I used to do some really cool things. I’ve been to Peru, Jamaica, and Honduras on work trips, and went on road trips around Ontario (and Maritimes) for work. I went, I saw, I stayed up late. Then, something changed. I became a mom. I have been a mom for just over three years, and I feel like I am still trying to find a balance between doing things for myself, doing things for my family/children, doing things with my husband, doing things with my friends…it’s a lot to balance! To be honest, I often write my blog posts a couple days in advance (during nap time), and this morning I am realizing why I do that. I am trying to block out VeggieTales in the background, respond to “Mommy, can I have another yogurt, please?” and listen to the monitor for baby cries.
I know many moms, especially those with young children, can relate. Instead of saying, “I used to do some really cool things, but I’m a mom now,” I would love to say, “I am a mom to cool people, and occasionally, I still do some pretty cool things!” I have so much appreciation for this stage in my life. I love my children, and the privilege to be a mom is not something I take lightly. Many times a week, if not daily, I sit back at some point and just look around my house. It often looks something like this…
I love having toys around my house (though prefer when they are put away after being played with…). I wonder what the house would look like without toys. I see the car seat and my thoughts wander to my little girl and her little life. I try to remember what it felt like to just get up and leave the house. I listen in to the monitor at my baby girl waking up. I remember those I know who wish there was a baby in their life.
(Get spit on by the baby, fed and changed her, got my son a snack…and back at it. Haven’t even had my tea yet this morning!)
So, here I am in this stage of life trying to balance “the mom life” with doing things for myself and with others. We have an interesting family dynamic going on here that makes things a little less complicated for scheduling, and a lot more complicated for budgeting. The four of us are all at home…all the time. My husband is off work with a back injury, so while that is not what we would like for him right now, I have the flexibility of having our car for errands and taking the kids to visit people. I know that I am very fortunate to have that flexibility while many moms are stranded at home without a car all day. I also work from home. I never actually took any time off when I had my daughter a few months ago. I slowed down, but I never stopped working. I really never dreamed that I would be a “working mom” – a strange and unfortunate phrase which we know to mean ‘working outside of the house,’ even though technically I work from home. I always pictured myself as a SAHM, but then out of necessity grew this career. And out of this career, my life started to balance itself with doing things for my kids and doing things for myself.
So now, all in one day, I might get up in the night with my kids, wake up with them, feed them breakfast, check emails, play time, story time, and then feverishly work during nap time, errands with the kids (my son LOVES coming with me for errands!), a little play time, supper, the whole bedtime routine, and then work for a few hours at night. And somehow, this is creating a strange and ever-fluctuating balance where I work, earn a living, but don’t have to leave the house too often, and being a mom. I get to go to conferences and leaders’ retreats. I have the joy of tucking sweet little people into bed at night. I earned a trip to Costa Rica for my husband and I that is coming up in a few weeks! I have two little people who smile big and bright when they see me every morning. I attend and facilitate conference calls….often with many interruptions.
The longer I am a mom, the more I realize that no formula is perfect. Moms who work outside the house miss their children, moms who stay home miss the outside world. Moms who try to do both can feel like neither is getting their best attention. Moms adapt…that’s what they do. Some phases of life require you to stay home, other phases require you to work, and some moms don’t have much choice in staying home or working as they have to provide for their kids.
The mom life. I wouldn’t ask for anything different right now, but I would love to hear what you do to keep your sanity, have some fun, and enjoy a hobby or two…all the while trying to be a great mom.