Thursday, September 29, 2016

So long, mommy martyrdom

I get tired. I get stressed. I think, why do I work so much? I think, will I wake up one day in the future and regret not spending more time at home. Sometimes that evil envy feeling creeps into my brain, and I wish I could stay-at-home with my son. You likely have it too. Stay-at-home moms, I imagine you see working moms showered and dressed with coffee in hand and think you'd love to step away from the kids for a bit. To have an adult conversation that isn't interrupted with the words or thought, 'did you just poop?"

Let's admit it. We get a little jealous. We get curious. Let's call it those things. Let's stop thinking other moms have it so much easier.

A very good friend of mine recently texted me and asked me to read a blog article. My friend is a stay-at-home mom with three young kids. She finds time to teach exercise classes while also just being a kick ass wife and mama. She was successful when she held a career, but this set up is what her family has chosen. She'll admit there are challenges. I work full time. I will also say my career/family life has difficulties. Again, it's the one my family has chosen. That makes us pretty damn lucky.

Back to that blog, my friend wanted me to read the article which had a funny scenario about what if a corporate work place and coworkers were like managing a home and little kids. It pointed out the ridiculousness kids put parents through on a daily basis and how parents are constantly struggling to get things done in the midst of the chaos. It made me laugh. But before it made me laugh, it made me roll my eyes. It had to set up the scenario by stating that working moms have it "easy." My friend shared it with me because she saw another person post it on Facebook. That woman, who works full time, found it offensive. My friend wanted my opinion.

We chatted about it.

But here's my overall opinion. Why are we so obsessed with losing? I mean, I guess in the battle for having a harder life, you could call the person with the most self-defined challenges the winner, but I kinda think they're losing when it comes to life outlook. And why do we want that? And we want it bad.

It's not just the work/stay-at home thing either. It's everything. When it comes to breastfeeding or not, using disposable diapers or not, hiring outside help or doing it all ourselves, having a pet, having a c-section, and on and on and seems so many women want to tell you why their life scenario is tougher.

Trust me. I have had my share of pity parties. I think it helps to purge your feelings from time to time. But ladies, I don't know about you, but my back can't handle a giant chip on my shoulder. It's already screaming from carrying a baby in my belly and a squirmy 2-year-old on my hip. Excess weight, be gone.

So how about we focus on being above the jealousy. How about we focus on winning. Let me start.

I chose a career that I love. A career that I feel passionate about. I have a husband who is incredibly supportive and an amazing father. He pursues his own career and spends a ton of time with our son. Sure, I sometimes wish I stayed home. Sure, I wonder how things will change with two kids. But overall, I like my life. It's not perfect, but it's really quite good. Not trying to humble brag here. You won't find a #soblessed. I'm just saying it because it's true.

My heart hurts for people who have had unwanted obstacles in their lives that are truly difficult to navigate. And there are people who have been dealt some crappy hands. But if your biggest challenge is deciding whether or not you wanted to stay home with the kids, you probably haven't had it too rough. Admit that. Own that. Love that. Be proud of that. Feel good for yourself.

Bottom line, instead of bowing down to the jealousy and guilt gods and seeking mommy martyrdom, how about we have a new mantra. How about we want to win. And after that win, let's get together and have a celebratory wine/beer/champagne toast (when I'm no longer pregnant, that is).

Monday, September 12, 2016

Room for the love. So much love.

Sunday conversation:

My husband: Didn't we have a list of people to text and email when Jack was born? Didn't we have a pre-written note with just blanks to fill in? Do we need that again?

Me: We'll just post it on Facebook. Second child. People will understand.


Monday conversation:

My mom: So do you think so-and-so can help you prepare diapers and things for the baby?

Me: Diapers?

My mom: I meant bottles and other things like that.

Me: Crap. I totally forgot I'm gonna need to buy newborn diapers. What else do I need?


The "not-my-first" child conversations are real. Most of them are pretty humorous. It's amazing how much time and energy is sucked up by child number one. And how you somehow feel both completely unprepared for baby number two and also experienced enough as a parent to tackle the chaos that will soon ensue.

That's the brain stuff. The preparation. I've sorta given into the fact that I am a little flighty this time around. It's the heart stuff that makes my brain hurt.

You see, I work. A lot. I love my career. I always wanted children, but I also always thought I could be equally fulfilled in other ways. Then my baby came along. The thought of him twists up my mind. On cue, I promise this is not made up, a second ago my phone dinged with a new text. My husband sent a pic of Jack in a grocery cart made for toddlers. He's at the wheel with the biggest grin on his face. Tears immediately welled in my eyes. 

Yes, I'm oddly emotional and pregnant, but I am also simply oddly emotional about this little boy. The child who has replaced my morning alarm clock. Instead of waking to a weird, obnoxious noise, I wake to loud yells of "Mama. Maaaaamaaaaaa. Mama?" Before the 10 p.m. newscast starts I pull up my video app to watch him fast asleep.

I don't understand where this love came from. It's sooo intense.

And somehow I'm going to find room for more of this love? How is that even possible? I know I will love this next baby just as much, but it seems impossible. I think my heart or mind or something might burst. (I'll tell you this much, I also feel like my dress might burst-but that's a different blog. 30 weeks+ pregnant is not the most comfortable I've ever been).

Back to the love. Moms and dads before me, how do you do it? Parents of 3, 4 or more kids (P.S.-you're saints) how do you do it?

I'm worried that my relationship with my husband could suffer. I'm worried my "me time" could suffer. And I'm worried my bond with that adorable toddler who can make me weep with a smile could suffer. I guess the truth is, it could. And that's most of my worry. I know the balance will fall on my shoulders. I also know there are so many mamas who have walked before me who have done an incredible job. Thank you for being an inspiration. I guess I just need to trust that as my belly gets smaller my heart/brain/whatever the heck it is that stores mama emotion will swell larger and fill with love for a person I have yet to meet.