I have eighteen hours a week to myself. This is when I work on my writing, do laundry, wash dishes, avoid cleaning the house in any meaningful way, shower, watch the occasional television program, cook, and shop for groceries. Among women who are stay at home mothers, I am pretty damn lucky to have those hours. I am also self-employed and working during those hours, so my days are still busy. I don’t really vacuum. Any TV I watch or snacks I devour are done so while writing copy or articles. It’s a good life. A good balance. A balance I’ve finally struck after being in Durham for three months.
I’m as much a stay at home mom as I ever will be, and looking at the above paragraph, I guess that “mom” is the role that occupies a majority of my time. “Wife” (cooker of food and cleaner of laundry, hirer of my amazing cleaning team) is secondary. “Writer-to-make-money” is tertiary; “writer-for-my-soul” is fourth-iary. I think it’s a pretty great balance, but it took some real growing pains to get here. I still don’t have it all figured out, but I might be as close as I am ever going to be.
As a woman with anxiety, I’m going to come out and say that being a stay at home mom is probably one of the hardest things I could have chosen to do. As an intensely independent and strong-willed woman, being a stay at home mom is doubly difficult. I still choose it.
Why is it difficult?
This is my third re-write of the why-is-it-difficult explanation. Ahem. Here it is: being at home with my child challenges me in a way I haven’t been challenged before. I like to be alone. I like to do my own thing. I like to shut myself off from the world and write. I do not like to be tugged on and climbed on when I’m not in a good mood. I don’t particularly like coming up with healthy food options for lunch. Nor do I like playing blocks. Nor do I enjoy finding wholesome and enriching shit to do with my child in lieu of watching television all day. (If I didn’t think it would be crap for his developing brain, I’d have “Toy Story” on a loop all day, followed by “Toy Story 2” the following day, and a topper of “Toy Story 3” every third day.) I am physically lazy, and I don’t really like going places or doing things most of the time. (Don’t I sound charming?)
I also have generalized anxiety disorder, which is a fancy way to say that I worry a lot about nothing in particular. My therapist calls this “free-floating anxiety.” As she puts it, hippie genius that she is, my anxiety floats around and attaches itself to different things day-by-day or week-by-week. That means that I’m really never not worrying about something, which is kind of shitty. It feels like a button is always pressed in my brain. That button makes most everything kind of loud and intense. It makes interactions with people the topic of made-up concerns, or it makes my skincare routine the topic of a whole lot of thinking that might be spent on other things. Or it makes me wake up in the night thinking that someone is breaking in, when the only sound is my dog snoring. The end result is that I am very tired — mentally and emotionally — since a lot of my psychic energy is spent on worrying about inane shit. A lot of my other psychic energy is spent trying to “fix” myself, or as I recently phrased it, “being anxious about having anxiety.” I had to start dealing with my anxiety when it became worse during my postpartum depression, and here I am, dealing with the pieces of it.
In order to be successful at the life I lovingly crafted for myself and my kid, I have to be patient, caring, creative, and active. The anxiety sucks a lot out of the “patient” and “active” centers of my brain, which leaves me at a deficit. More of a deficit than some other stay at home parents, I’m betting. It’s a hard job no matter how you look at it, and on the best days with all resources available, it can tire out and irritate and drain even the most well-rested, energetic, and patient parent around. I’m coming to work with one hand tied behind my back, kinda.
How do I manage?
I have this amazingly excellent day care where my kid goes three days a week for six hours a day. That’s essential, since it gives me time to do what I love to do, something that is very much part of who I am. (That’s writing, if you hadn’t gotten the clue.)
After that, I pull a lot on those caring and creative aspects of my personality. When I’m feeling annoyed, I give kisses and hugs. When I’m feeling at the end of my rope with that anxious rage creeping in, I remind myself that my son is only two and some, and sometimes being obnoxious is the only way he knows how to communicate. That’s pretty simple, but it’s hard sometimes. As all parents know. I try also to extend that caring to myself. I even remind myself that I’m a good parent, I love my kid, and my kid loves me.
