Some might argue I’ve been working ever since I began staying home 6 years ago. That’s when my blogging
obsession adventure began.
Back then, I’d have argued that I left my job in news as a journalist, producer & writer and back then, working meant making money and I wasn’t making any.
Blogging became my natural outlet because I needed a place for my words to go.
When people asked if I worked, I’d say I was a “stay at home mom” and a journalist in a past life. It felt like two different lives.
Before that, I had gone straight from college and into the newsroom (though my mom would say it was in me since I was 5 and telling stories into my tape recorder.)
It’s always been my passion.
I was a writer at heart. And always really nosey and always wanting to know what’s going on. So naturally, news was a good fit.
I never once had a question of what I’d be when I grew up. When I won 1st place in a news feature category in high school for my story on Hurricane Andrew, it was solidified. 1000 times over.
I always knew I had wanted to stay home with the kids when the time came, and we were in a position that I’d be able to. I felt lucky. Things were panning out just like I had pictured. Graduating college, launching career, finding suitable happy lovely smart (funny) husband, having babies. All in the order in which I had pictured.
Things were coming together.
But with so much of my identity wrapped up in my career, it was hard at first. Here I was supposedly living the life I had always imagined and I was busy having an identity crisis. Multiple.
It was hard giving up my career and watching my friends climb that same ladder I was on, all the way to the top while I paused, somewhere in the middle.
I questioned who I was.
I questioned where I was going.
What would I do later? Would anyone even want me then?
I panicked a little inside.
Who was I becoming?
I wish I could tell myself that I’d eventually figure that out and not to worry so much. But there is no way for her to have known that I suppose.
The early days of stay-at-home-motherhood were long days of not even showering, nowhere in particular to go, long spaces of silence. I had a lot of time to think about this.
Then again, there were days of rubbing wonderful bald baby head, snuggling after the morning feeding as the sun poked in through the bedroom window and the world began to wake up, songs, stories, the daily mid-afternoon meltdown where I would rock him singing the choo choo song as the train passed by in the distance.
Crying (from both of us), tummy times and play dates, food (and poop) splatters, bath times and the wonderful sweet smells of a well-fed baby swaddled after baths.
Those moments made me swoon.
Rows of toothless gums. Oh how I loved them.
Even now as I look in the rearview mirror at my 4 & 6 year old, I fall in love all over again.
For me, motherhood was filled with many personal identity crises, many evolutions, while always managing to remain still one long never-ending love affair.
To me, the emotions of motherhood were vast and ever-changing and sometimes confusing.
I wondered back then how we would fill this time, this expanse of time that seemed to stretch out before us.
TODAY I wonder where the time went.
Did I enjoy it enough? Did I take advantage of it? Did I spend too much time wondering what would come next that I didn’t enjoy the “now?”
Did we do enough? Together?
As typing this question makes tears stream down my face, I look back to six years ago.
I made my own baby food.
We sang songs and read books and had play dates and snuggled. We sat in the driveway and felt the sun on our faces.
We felt the grass in our toes and we took a zillion pictures doing it all.
We went to the docks at the marina and looked for dolphins. We went to the zoo, museums, the beach, the park, we went on trips to the apple orchards and visited family and friends.
I learned how to make gravy because holy moly, as a stay at home mom, I learned how to cook.
I decorated my holiday table with place cards and centerpieces because by golly I was now hosting holidays at my house! I learned to make a turkey and a ham. Yes, this person who not so long ago made pancakes so dense they could have been used as serving plates actually made a turkey so juicy we annihilated it as a family.
I only poisoned my husband once trying to make a three-meat meatloaf by Emeril. I still remember that day too, having raw meat-hands, trying not to touch anything, the baby screaming from the bouncy seat, time was running out before my husband got home, I was sweating. I got angry at too many ingredients and swore off recipes with too many ingredients.
I went on field trips.
I was a room mom.
I was team mom.
I brought the snacks and the juice boxes.
I made costumes for the preschool festivals.
I learned to sew.
I made blankets and costumes and crafts and jewelry.
We made fake play-dough and colored and painted and cooked and funneled sand and rice krispies and made paint tracks with dollar-store cars.
I planned elaborate birthday parties with homemade favors and decorations.
I’d blog some more, about fitness and the physical identity crisis of a postpartum weight-gain, and I’d do interviews and stories on things I loved.
I’d begin to evolve as a person and mother once again trying to match the outside with the inside.
I’d begin to bring in some money through blogging or showing others how.
And I eventually learned lessons like even if you plan these elaborate birthday parties, the kids will only remember key things like the theme or the horse, fire truck or the jumpy house. Not the elaborate biohazard favor bags or the homemade dalmatian fire dog cookies you baked for hours the night before and ran out of flour and had to run to the neighbors because your husband was out of town and also you accidentally threw away the keys while he was in China.
But that’s ok. It was still all fun to do and I loved it.
I learned not to care about what other moms (and dads) think of me. (Very valuable lesson: Ignore the head shaking and hemming and hawing as your child throws the loudest fit on the baseball field or in the grocery store, making you ironically drop that bottle of wine you so badly needed after this embarrassing display when you sweat and get all hot and your face turns red.)
And I learned not to judge. Because I have been the mom who pushed it just a shade too far past nap time resulting in the restaurant screamer, rushing to get the check and scarfing the food.
I learned that my kids will not remember the details of what I brought or didn’t bring or how I looked that day. Just that I was there.
So to the question of did we do enough?
I can always think of more we could’ve done. But they won’t remember that. They’ll only remember that I was there for them for the hugs and the scrapes and the never-ending line of questioning that continues on even now.
For all of it.
And now, as I find myself evolving again and exit an interview for a job doing what I (hope I will still) love, my heart aches a little at how fast it all actually went. 6 years, gone in a flash.
Just like that.
Yes, I did enough. I was enough. I still am. I know that now. My life is defined not by my job or career or the would’ves or could’ves but instead by the millions of moments I spent loving them and being myself, a wife, a mother.
No matter what my career is, I will always continue to wear many hats and hope I’m doing a good job at it.
The funny thing is, 6 years really isn’t all that long.
And I’ve done plenty to maintain my marketability: I was a manager, chef, party planner. I was a designer, organizer, painter. I was a blogger, interviewer, and teacher. And even more than that.
All wrapped up in one.
And I wouldn’t change a thing.
Post Footer automatically generated by wp-posturl plugin for wordpress.