How this mama got her groove back
Ah, it has been forever since I updated this blog. Truth be told, I have debated and run through many different ideas in regards to how I want to blog. I have our personal, family website that is more for documenting my son’s growing up, but really, I don’t like posting my personal thoughts there because I feel like I am inundating family and friends with stuff that does not interest them. So I decided to resurrect this blog and hopefully connect with some readers who are going through similar experiences as me.
I was laid off from my first real job out of law school when I was 6 months pregnant. The circumstances behind my “layoff” were definitely shady, but when it happened, I tried to look at the bright side of things. I wasn’t very happy in that job and it now gave me lots of free time to get ready for the baby and be able to spend time with him after he was born without the stress or pressure of having to get back to work.
After Decker was born, adapting to life with him was a huge shock to my system. Even though I knew my life would change, I don’t think I was prepared for how much it would change. In the first couple of weeks, breastfeeding was a struggle because he would not latch correctly and even when I did have the opportunity to sleep, I just couldn’t. I was always exhausted! I remember feeling so lonely when I was home alone with him all day and sometimes I would just start crying for no reason. What makes this all the more unbelievable is that he was a wonderful baby!
I have always tried to be honest with myself and when Decker was five weeks, I realized I was tired of feeling this way and called my doctor and was put on Zoloft immediately for mild postpartum depression. I felt no shame in getting on the medicine and really started feeling better almost immediately. Ironically, Decker started sleeping through the night one week later (yes, he started sleeping for 9-12 hours straight two nights before he was six weeks!) I stayed on the Zoloft for 6 months.
Since I went off of the medication, I can say I definitely felt better, but there were still parts of me wondering if I was really meant to be a mom. I loved Decker with all my heart, but I found that staying home with him all day, everyday just wasn’t fun and games. I often found myself counting down the minutes until it was nap time or until Scott got home. I felt guilt because I was always thinking of the housework I should be getting done (note: housecleaning is not my forte’) or thinking that I should be doing more creative things with Decker. When he was seven months, we decided to put him in daycare part time so I could start looking for a job. The first day I dropped him off at daycare, instead of crying or worrying, I felt relieved to have some time off.
Fast forward to this January, when I went back to work fulltime as an attorney. I had so many mixed emotions when I returned to work. Of course, a big part of me was scared because I hadn’t worked in almost 1.5 years and also scared that I would be one of those moms who really resented having to work because it made life just so impossible. However, since I started working, I feel like I am finally feeling back to my normal self. Decker is in a fabulous daycare and I am lucky that I found a very family-friendly job. I don’t work at a huge, big name law firm that requires me to work 80 hours a week. Scott and I have been able to work our schedules where I drop Decker off at daycare around 7:30am and Scott picks him up around 4pm.
Besides the feelings of accomplishment I feel for helping support my family, there are some more minor reasons why I think work has helped me get my groove back. I like having a reason to get up in the morning to fix my hair and makeup and get dressed in something other than sweats. (Don’t get me wrong, I love my sweats and they go right back on when I walk in the door.) I like being able to interact with adults all day long. I like being able to go to the bathroom, eat, and surf the internet in peace. However, I also love the feeling I have when I get home and Decker is so excited to see me. I never really had this feeling when I was a stay at home mom.
I read so many stories about moms who absolutely hate having to work and would stay at home in a heartbeat if they could. I have the utmost respect for stay at home moms because it is a TOUGH job. However, I am proud to say that I love being a working mom. I feel like my career has made me feel complete and whole, and made me a better mother. We have a cleaning lady now, so I no longer worry about having to clean when I am home. When I spend time with Decker now, I truly get to enjoy our time together instead of me losing my patience because I have been home all day long with a tired baby.
Of course there are challenges to being a working mom. We are just starting the process of redoing almost our entire house, which is definitely going to be challenging given the amount of free time we have. And there is always something that needs to be done and can never be fit into the short weekend. However, I am grateful and happy that I have finally found my peaceful place since becoming a mom…and my job is to thank.