Before Kate was born, I wrote a post about my decision to leave my job and be a stay-at-home mom. It was a painful choice honestly, and nearly four months after Kate was born, I was desperately afraid I had made the wrong decision. Not that I didn't love Kate, but I felt like the things that I had always used to define myself were slowly slipping away. I didn't really have a sense for who I was anymore, and while I loved Kate more than anything, lets talk straight for a moment... babies don't really DO anything. Except for the occasional gas smile, all I was dealing with was bodily fluids, screaming and mind-numbing TV (seriously -- who programs this stuff? I would feel better about myself if I spent an afternoon watching a bunch of monkeys in diapers wash cars than if I watched a half an hour of daytime TV).
Anyways, when I got THE CALL from my previous employer offering me a part-time contract gig, I was ecstatic. I didn't even have to think about it, I nearly screamed "YES!" before the offer was completely out of her mouth. It seemed too good to be true. I would be working 20 hours a week, but most of it from home. I could put Kate in a Mother's Day Out program for two half-days a week to go into the office for in-person meetings and I would get ADULT INTERACTION! I would have MENTAL STIMULATION!
The offer came in October, when Kate was just turning six months old. I felt really good about the arrangement, even though it was only for two months.
Fast forward to March 26, 2010. Just a few weeks ago was my last day of contract work... exactly SIX months after I started. The arrangement had been extended several times, and I was so lucky to have the best of both worlds for half a year. I was a stay-at-home mom who still got to do what I loved, what I was passionate about. Sure, it wasn't perfect. When the project started, Kate wasn't even crawling yet. She had tummy time and I had email time. But as she got older and more adventurous, finding time to get work done got harder and harder. I even found myself getting annoyed with her for things that I should have been praising -- because it made it harder for mommy to do work. And while I'm not proud of how I handled every situation, I am proud of finding a way to balance my needs with my child's needs.
Now, the contract is over and I'm feeling slightly lost. Part of me is excited to just take a few months and focus on Kate. She is growing up so fast and changing so much and is now this little person with a personality and ATTITUDE and I want to make sure I don't miss this time. But the other part of me, the part that got exasperated yesterday because she was fussy and forced her to take a nap even though she wasn't tired because I was tired of HER, that part of me feels like I'm not cut out to be this person I'm trying to be.
But I think that is the point. To be a good mom, I have to be happy and feel good about where I am in life. And while I know I don't want to go back to work full-time, I don't know what I need to make me fulfilled and balanced. So I guess what I'm going to be doing for the next few months is finding the new me. Finding a way that I can be a Super Mom and Super Me at the same time.
Suggestions are welcome, criticism will be ignored and job offers will be considered.