It’s been twenty-four weeks since Lucy was born. Twenty-four amazing weeks full of love, discovery, and adjustment. Twenty-four weeks throughout which I’ve learned that there is nothing as incredibly rewarding as being a mom. But I am tired. So, so incredibly tired. And after five months of non-interrupted mothering, give or take a few work opportunities and a couple of much-needed weekend getaways with my husband, I am struggling to find a balance between working, blogging, parenting, and rediscovering what it means to be me.
One of my best friends (and only close mommy friend) visited me today. She asked me how I was doing and if I was getting out of the house. She asked me simple questions about what was going on with my life. And while I’ve made an effort to keep up with my blog and taken on some light work, I realized that each time I answered her, I felt the need to justify any event or occasion that didn’t have to do with staying home with Lucy. I realized I was laden with guilt for wanting to do more and being OK with leaving her with family for a few hours while I pursued any interest outside of motherhood. And I didn’t really understand why until it dawned on me that I’ve been competing with this image I’ve drawn up of what an ideal mother should be. And it’s completely unrealistic (for me).
I’m not entirely sure where I got the idea that I needed to be a stay-at-home mom to be a “good mom.” My mother and grandmother were both working moms. Most of the women I admire are working moms. And yet I’ve felt the need to deny myself the incredible amounts of motivation to succeed that came about as a result of becoming a mother.
I’m new at this parenting bit and every bit as dedicated to being someone my daughter can admire. And part of that means being true to myself and showing her that women can choose to have careers while still maintaining a successful family life. But isn’t that just the thing? Aren’t we always struggling to balance that and fulfill some sort of female archetype about what mothers are or aren’t suppose to be?
I’m still trying to figure that out. And I’d love to understand if this is some sort of self-imposed guilt or part of the hormonal recovery that accompanies a postpartum state of being. But I do know that I’ve decided that a happy mom is probably the best bet for raising a happy child. So I’m going to give it a go, guilt or no guilt. And we’ll just see where that leads along the way.
If you’re a working mom, I’d REALLY love to hear about your transition back to the work force and how you felt about dedicating less time to your baby. Are you happy about your decision? Let me know. This mom could use some guidance.
Thanks to my husband for the pic in the park.