As for the creative bit, I keep a variety of low-stress-for-me but fun-for-toddlers activities around the house. I have paints, tape, Play-Doh, hidden caches of unused or older toys, and recipes we can make together. I also have a library card, a garden outside, a membership to the science museum, and a ten-visit pass to the Stay and Play Cafe in Durham. When I know I will opt for sitting on my butt and lackadaisically watching my kid with his HotWheels cars, I take him somewhere. Not because I particularly want to, but because I know I’ll be a better parent if we go somewhere vaguely enriching. And he’ll have fun.
What happens that is pretty awesome — it happened today — is that sometimes, everything falls into place, and a day is lovely and magical. Sam is such a little weirdo with such an awesome sense of humor and a fantastically kind and gentle soul. I come to a place — just about every day that I am with him — where there is this incredible moment that is just pure joy. And it’s okay if everything else sucks. And it’s okay if I’m chronically worried and tired, and if he doesn’t nap and everyone is tired and eats chips for dinner.
And specifically for the anxiety piece, I deal with that as best I can. I don’t sweep it under the rug, and I don’t pretend it’s not there. I see a therapist, and I readily admit that to anyone ever, because there’s no shame in it. I work on meditating, exercising, eating healthy, and all of that irritatingly simple crap that actually makes anxiety worlds and worlds better. I’m also vocal and let my husband and the other members of my support system — my parents and friends — when I’m having a hard time. Most of all, I try very hard not to feel ashamed, which is something that anxiety has always made me feel. I also try to feel okay that this is hard on some days. And okay that other people have it much, much harder, but it’s still hard on some days for me.
Also, I don’t have a no-TV rule. We really like movies.
Why do I keep choosing this path?
As I said before, I keep choosing this job (part-time writer/part-time SAHM) not because it is easy (writing for cash ain’t easy either, but that’s another post) but because it is right for me and my child right now. “For me” and “right now” are the keys in that post, because this is not what is right for every family, nor is this always going to be my choice. In four years time, I’ll be quite ready to choose an awesome kindergarten. I don’t know what will happen in the in-between years, either.
For right now, I take this challenge as part of my growth as a person and as a parent.
Full-on extreme disclaimer: I’m aware that there are a lot of women (and some dudes too, lest I be sexist) out there who are home forty hours or more a week at home alone with their child — or children! MY HAT IS OFF TO YOU, GOOD PEOPLE. I don’t think my situation is unusually difficult or whatever, but I’m writing about it because it is a thing in my life that I want to write about.
I’ve been freelancing since July, but I haven’t touched this blog since June. Well, here I am again, a freelance mom.
I write, I write, I write. After that, I go to my job as an adjunct professor at a local community college. I write during my lunch breaks, and I send pitches when I don’t have writing projects to do. I update syllabi after that. When I get home, I snuggle my kid, give him a bath, feed him some food, and I sit down on the couch to watch a bit of TV before I go to bed. While I’m watching TV, I write again. When I get in bed, I read for my classes. I highlight and make notes. On Fridays, I stay home with the boy and try to get him to pee on the potty. Sometimes we watch movies, and sometimes we go to the nature center and look at turtles.
I took a 40% pay cut to go part time. I have one steady freelancing client, with bigger clients in between. I remind myself that I am at the bottom of a very tall mountain, and that being a writer takes time. I am happy, though, and for the first time in my adult working life, I feel like I am headed in a direction that is exactly where I want to go. I work more, and I work harder than I ever have in my life. I am satisfied, and I know I have found work that will sustain my soul and push me to be a better person.
I decided to change my career because I had reached stagnancy at my former job. When I woke up, I waded into murk, and at the end of the day, I waded back home, with bits still stuck to me. I was weighed down, hurt, and tired because of the emotional output that my job demanded of me. I also felt like I had no room to move or grow. I can write about that more sometime, but I’m not able to just yet.
