Loving Motherhood & Missing My Career
It probably sounds silly…to love where you’re at but feel like you’re losing out. Loving motherhood and missing my career is a seesaw that I find myself riding pretty often.
Several years ago, after announcing my second pregnancy to my superiors at work, my graphic design position was suddenly “eliminated” without warning. I was shocked. This was a job I’d had for over three years and there was never an indication that something like this was a possibility. They had paid for my first maternity leave and I’m guessing they didn’t want to do it again.
I packed up my desk and that was that.
Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom
At the time, our son was about 15 months old and it just didn’t make sense for me to start looking for a job. It would only be a few months before I needed to take maternity leave. So, we tightened our belts and did everything we could to survive on one income.
The next few months were so delightful. I got to have the time with my baby boy that I had been desperately craving all those days I had to leave him and go to work. We would play all day, go to the park, take naps, cook and love on each other. Just me and my boy. I will cherish those months we had forever.
Four Years Later
It’s been over four years since that happened and we now have three children! I’ve gone back and forth so many times trying to decide if it was the right time to go back to work and it just never made sense for us to pay for daycare for three kids. So here we are. My days (mostly) consist of loving on babies, filling up sippy cups, peeling apples and doing unforeseen amounts of laundry and dishes. That’s the reality of motherhood. So much of being a stay-at-home is putting yourself on the back burner so that you can care for these little people that need you for everything. Bathing the three of them is honestly a marathon of sorts. Only there’s no medals or a free t-shirt at the end! It’s exhausting and draining at times, but I know this is where I’m supposed to be.
Missing My Career
I often think about where I would be in my career if I had been working the last three years. While I do still take on freelance projects occasionally, it’s not the same as going to work everyday and feeling like you’re needed for something more than just opening a bag of goldfish crackers. I thought I would be an Art Director at this point or maybe a Marketing Manager. I try not to dwell on the “what ifs” because I know it will rob me of the joy I DO have in my life! And let me tell ya, there’s so much joy.
Embracing the Now
There’s these really amazing, incredible life-giving moments that I get to witness every. single. day. These moments that I will wear on my sleeve and tuck in my heart forever. Like when my baby girl wakes up from her nap and lays her head on my shoulder. She always needs a few minutes of cuddling before she can really wake up and continue on with her day. Or when my three year old yells out “Mooooommy! I neeeed you.” Or when I get home from picking their brother up from school and I’m greeted like I’ve been gone for weeks. It’s kind of the best.
This week I got to go with my oldest boy on his first Kindergarten field trip! We went to a theater that I also went to when I was little. Everything felt right in the world as we held hands and walked down the dim lit hallway into the curtained theater. Watching his eyes light up and witnessing the sheer amazement and joy on his face…that’s the stuff motherhood dreams are made of.
And to think I could’ve missed this.