Thursday, March 03, 2016
I originally wrote this post when Asher was 4 months old. I remember being terrified to publish it because I didn't know what people would say. And I cared what they would say. OH MY WORD. The court of public opinion was SO important to me at that point. I never clicked the button to publish it. I never truly finished writing it because I felt like I might be crucified if I put my true thoughts out there. It's been sitting in my drafts folder since May of 2011. Almost 5 years later, I think it's time. Because honestly? For the first time in my life I'm comfortable in my own skin. I'll own my opinions, behaviors and choices proudly. OF COURSE it's hurtful when people are negative and say mean things. But that's just what people do sometimes. Haters gonna hate, y'all! I'm not sure why it took me so long to realize that I shouldn't stop doing what I'm doing just because they don't want to do it too. (HEY! It only took me 30+ years...I'm hoping I can encourage my own children to get to this place a little faster than I did, but I digress...)
That's the real answer to "where have you been?" I've been adjusting to being comfortable in my skin right now. I'm not talking about the bags under my eyes or the extra 10 pounds, I'm talking about the "this is who I am and this is what I believe in but you don't have to like it or agree with it" attitude I've adopted. Have I seen some relationships fall away? Definitely. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Does everyone have to feel the same way I do? Heck no! I wouldn't want them to.
Well, without further ado...here ya go.
I've hesitated to write this post. I don't want to sound ungrateful. I don't want to sound like I've forgotten what an incredible gift we've been given. I promise, neither of those is true. I am FOREVER grateful to Asher's birthparents for the choice they made. The choice of life for him. The choice to allow us to parent a child and raise him according to God's plan. I will NEVER forget what a miraculous gift our little man is, and I hope I never cease to make sure he knows that too!
Being a mommy is hard. Sometimes really hard. I love it...I love to kiss those chunky little cheeks that are mine all mine, to stare back at him as he stares at me, and to do all sorts of crazy things just to make him smile and laugh. It's wonderful. Wonderful and hard and crazy love and overwhelming all at the same time.
Asher is an easy baby. He's always been a good eater and good sleeper. We worked really hard early on to teach him how to soothe himself and to get him on a schedule (holla Babywise!), and it has paid off big time! He's happy most of the time, naps well most of the time, eats like he'll never have another bottle ever again, and sleeps at least 10 hours at night. What more could a momma ask for?! Nothing. He's perfect. Absolutely perfect in every way. God's perfect little miracle that's mine all mine.
So, you're wondering what's my problem? For starters, I'm a perfectionist...to a fault. Yeah, I know, I learned after about 2 days that perfectionist and mommyhood don't go well together. That's been a real struggle for me. When I was on maternity leave, I felt like I should have the house cleaned, baby taken care of, and dinner on the table when Josh got home at night. After all, I wasn't working outside the home...I was here. ALL. DAY. LONG.
But I was so tired and learning a new routine. I chose to take care of myself instead of doing my chores. I would go back to sleep in the morning when Asher did...sometimes I didn't officially "get out of bed" until 11 or later. So by the time I changed my clothes, fed Asher every 2 1/2 to 3 hours, washed his bottles, did his laundry and sometimes fed myself, my day was gone. And I got NOTHING done that was originally on my to-do list. That was rough. I ended most days feeling worthless.
I was so ready to go back to work when the time came. I LOVE my job. I've always loved what I do, so I never really wanted to be a stay at home mom. Kudos to those of you who are called to do that. I am not among your ranks. For a long time, I felt really bad about that. I felt like I was not a good mom because I had the opportunity to stay home and chose to work part-time.
Then I realized that being a Mommy is not about giving up who I am to take care of my son (or feeling guilty because I know my strengths and play to them, instead of pretending I'm something I'm not) . Have I given up some things? Sure. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Would I give up everything if I needed to, just to make sure Asher is okay? Without question.
But have I forgotten me in the mix? Should I? Did some magic metamorphosis occur the second I held Asher in my arms that made me forget all the things I have loved and enjoyed my whole life? Nope, nope, and nope. Shoo, I'm glad I finally got that out there.
Sweet Asher has been dragged all over kingdom come since he was born...he's been to the beach, Washington D.C., softball games, basketball games, baseball games, Target (can I get an Amen?!), to more restaurants than I can count, and many many other places. He didn't like to roll with it early on, he got f.u.s.s.y. when we dragged him all over the place. But now? Now he LOVES it. When he's fussy at home we go run errands or make plans to go out, and he turns into one happy boy. Which makes this mama one happy girl! :)
Finding the balance between me as a wife, me as a mama, and me as a business woman is still a daily struggle. Many days I still feel like I fall short because I get so overwhelmed that I just don't do anything (other than snuggle Asher...and that's what really counts, right?!)
And that's where it stopped. I think because I wasn't sure how to wrap it up. Because I wasn't even sure that it was okay for me to feel that way at that point. A LOT of our friends were stay at home moms, the ones who worked WANTED to stay home, and I was feeling the pressure! I felt HORRIBLE for choosing to go back to work. (For the record, I stayed home after P was born for about 3 months. Again, I was really feeling the pressure, and thought that was what was best for our family. Then I went back to work because OH MY WORD, God did NOT create me to be a stay at home Mom. What is best for my family is that I have a JOB, OUTSIDE my home, where I can pee and eat by myself at least one or two days a week.)
I hope this is helpful is some way to all you new mommies out there! Mom life is hard. Just do you, do your best, love that baby, and tell everyone else where to go if they think your house, your hair, or your life is too messy. ;) Oh, and NEVER EVER apologize for your choices, and NEVER EVER allow yourself to feel pressured to explain why you're staying home, why you're working, or why your toddler hasn't changed clothes in three days!
Until next time,