Our first night out without the babe.
Our first night out without the babe.
It has been a whirlwind year that flew by in the blink of an eye. It is crazy how much our lives changed in that year, but also how much they stayed the same.
My story began in July 2010 when I found out I was pregnant and realized I would soon face the decision of whether to stay at home or continue with my job. For as long as I can remember my desire in life was to stay home with my kids. Before I was even married I knew I wanted to be a stay at home mom. It just seemed like the only option to me. Then when I got pregnant I realized that decision wasn’t as easy as I once thought it would be. I never imagined when I got pregnant that I would be at a job that I loved and enjoyed going to everyday and would get sad thinking about leaving it.
I also never imagined that. I would gain 40 pounds during pregnancy. Clearly pregnancy held several surprises for me. But that is neither here nor there.
Throughout pregnancy this question of whether to work or stay home was always at the forefront of my mind. I felt like I had a jumble of questions and thoughts going through my head at all times:
How can I leave my brand new baby with a stranger?
Will I miss adult interaction if I stay home?
I’ve always wanted to stay home, how can I even think of working?
What if I quit my job that I love and then hate being home and now I don’t have a job?
How can I possibly think I will hate staying home? I will be with my baby. This is my dream.
What if I quit my job and then we have unforeseen expenses come up and we are struggling on one salary?
How can I say I have faith if I don’t believe God will provide?
How could I give up a great job that I love in an economy like this?
How can I think about the economy when it comes to my baby?
Does it make me a bad mom to even consider working?
And so on and so on and so on.
It really was exhausting living in my mind during that time. Actually I think it was exhausting just living WITH me during that time. Just ask my husband.
All these questions were weighing on my mind on a daily basis, and I still wasn’t coming to a decision easily. For a while I avoided the subject all together. Avoidance is my spiritual gift. I can avoid anything like a champ.
But obviously, avoiding the issue wasn't going to solve anything in this situation.
Eventually I was offered a part time job at my current place of employment and I could not have been happier. It seemed like the absolute best solution. I would still be contributing money to our family income while keeping adult interaction in my life, and using skills that I spent four years at college obtaining, all the while, still spending time during the week with my baby. It really seemed too good to be true.
I have now been back at work for a little over a month, and while I’m still in the early stages of the back to work process I can say that this new lifestyle is working out wonderfully. I work 20 hours a week at the beginning of the week leaving me with the remainder of the week to fulfill my SAHM dreams.
I have to say, nobody, I mean NOBODY was more shocked than I was when I realized that I loved working part time. I had excepted to go through a period of being down about it and wanting to give up and thinking it was too hard to balance with all of the motherly duties that life entails, but in a weird (and ironic?) way I have found going to work to be good for me.
Yes, it is hard to balance everything that life holds. Cooking, cleaning, spending time with God, spending time with my husband, exercising (remember that 40 pounds?), reading books that I want to read, blogging, and the various other things that life throws at us along the way all the while balancing being a new mom which we all know is no doubt a full time job in itself.
I am coming to terms with the fact that I will never feel that I have everything perfectly balanced. There will be times when my house is immaculate and clean as a whistle, yet I haven’t exercised all week.
Or I will be on top of my game in the exercise area but I haven’t cooked all week.
I am learning to relax and not try to do it all. And realize that each week is a fresh start. Just because I didn’t cook last week doesn’t mean I can’t meal plan this week and get back on track.
I will admit, there have been times when I have felt guilty for enjoying work. I’m not sure if I actually feel guilty or if I feel like I’m supposed to feel guilty? I enjoy my time at work and then wonder if it’s wrong that I enjoy that time? Shouldn’t I be sitting and crying about how much I miss my baby?
I do miss him, but I also enjoy the time at the office. Which is why I feel like working part time offers me the best of both worlds.
Plus, as with everything this is just a season of life. This is something that I feel like God reminds me daily and it has helped me get through so many areas of my life. Believe me there were many times prior to going back to work that I pouted and had adult versions of a "temper tantrum" but ultimately I knew this was what God wanted for our family in this season and I could sulk about it, or choose to follow Him and learn and grow. He has shown me that just because I think I HAVE to have something doesn't mean it is the very best for me or for my family. If I seek to find my happiness in Him and not my situation I will truly be happy. And I am.
This is what works for us now and I love it.
Maybe one day I will have it all together. My house will be clean all the time, I will cook nutrious and delicious meals every single night while finding time in my day to exercise, do my devotion and spend adequate time with my husband all while reading the latest and greatest books, oh and being a #1 mom all the time.
Ha! Probably not. But a girl can dream!
Here is a picture of Eli and I at my office a couple of weeks ago. I had to go in for a meeting on my day off so little man went with me. Being a working mom is also all about being flexible!!!