I don’t really know what I’m doing yet, and sometimes that stresses me out, but I’ve pointed myself in the right direction. I know that this is probably one of the most important decisions I have made because I made it with my son in mind. There were a lot of conversations, and there may have been a bit of crying, and there was some downloading of finance apps to see if we could actually pull this change off. My husband supported me, even though he was nervous, and the people I love have all cheered me on.
Sam doesn’t know much difference at this point. Maybe he knows that he’s home with me a little bit more — that change is probably mostly just for me right now, but it could affect him; it’s not apparent. However, I know that the change in me is the important thing, and it will continue to be important as my son grows up. I think there are some people who have assumed I switched to a part time teaching job just so I could stay home more with my child. This is not the case. It is certainly a bonus, and it has made my transition that much sweeter. The true crux of the issue is what I want to teach my son. When I started thinking about leaving my cozy job with its very nice salary and stellar benefits package, I had to ask myself a lot of questions. Did I want my kid to have a mom who trudged to work? No. Did I want my son to see a mother smiling and happy at her job? Certainly, yes. Did I want to set an example of someone who is proactive, adventurous, and positive? Yes, because those are the things I want him to be. Did I want him to see his dreams as something he could definitely accomplish? Why, yes. So, after many job applications, a lot of horrible SEO writing, and some blind pitches to companies and colleges, I made a change. It fell into place, and now it is what I do. I’m still at the bottom of that mountain, but it’s not unscalable. After my leap, it seems that nothing is impossible.
When Sam grows up, I don’t want him to shut his dreams down because they aren’t immediately tangible. I don’t want him to look at his desires and only see impossibility. I want him to see opportunities everywhere he looks, and I want him to see adventure in the choices he makes. Above all, I want him to continue to value fun and pleasure in the passions he has developed. In being a teacher and in being a writer — the two things that I love and am good at — I am setting an example for him that will last for the rest of his life.
In a book I was reading about self-esteem, the first few chapters focus keenly on the way you, the reader, were parented. If your parents were consistent, loving, and positive, then you’re likely to be a stable, self-assured person. I also heard that what you tell your kids when they’re young becomes their inner monologue. It follows that the examples you set about your chosen work will influence how your child thinks about his. When Sam’s inner monologue starts rambling about his major in college, or his decision to go to Barcelona and take photographs for a year, or his yen to travel the world and read stories to children, or his desire to paint, or make music, or do math problems like his dad — I want it to say,”Yes.” That one simple word will make all of the difference in the way he chooses to live his life, and I want it to reverberate through his brain, and his soul, and his body, and his actions. As he grows, I want to see him glow with positivity at the thought of trying something challenging, I want him to reach heights that I cannot, and I want him to be content with whomever he becomes.
I owe a lot to my own parents. They said to me over and over that I could do or be anything I wanted, and overall, they were happy with what they did for a living. This has made it possible for me to make the next leap forward in my own life. This is not a part-time job that I am taking so that I can spend an extra day or two a week with my kid. That’s just the bonus, as I said. This is the tender little beginning to the rest of my life. It is raw and new, and I don’t know what I am doing. I run to work with a smile, though, and I sit and write with satisfaction. I can only hope that Sam will someday know that every bit of my weird little career is completely for him. May you always be happy, my boy.
I breastfed Sam for the last time just after he turned eight months old. It seems funny that I didn’t know it would be the last time. Now I replay that moment in my head — lying down next to my baby after a long trip to my parents well after his bed time, and nursing him until he fell asleep gently beside me. I knew he needed me then — not for nutrition but for comfort and warmth. He slept through the night until the next morning. He woke up happy.
Since then, he’s had exclusively Earth’s Best formula, which he seems to like. He hasn’t had any upset stomach, weight loss, or other adverse reactions — and it seems that he is thriving, growing, and meeting his milestones just as he should.
And yet. There isn’t a time that I feed him that I don’t think I’d rather be nursing him. He makes sweet little humming sounds when he eats — just like he did when he nursed. And it makes me feel deeply guilty and quite sad.
