When I was growing up, being a mother wasn’t a dream I had. I kinda assumed that I would become a mother, but it wasn’t this dream I had of having a big pregnant belly or holding a sleeping (or screaming infant).
And then I had my first, and she made me question the amount I could love someone. She was ao easy and fun and loved everything I ever did. She made me begin to realize how much I loved being a mother and how I would happily give up everything and completely inconvenience my needs for a child.
I was still working at Duke during this and, as most working moms do, I cried and cried and cried at the thought of going back to work and leaving her without me. I also cried at lots of other first, her first bottle, her first paci, all these things that made it seem that she didn’t need me.
Right at Mary Margaret’s first birthday, we got pregnant with Virginia, and I worried how I could ever make room in my heart for another baby. All my baby-love revolved around Mary Margaret and it seemed impossible to make more room.
And then we had Virginia, and she was sick initially in the hospital and the thought of losing her tore through me SO hard. And then when she was home, she was tough and made me question my confidence as a parent. And to this day, she is still rascally and makes me chase her around parking lots (how scary, right?) and tests me daily.
Then when Virginia was 6 months old we decided it would be best for our family that I stay home with our girls. And whereas once I was a working mom, I became a stay at home mom who didn’t get many breaks, and definitely didn’t have the adult conversations I had days before.
People sometimes ask if I miss working, and I don’t. I REALLY don’t. But, there are a few things I wish would have been carried over to the new job. When I was working, I was pretty good at my job, and people would tell me I was doing a good job. I was able to come home and feel like I’d accomplished something and was making a difference in my work. At home, I get less reinforcement about my skills, and there is less of a rubric as to what ensures I am hitting my job goals.
Also, little things like bagels delivered on random mornings, lunch meetings, going out for co-workers birthdays… mainly just excuses to eat. Along with lots of free coffee and a cover to buy and use school/office supplies.
The boss ladies, they are pieces of work sometimes.
But then I remember how much I longed to be home when I was working, and how much I love getting my girls up from their naptimes and how happy they were to see me. Also, now I sometimes get the chance to sleep in and snuggle with a little (still nursing) almost 2-year-old, and get to stumble around and make a good breakfast and drink lots my coffee that I have to brew myself.
These girls have pushed me into the job I didn’t even know I wanted. And it’s amazing and I never dream of going back into the “formal” working world anytime soon.