are sacrifices we've had to make and days that I WISH I had an office to escape to. But I know without a doubt where I belong for now. And I'm giving it all I've got.