Three weeks ago I didn’t understand why moms would say it’s hard to go to the bathroom or take a shower in peace once you have a child. I didn’t understand how nursing can be so much easier than feeding my child formula.
A year ago I had changed hundreds of other people’s babies’ diapers, but it wasn’t until these past few weeks that I got to experience changing a diaper in the pitch black middle of the night while half asleep.
Three weeks ago I was jaded, thinking I’d be completely different from other moms I had witnessed, and “in control” of my emotions. As prepared as I thought I was, I’m learning my perception on how things would be was way off.
Three weeks ago I had never looked into the eyes of my child and had no idea what it felt like to love someone this much. I wasn’t prepared for that kind of attachment. The way I love my husband is different, this is a love I can’t control, it consumes me.
About a year ago I wrote about my impression of stay at home moms, and asked what it was like. “The hardest job in the world,” people told me. What was so hard about it?
This week I applied my makeup and straightened my hair with one arm, while nursing my daughter in the other. I dropped everything I was working on to mend her cries. I toted her into the bathroom with me while I took a shower so she wouldn’t have to cry alone in her bed, and so the sound of the water running would soothe her. I had no problem shutting babies I babysat outside the bathroom door and letting them cry for a few moments while I used the restroom, but three weeks ago I learned I couldn’t bare to do that to my own child.–Fearing she’d feel like I’m abandoning her by not immediately tending to her needs.
She cries when we’re in the car for too long, and it’s the worst feeling in the world not being able to help her.
To me, the duties of feeding, watching, cleaning and holding my child aren’t what’s hard about being a mother. What makes the job more difficult than anything I’ve ever done is the undying love I can’t tame.
Several months ago a woman told me I’d be begging to go back to work partway through my maternity leave–That work outside the home is so much easier. I know it’s only been three weeks, but as of now I couldn’t disagree more. My role as a mother won’t end just because I’m outside of the home for 8-10 hours a day. I’ll still wonder, worry, pump and love, then still attend to her needs when I get home.
A few days ago another woman told me my mind may change after I’ve been at home with my daughter for 6 months. Unfortunately I won’t have the chance to know.
Six weeks partial pay–That’s what I, and many women I know get for maternity leave. Plus an additional optional six weeks I’ve opted to take at the expense of forfeiting six weeks of any pay. I can’t imagine going back to work in another three weeks.
Luckily, my husband will be home to watch and take care of her when I do finally go back to work full time, but right now I can’t even bare to leave him alone with her–A fear I’ll need to overcome soon.
I’m not going to argue whether working outside, inside, or solely as a mother at home is more or less difficult than any of the other. That’s not what it’s about. All I know is that for me, myself, my family and I, working inside the home would be a dream come true.
Having this new found love makes it nearly impossible to imagine leaving her daily for a job that feels insignificant compared to her. But in order to put food on the table and keep a roof over our heads it’s necessary for the time being.
I knew this when we chose to move forward with expanding our family now, rather than years from now. But I’m hoping to change that in the next couple of years.
I watched The Secret, and I know when you have a goal, one part of making it a reality is telling others, and “sending it out to the universe,” so I’m doing that now!
Random.org winner of maid service: #74: Natalie from Our Old Southern House. Congrats! I’ll email you the code!