As I have said before, I wasn’t that enthused about breastfeeding from the get-go. And as natural-mama as I try to be (sometimes), I didn’t see myself breastfeeding too much beyond one year. (No hating for those who do … it just didn’t seem right for me.)
We have a healthy, thriving baby. I am a lady who knew she would make the switch sometime — to formula or cow’s milk. So why the feelings?
For one, I wasn’t ready. My body made the choice for me in a lot of ways. When I returned to work and started pumping, Sam was okay at first — and then, he started eating twice as much as I could pump in a day. I made up for that by pumping at night and on weekends. I took Lactation Support (which is primarily made of the herb Fenugreek), which worked but left me with some not-so-great side effects like intestinal cramping. When I was prescribed Wellbutrin, my supply shot down to the point where I had to start formula. (I don’t know why I responded to the medication that way — but apparently other women have had the same problem. And some don’t.) Once I started formula, Sam didn’t want to nurse as much, and when he did he was left hungry and fussing. He got so used to the bottle that he stopped nursing altogether — and now he doesn’t even remember that he ever did.
I look at my history with nursing — the complications and the inconvenience and the supply drop that made me quit. And I feel like that’s just what I did. I quit. I gave up on my baby when he still needed me, and still needed the perfect nutrition that is human milk. No formula compares. Handling formula makes me know that — it’s essentially sticky powdered cow’s milk mixed with corn syrup (or table sugar!) to make it sweet. Its fat content comes from added oils like palm and coconut. The fat in formula condenses in little yellow globules when it’s mixed with water. Just looking at breast milk, you can see the difference — the creamy milk fat rises to the top and separates (just like how cream separates from cow’s milk before it’s processed). Breast milk smells sweet, where formula smells strongly of iron and oil. Breast milk is living, full of nutrients and antibodies that no science lab could replicate into a powder.
I’ve gone through these punishing thoughts a fair number of times, letting them cycle over and over again in my brain. On better days, I respond to them by saying: “My husband and I were formula fed, and we’re fine, healthy and smart. Sam is thriving. I gave him eight months of my milk, and he will always have that. Formula is not unhealthy — it is designed for human babies, and it is researched and improved upon all the time. Plus,” I whisper, “It’s easier. You can drop Sam off with your parents and stay away for a night. You can let your husband feed him. You don’t have to worry that day care will run out of breast milk.” But still, I struggle, and I struggle to shut down the voice that says I didn’t do the right things, and I didn’t try hard enough.
I’ve talked a lot about judging in my two previous posts. If I’m to look back and take wisdom from my own words and thoughts, I would say that moms tend to judge themselves the most harshly. I know I do — I know I’ve always been my own worst critic, and when it comes to being a mother, I tend to make that critical voice ten times worse. There are certain things that I must let go. Even though I know that I could have bent over backwards to keep breastfeeding, with supplements and teas and endless pumping (and I applaud the ladies who do that — y’all are hardcore), for us, now was just as good a time as any to end. For other moms, maybe their journey is longer or shorter, or maybe it’s a formula feeding journey the whole way. What ends up being important is a healthy baby, who feels close to and trusting of his or her mother. Whatever way that is accomplished is, and will be, alright by me.
By writing this, I hope to release it and move on. My baby is beautiful, and every day, he shows me that he is strong and happy and loving.
Hello to the three or four people who read my blog! I know that you may have noticed that I have been absent recently. If you read my previous post, you may have guessed why I have been absent. That’s right — it’s because I’ve published a bestselling memoir of my life, and I’ve already sold the movie rights to Warner Brothers. I’ve been told they may cast Ellen Page to play me, but I’m still holding out hope for Scarlett Jo. I just don’t think Ellen would look right with blond hair. Either way, I’ve just been way too busy rolling around in piles of money to write on my little blog.
Ha ha. Opposite day. That didn’t really happen. As you may have actually guessed, or if you know me, you’ve likely become aware that I haven’t been myself in the past months. I have been coping with postpartum depression — not as majorly terrible as some folks experience, but still it’s pretty rough.