You would think I would learn to never say never. The jeggings sitting in my closest are proof that I most certainly do things I say I wont.
Before I go into what I did that I never said I would do, I have to set up the night.
Saturday night Luke and I had a wedding to attend. It was the wedding of a close friend of his from high school. Normally we wouldn't take Eli with us but there were going to be a lot of people at the wedding who hadn't seen him yet so we decided to take him.
P.S. I always said I would NEVER take my baby to a wedding.
In the words of the Biebs; never say never.
At this point I could go into long detail about how it takes me several attempts to get dressed these days because I have these new HIPS that make my old clothes look different on me and I change my clothes a million times and I wear this sexy nursing bra that is thick and shows through everything.
Basically I'm feeling top notch these days.
But I won't get into all of that (more than I already have). This story is about what I did that I swore I wouldn't do.
Fast forward to the wedding; the ceremony was outside and was beautiful, it was hot but Eli is a fan of being outside so he was great during the ceremony. He just sat and stared at all the trees and didn't really make a peep while the vows were being said.
AKA: Eli's fussy time.
Upon entering the reception I realized that Eli needed a diaper change so I headed for the bathroom. Sounds like a simple enough task, but no, it wasn't. As I was about to enter the bathroom I realized it was labeled Doe.
Pause. Why on earth do restaurants think it's cute to use any words other than MALE or FEMALE??? I can think of about five restaurants off the top of my head that do this. It is annoying.
I'm sure during another time of my life I could have easily identified what a doe was, but in this moment when my only concern was a quick diaper change before we had a blowout I had no idea what a doe was. Apparently it's a female deer. A buck is a male deer. WHO CARES. My child had a dirty diaper that needed changing and I needed a bathroom that said "female" asap.
Because of the fact that I normally don't care what other's think of me I loudly yelled to Luke across several tables: WHAT IS A DOE? IS THIS THE GIRLS BATHROOM?
People thought it was funny. They were laughing AT me. Not WITH me. Big difference.
Anyways (this is getting entirely too long) I got Eli's diaper changed and decided to make a mental note that a doe equals female. For a teeny tiny bit all was well in our world, and then Eli started melting down.
I usually don't get flustered when Eli is fussy but I was already uncomfortable in this setting so getting flustered was an easy goal to achieve.
At one point, my usual very helpful husband was off laughing with the guys oblivious to the Eli meltdown of 2011 and I was struggling with our melt downer who was currently SPAZZING. OUT. One man who had previously laughed AT me for not knowing what a doe was looked at me and pitifully said "um do you need some kind of help?"
Great. Not only were people laughing at me, now they had pity on me.
All I needed at this point was for my sexy nursing bra to be hanging out of my dress while my child flailed in my arms as I tried to discreetly glide across the room and throw him at my husband while everybody stared at me.
Oh wait that did happen.
Luke gave Eli a bottle while I tried to regain my composure but even after eating Eli still was super grumpy and so was I. It was time to pack up this sleepy baby and head home.
"so are you ready for this?(pointing to my crying baby) Your life is about to completely change"
UGH. I'm cringing right now thinking that I actually said that.
I still cannot believe I did that.
People would say that to me when I was pregnant and I hated it and thought it was the most annoying and rude thing ever.
AND I DID IT. I actually said it.
And not only did she hear, but a whole table of people heard.
I was mortified and I did it to myself.
Hey Megan, here is your mouth, why don't you go ahead and insert your foot for the millionth time?
Immediately I regretted saying it and talked about how it was also the best thing that could happen to your life. But it was already out there and there was nothing I could do about it. With those words I looked like a ragged mom who was exhausted and bitter and needed to learn how to cover up her ugly bra and figure out what a female deer is called.
After we left the wedding I bawled to Luke about those words I said. I felt like the worst mother in the world. It wasn't Eli's fault that he was tired and uncomfortable and was ready to be in his home in his bed. Yet with those words I made it seem like he was an inconvenience to me.
I wanted to go back in time and take back saying those words, but I can not do that.. So naturally, I contemplated Facebook messaging this girl (that I don't even really know) and apologizing.
Anybody remember when I Facebook messaged my nurse the I don't know?
Please. Somebody delete my account.
Eventually I dried up my tears and vowed that I learned my lesson and I would never do it again.
It's a day later and I still get sick to my stomach thinking that I did this.
I never want to come across as a mom who is grumpy and annoyed with her life. I'm so thankful to be a mom. I'm so thankful for that baby who was just tired and worn out from an already long weekend.
It was just a moment of weakness, beginning with a nursing bra that is not flattering to a restroom labeled doe all the way to being the girl at the wedding with the fussy baby.