Category: Motherhood

Family Identity Inspiration Motherhood

My Work

My adventure of a stay at home mom continues and it has been a whole year! It’s hard to believe that I worked outside the home from the time Brady was 3 months – 18 months but I did and it’s what makes me realize and always remember just how sweet these days at home are. Even when the dog is crazy and the kids are crazy and I’m crazy, I still love my job. I NEVER knew what it was like to love your job until very recently. People often talk about loving their job and over the years I thought maybe I loved my jobs too…I could not have been more wrong. That right there…the fact that I “thought” I loved my job is evidence that I SO DID NOT love my job. Ever date anyone you “thought” you loved…right.

So I’m pretty sure I loved my stay at home job since day one, however, the revelation of, “this is what it must feel like to love your job” didn’t hit me until about February. I remember it was a cold snowy day and me and Brady got up early to go babysit our friend, Samantha. I was driving down the road with my little guy in the back seat and I thought, “Wow, this is great – WOHA, I LOVE MY JOB!” Sounds kinda silly, but once I realized that was what was happening, my job got even more fun and I take it very seriously. I’m always volunteering for new projects like researching non-toxic products, how to make your own cleaning supplies, how to eat healthier, recipes, you name it. Being home affords me the time to look into these things more closely for my family and in turn I think it makes a huge difference in our physical and emotional health.

“Work” is a funny thing. I think about it often. It’s so many things. It’s not just a 9-5, or doing what you studied in college. It’s volunteering, it’s parenting, it’s also a 9-5 and doing what you studied in college. It’s how we feel productive. How we contribute to society, or even how we think we are contributing to society. It’s a major force in our lives, all of us, and whether it’s paid or unpaid, it’s part of our story and a huge part of each of our journeys. My “work” has been so many things but my recent work is so different than I ever thought work could be. It’s parenting, mothering, nurturing, cleaning, cooking, creating in countless ways, entertaining, researching, volunteering, consulting for my friend’s company, motivating, loving, living and being. It’s so much more than all of that but that’s what comes to mind presently. I love my work, even when I’m cranky and I seem like I hate my work, I’m fooling you.

Creating Family Identity Inspiration Motherhood Simplicity

Packing up the “Professional attire” …for now

I’ve officially been a stay at home mom for two months now and we just got around to packing up the “professional attire.” Felt kinda good, strange, cool and neat. I was remembering all the times I wore each fancy garment and wondered what it will be like the next time I unpack the box. Until then, me and the little man are living the good life, pajama filled mornings and afternoon dance parties all the way.

Inspiration Motherhood

On the Brink of Another Beginning

When I was in high school and also undergrad, I’d always pictured myself as a grown up, in my mid-twenties perpetually, living in New York City with a tiny apartment and a social crowd of a few close and trustworthy friends and a separate, diverse group of  friendly acquaintances that I’d discover along the way. I’d always be wearing high heels and lipstick, oh and I’d go to the gym everyday. I’d have a cool job, where I was important and made enough money to do what I wanted, to be independent. No true vision of what cool job or enough money actually meant. Being independent would get me there. This was my vision for myself, I guess it was my dream.

With the exception of having a few close friends and a separate, diverse group of friendly acquaintances, my life could not be further from the story above. A few days ago, I turned 30. This isn’t so much about getting old as it is about “independence” and “success” and how I’ve defined those words in the past and how I define them today. I think I was raised to be independent and successful – those goals were instilled in me and repeated often. Ironically, I’m not sure who drove those points home or if I was somehow more susceptible than my female peers to the message delivered by teachers and mentors along the way, but I got the message.

It wasn’t until I became a mother 18 months ago that I actually prefer the beauty that complete dependence and interdependence offers and success as I believed it to be is vastly different than the way I now define that term. When you live 27+ years as I did, seeking to attain independence and success as defined in a paying job, it is utterly confusing to realize your true feelings about things you thought you knew are actually  very different than the way you have been living. It’s almost as if I was brainwashed to think a certain way, and now I’m seeing more clearly. Let me explain.

Why’d I use the word brainwashed? Simple, it’s the only way to describe how I feel. I’d like to clarify that I am not attempting to blame anyone at all for my feeling that way. We are all entitled to our opinions and ideas and ideals.

I feel that my former definitions of independence and success were a sum of my experience growing up in the time period and geographical location I did. Our “do” and “constant” culture that I feel exists in the area that I live in presently doesn’t sit right with me, it makes me nervous and anxious. I know it doesn’t make everyone feel this way. Mainly because I recognize that we are all so different, also because I ask people and they’ve told me so.

Back to independence. I’ve felt the value that is placed on being independent as I grew up. I’ve read the tips and tricks on making our children “independent” so early in life and the idea just didn’t sit right with me. When I was reading parenting books that told me to “leave the baby alone and at 2 weeks they should self-soothe…put the baby to sleep and don’t let them fall asleep in your arms, they need to know how to sleep on their own,” I felt so confused. I did these things, well, not really, but every time I didn’t do them, I thought that I was doing something wrong, but it just didn’t make sense to me! I didn’t want my baby to self-soothe, I was there to do it and how could you expect a 4 day old to self-soothe? Or really, even a 1 year old? They are completely and utterly created dependent creatures for a reason, because you are there to take care of them.

Soon after the confusion of all this, I discovered Attachment Parenting. I really like how this link describes it. It makes sense to me. Call it what you want, it is a way to raise compassionate, empathetic children and a way to create a more peaceful home and ultimately, a more peaceful world. I think it’s a cool idea.

Soooo…I thought things were going to be one way (cool, successful, independent, city-living, corporate status, wealthy) and I was a bit dizzy when everything panned out just the way the universe wanted it to (attachment parenting, codependent, eco curious, thrifty, departure from the paid workforce, has a house and a yard and a dog). Often I feel confused with the student debt and the no job thing, but I want to be home with my baby when he’s sick and I want to make up the songs and do the artwork, not hear about it and pick up the crafts at the end of the day. Not yet at least.

If my explanation makes no sense, I’m sorry, it’s the best I could do. Sometimes I really just talk and talk and talk and I know exactly what I am talking about but no one else does and it used to be frustrating but I’m learning to realize, it’s ok. I don’t get mad when people don’t get me, or think that I’m doing a bad job articulating, how could anyone know what I’m talking about if their experiences have been so different than mine? I just appreciate the listeners more.

Family Inspiration Motherhood

I’m a mom!

In 11 days I will be returning to work and my maternity leave will be over. So much of my life has been divided into HUGE chunks of time and very distinct categories that lead up to very major transitions. For most of 2011, I was pregnant and learning all of the ins and outs of preparing for a baby and being the best mom I could be. On December 19, 2011, that all ended and I crossed over into motherhood and welcomed the most amazing, cuddly little boy into my life, Brady. The inevitable and much anticipated crossover from pregnancy to motherhood was one that I obviously knew was going to happen, but the emotions surrounding the transition and the feelings that go along with it are not any that one can prepare for.

Life with Brady is so raw, so present and so real. Not to say that everything that came before him was “superficial” but that’s the best comparison I can think of. This life of being a mom and having a little boy and loving him so so so much is so amazingly cool. It’s so different than I’d pictured it – so much better than my already awesome vision.

But now again I sit here on the brink of another crossover – from having every waking second with my little tiny baby boy to returning back to work. Being out of the house for so many consecutive hours wearing shoes and clothes that haven’t fit me comfortably in one whole year is scary to me. How will I know what to do and how to act and how will I get all the things that need to be done accomplished? I’m looking forward to regaining a bit of independence but also terrified of the transition and all that will go along with it.