I was talking with a friend recently about how “depression” is such a dirty word. “Postpartum” certainly makes it sound better — “Oh, I don’t have depression, I have postpartum depression. It’s a special kind of depression that mommies get because their hormones are doing terrible things to their brains. It’s not like regular, run of the mill depression. The kind that doesn’t have a specific cause or a specific end date. I have the kind of mommy depression that Gwyneth Paltrow had with Apple. And now she’s a regular guest star on Glee!” Yes, it’s okay to have postpartum depression because it’s gotten a little bit of a notoriety, and it has this specific CAUSE that makes people feel a little more comfortable with it.
Well let me clue you in, it is EXACTLY the same as the regular, run of the mill, general depression. The same chemicals go haywire in your brain. Even though there may be a specific cause, no one can guess an end date. You have the same horrible thoughts, perhaps even obsessions and compulsions, and on many days, you just might not want to get out of bed. I feel exactly the same as when I have suffered major depressive episodes before — except this time, it doesn’t just affect me and my college roommate, or me and my boyfriend, or me and my experience living abroad in Japan. It affects me and my child, me and my husband, me and my family, me and my job that I love. It’s just the same ugly thing that it always has been; only now, the stakes are higher. It isn’t trendy, or fun, or “lighter” than regular depression. It doesn’t magically end when Sam turns one, and it didn’t have a discernible starting point either. It’s the same damn thing as depression without the adjective, and it really sucks.
Because PPD (at least, for me, I can’t speak for others) is like the regular old-hat depression, I’ve looked to treating it the same way. I take medication, I try to exercise when I have the time, and I go to talk therapy. I look up on days that are good and realize how lucky I am. I have insurance to pay for appointments and pills that make my brain work well enough so that I can begin to heal. I lucked out and found an amazing therapist who really gels with my personality — she laughs at my jokes and curses and has my same politics, and isn’t shy about saying so. I have colleagues who care about what’s going on with me, and I have a family who supports, encourages, and loves me. On not so good days, I sink in ways that I don’t want to describe here. For those of you who have experienced depression, you know what I am talking about. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
I look back on my blog over the past year, and I am proud that I came back to writing along with the creation of this beautiful new life. I also look back and wonder — and perhaps this is through the lens of depression — why anyone would want to read my pronouncements about how cloth diapers are better than disposables, or why you should breastfeed as long as you can, or why you should give birth without an epidural, or choose not to circumcise your son. These are things I still believe, but depression has humbled me and my strong opinions. I had to go to using disposable diapers 80% of the time when Sam entered day care, and the medication I am on dried my breast milk up almost as soon as I took the first pill. (And fenugreek, you can suck it. I hate you forever. More on that in another post.) I look at my birth and I am proud that I accomplished exactly what I wanted, but I am no better than any other mother who has ever had a child.
Moms, and dads, you are heroes. Whether or not you choose to have an epidural, or put a organic hemp diaper or a Pampers Swaddler on your baby’s butt, or choose to feed breast milk or Enfamil, whether to stay home or have a nanny or day care — those are NOT the important decisions I once thought they were. The important decisions, well, those are harder to define. I believe they are the decisions that relate to how you love yourself, and how you love your child. What example you choose to present, and what kind of person you raise your child to be. How you choose to express yourself to your child and how you choose to bring order into your child’s life. Those are the things — and they are really the only things right now — that I view as important.
As Natalie Portman said in Garden State, I’m “in it” right now. And being in it — and being much more concerned with trying to figure things out in my life — that’s made me not want to write posts about which organic baby food I feed to my kid, or why exactly I think FuzziBunz are great diapers. I know a lot of my previous posts verged on preachy, and while a lot of my friends have let me know that they enjoyed reading what I had to say, I’m pretty done with being preachy.
As parents, we’re doing the best we can (I mean — not every parent is — but the ones I know sure are). We’re surviving day to day, trying to teach these little amazing people how to be good and honest and conscious. We make great decisions and terrible mistakes. Who am I to say what is best?
