I talked to a friend today. She told me some things I didn’t know. Things I was sorry to hear, but things I was almost relieved to hear at the same time. She told me how she’s been struggling with a little bit of postpartum depression, and how damn hard it is to be a mom. And as she was talking, I found myself nodding. Nodding and saying yes and mmm hmm and I get that and I SO get that. And I realized this sense of relief flooding over me.
No, I don’t think I have postpartum. But I think I have a case of damn this is hard and I don’t know what I’m doing. I definitely have a case of that.
Every day. And it’s nice to know someone else feels that way. No I don’t want her to struggle. I want her to get better and for things to get easier and every day I’m going to be thinking about her hoping that happens for her and doing whatever I can do to support her. But I want her to know that it’s okay that it’s hard, and I’m so glad she said it out loud. Someone needs to say it out loud.
I’m new at this. The mom thing. I’ve got nothing to go on except books and message boards and millions of strangers on the Internets and nosy women at the local sandwich shop telling me what to do. Who do I listen to?
I might never know.
In fact I’m sure I’ll never know. I’ll never know until one day, I’m looking back at all this, or I see some woman in the grocery store struggling to keep her baby from crying and get the damn frozen meals in the cart because she sure as hell doesn’t have time to cook a real meal and maybe I’ll be a little judgy. But hopefully, I’ll be like this lady, and I’ll pay for her groceries and tell her to keep on keeping on and do the best she can.
I’ve been struggling with work. Going back was rough. Nearly impossible some days. There’s the obvious difficulty of being away from Evie for such a large part of the day. Then there’s pumping, which is pretty much the WORST. Side note – if you know a pumping lady, you need to go give her a cookie. She’s probably hungry. Then there’s trying to fit in exercising to lose the baby weight, and cooking healthy dinners, and getting your child on some kind of perfect sleeping schedule, oh and not to mention maintain some sort of a social life or at least pretend you still have friends, and it’s all just so stressful.
But other moms do it. Tons of them do. They do it every day and practically every single one I know makes it look so good.
But I’ve been struggling, and definitely not making it look good. I feel like I’ve pretty much been failing at both. I’m a bad employee because I’m so sleep deprived and I just can’t focus on anything except my baby. But I’m a bad mom because I’m not home and she can’t even roll over yet and she’s getting all of these ear infections because of daycare and it’s ALL MY FAULT.
So I’ve been thinking about all of this, thinking about my life and how it’s happening NOW and I can’t just sit back and let it happen to me, and I’ve come to a decision.
I’m leaving my full-time job so I can spend more time at home.
Coming to this decision was also one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. For as long as I can remember, I have been a go-getter. A climb the ladder kind of gal, always on the move. And I have (had) a great job. I liked it and was about to get another promotion and things were going swimmingly. But Evie has changed everything, and my priorities are just different now.
I want to be with her. I want to see her more and I don’t want to race out the door to show up on time for an 8 a.m. meeting that 6 other people are LATE to. I just don’t have the patience anymore.
I still want to work, and I’ve been struggling with the thought of leaving my job, so I think we’ve come to a happy medium and I’m going to do some contract work. I’ll still get to be home with Evie more, but I can keep doing the things I’m good at and hopefully all of these things I’ve worked so hard for won’t take a nosedive.
I know I’m lucky because I GET to choose. Not a lot of people get to do that. And there is a small part of me that still feels like a little bit of a failure, like I couldn’t hack being a full-time working mama. But there’s another part that says screw it.
This is the right decision for me, and the right decision for our family.
So as of February 3, life’s going to be changing a little bit. Or a lot bit. And I still reserve the right to complain as much as I want about how hard motherhood is. But that’s okay, because I get this.
And that makes it all worth it.