To catch you up to my current life, I have to go back a little. It all began with one faint line. Ok, well, it began before that, but this is not a lesson in human biology. After one faint line, I went and bought a pregnancy test that declared you pregnant or not pregnant just to be sure.
In your late 20s, this is an acceptable thing. Especially if you are married. And especially if you live in southern Indiana. In fact, I was late to the baby game. Several of my friends were on number 3 or 4. But the faint line was not my plan. Fast forward 10.5 months (because H as I will call him did not want to come into this world), and I was holding my handsome little man. (also, pregnancy is actually 10 months, not 9..)
After a rocky first week, we started to get into a routine and by week 7 of my maternity leave, I actually started venturing out of the house with H. This was nerve-wracking and I realized very quickly how horrible everyone else drives. (and also got honked at several times for going to slow-PRECIOUS CARGO PEOPLE!) I had the great luxury to take a full 12 weeks off work. I cherish those 12 weeks and have become an increasingly strong advocate for paid maternity leave (which I am sure will come up later). H and I got into a routine, figured out breastfeeding, and bonded in some incredible ways. And while those 12 weeks we by way too fast, when it was finally time to head back to work, I felt ready. I wasn’t sure what I was ready for, but I also did not feel the depression and agony most people described I would or should have.
And so I spent a final weekend snuggling with my little man and preparing everything we needed for Monday. I packed diaper bags and work bags and lunches and bottles. I doubled checked the car seat and laid out my clothes and his. I avoided talking about it and even avoided church because I could not deal with one more person asking me about the impending Monday.
..stay tuned for The First Day.
The other day I was driving and lamenting to myself about something..I honestly can’t remember what it was at this point and in the grand scheme of life, I am sure it was petty. In the course of my internal wrestling, I realized how much I missed writing. Becoming a mom certainly changed my entire life (more on that to come..) and I realized I missed this little corner of my world. I abandoned it for a while because I felt I had nothing to say. My former adventurous, traveling the world life has been replaced with a job in corporate America and I often found myself struggling to find any purpose or sense it in all. Mostly though,I was struggling with hitting the publish button because I while I have countless blogs written, I would get to the end and think to myself, no one wants to read this and so it would be put on the shelf and another few months would go by. Near the end of my drive, I decided I was going to stop lamenting and take up writing again. But I was going to shift my focus to write about the adventures and joys and struggles of being a working mom. I landed on this because here in little southern Indiana, I feel like somewhat of an anomaly and because it is something I do every single day.
According to a statistic from Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of women (with spouses) working with children in the house under 18 is 67.8% . There are a lot of us moms who work out there. And yet, there is still this stigma attached to it which somehow seems to translate being a working mom into a task we grudgingly do while we spend our days wishing we could all stay at home. I do not say this to start any mommy wars, because come on, being a mom is hard enough, we should all just stop with the drama and pettiness. I say all this to give you a point of reference. Because.. deep breath..most days, I love being a working mom.
Ok, now pick your jaw up off the floor and stay tuned. I promise to write about the highs and the lows, I promise to not to impose my decision on you, and I promise to keep it real (also to write more than every 6 months). Because let’s be honest, one of my daily thoughts is, “I hope I don’t leak milk all over my shirt during my meeting.” And now I want to ask you for something. The next time you encounter a working mom, don’t pity her or ask her about staying home. Don’t add any guilt on her lap (trust me, she has enough of that). Just invite her for lunch or dinner or coffee because I promise you, she wants that more than anything and if you are fellow mom, you have plenty in common aside from your working vs. not working status to talk for hours.