Another friend said to me, right before the birth of her second child — a beautiful little girl — that she does not judge other parents. Or she tries not to. Her husband had remarked to her one day, upon seeing a four or five year old girl with a pacifier, that it was improper, or wrong, or something like that, and that the parents shouldn’t be allowing her to have a pacifier at that age. My friend responded — “You don’t know. That little girl could have autism, and the pacifier is the only way she can cope with being at the store. You don’t know. You NEVER know.” This has stuck with me big time. What wise words — we can’t ever know what is going on in another parent’s life, or what is happening in the life of their child. We can give advice, when solicited, but that’s really all. (I CAN judge that horrible woman who is making her child get Botox treatments, because I do know that is wrong for sure. Otherwise, I’m trying to be like my wise friend and just chill.)
You can never predict the choices you will make, or will have to make, with your child. You can never predict how you will feel on a day to day basis, or exactly how you will figure out how to be the best parent that you can be. Being a mom and dealing with depression has made me more aware of this than I ever was before.
So, on good days, hopefully I will come back to writing with a different tone in my voice. On not so good days, you can probably find me sitting on my porch and soaking in the sun, or in my bath with my baby who is squealing at the wonder it is to splash in the water. (Oh the sounds he makes!) In trying to find contentment, I am discovering myself to be a person who must release some of her firmly held opinions. I am slowly learning not to judge the decisions of others, and in this process, I am learning not to judge myself. At least, I am trying.
Hey there! Long time no see. I have had one of my customary two week time periods of no posting. I do have excuses, which include Big Love, Modern Family and a recent obsession with British television (Skins and Being Human, to be specific) … I’ve also been working on a short story in the evenings, and I’ve been pumping around 10PM every night. These things help my sanity, my creative energy and my freezer supply, but alas, my blog has been neglected. And here I was thinking that February would finally be the month I hit twenty posts. ALAS, it is not so.
What should I talk about this evening?
SLEEP. We all want it, we all want more of it, and we all want our babies to do it (those of us who have babies, anyway).
It seems like years ago that I posted on my Facebook page a query that went something like this:
Co-sleeping moms — tell me, how did you move your baby to the crib? When did you do it?
It might have been more colorful than that, since I was at that time getting FAR LESS SLEEP than I do today, but yeah, I was way to lazy to find it right now and reprint it word for word. Lots of moms answered — there were different methods suggested (from parent’s bed, to car seat, to crib or from parent’s bed, to co-sleeper, to co-sleeper in the hallway). I asked lots of people when to do it — and those suggestions varied even more wildly. My supervisor said 8 or 9 months, a friend with three kids said 4-6 months, another suggested that any old time was fine. Like everything in parenting, there proved to be no one right answer.
There was one thing I was sure of, though — Sam had to move out of our bed, and yes, out of our room.
Don’t get me wrong, here. I’m a mom who goes against the grain in many ways. Yes, hell yes, I do believe that the crib industry is RIDICULOUS in this country. I LOATHE Babies R Rape Your Wallet. I think that the corporations are at least somewhat behind the stigma against co-sleeping in our society. And omigosh yes, I love cuddling with my baby. And no — lordy my gosh no — I do NOT believe co-sleeping is NEARLY as dangerous as folks make it out to be. (At least not for my twenty pound kicking, clawing monster baby.) And yes, I did enjoy co-sleeping at times.
But just like I don’t buy that co-sleeping is dangerous — I don’t buy that it helps all moms who do it get more sleep. I just don’t buy it. Because you know what? That is some BULL. I get way more sleep with Sam in his crib, and guess what? He does too.
I said I’d do it by six months, and here it is approaching Sam’s six month birthday (March 13, everyone!), and he’s 100% in his crib all night long. Every night. From 7PM to 7AM. And these days, he wakes up only once between 2 and 4AM.
