Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Finding the new me

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.


Screwed Up Texan said...

I just seriously cannot wait for school that starts in 4 1/2 months! ALL my children will be in school and I am taking a much couple months off to "find me" again and relax. Then I'm going to work.

Jennifer Moore said...

I wish you the best in finding you. You'll still have the 2 half-days of Mother's Day Out for you time, right? It's important for you to have you time so that when Kate gets Mommy time, it's the best Mommy time you can give her.

Nikki said...

I think part time is really the best of both worlds. I say that, but I'm not doing it. I guess that is why if you're a stay at home mom you have to surround yourself with other SAHM to feel normal. At least that is what works for me.

IzzyLizzy said...

Thanks all, for the kind comments to my pity party. I'm in a much better, patient, happy place today. WHO IS THIS WOMAN?!?!