I’m not bragging — I’m just telling you that you can do it. I know you’re out there, moms who find my blog. You are the mom who wanted to love co-sleeping, or heck, you are the mom who ended up doing it because it’s the only way your child would sleep. And now you don’t sleep because you have a snorfling four month old clawing at your arm and kicking you in the ribs at 3AM. He wakes himself up, the dog wakes up, you wake up, and then your bedmate wakes up. And everyone is awake. Good heavens.
It wasn’t super easy, but in retrospect, it could have been easier.
This is how I did it.
First, I set an earlier bed time. Sam had been going to bed with us. This seemed to make sense. He would be weird and fussy from about 7-10 and sometimes take a nap in that time, but meh, it was fine. Around the new year, I thought I’d give an earlier bed time a try. I started with 9PM. That worked! Without us in the room! I nursed him, put him in his co-sleeper, and he was out. Then I moved to 8PM, and then 7PM. There were nights it didn’t work at first. But I kept with it, and now Sam is lights out by 7PM (sometimes 6:30) or he’s a monster to deal with. He is zonked out, down and out, done at that time. It is such a blessing to have my night time time back!
Second, I de-co-sleepered his co-sleeper. I took off the risers, pulled up the bassinet rail, and moved that thing to the foot of the bed. I will say that this didn’t work super well. After he woke up at night, he didn’t want to go back to the co-sleeper. Instead, he was in bed with us. BUT still, at least part of the night, he was at the foot of the bed, not seeing us.
Third, I just went for it. I nursed him until he was totally zonked, and I put him in the crib. He slept there until 1AM the first night, and then I took him into the bed. I kept this routine up until I got up the energy to try out nursing in the nursery.
Fourth, I nursed in the glider in the nursery for the wake ups. This was the hardest part. Oh lordy, it is hard not to take the cuddly little baby back to bed and nurse him there. But it is so worth it. I would nurse him, and then I would put him back in the crib — whether he seemed tired or not! Inevitably, in five minutes, he is back asleep. A miracle!
At this time, he seems to be adjusted. He enjoys his crib. He doesn’t cry when he wakes up — he talks and wiggles and eats his feet.
And that, as they say, is that.
I’m officially back at work. Well, if you consider part time official. I consider it official, since I have a full time job at home (being a mom), and a thirty hour a week work from home/work at work job. It’s a lot to manage, and it feels pretty official to me.
I like it. I like it more than I thought I would.
I like it because we do fun things at work, like guided meditation and small group activities for training. I like it because the students we teach and guide are smart, funny, passionate, and unique. They break stereotypes. They learn, and we learn from them.
I like it because my coworkers are excited to see me, and there’s always someone to sit down and eat lunch with.
I like it because my work serves a good purpose. If I can convince one student to pursue his or her dream, finish college, or love a book, I’ve done good in this world. And I want to keep doing that.
I like it because I have a new role that I’m excited about. I will still be teaching, but I will be designing and observing classes. And that is really cool.
I like it because my coworkers are smart and insightful, and they inspire me to grow. I like it because I work with other working moms and dads who love their kids and make time for their families. I like it because they share their experiences with me. I like it because I work with some of my best friends, mentors, and people that I truly admire. My coworkers are a gift.
I like it because it is a part of me that is not mom. And that’s okay. It is a part of me that is me, and that is beautiful.
I like it because, when I get home, Sam smiles at me, and I remember how much I’ve missed him all day.
I like being at work because it gives structure to my life. It is a challenge, but it is good and real and solid.
It’s good to be back.
Welcome to the Savvy Mom Space
I’m a liberal feminist that believes that liberal, feminist ideals should gel with embracing your gender and motherhood (if that’s what you feel like doing). I support all kinds of moms and dads and parents. Oh and, although I totally love that natural vibe and not harming the environment, I supplement my organic milk and fresh fruits and veggies with the occasional Twix, the frequent Oreo, and the daily Coke Zero. I’m opinionated, not easily offended, and a loudmouth in person and on the internet. I am what I am. Welcome.