I never thought I’d be a stay-at-home mother. No judgment. To each his or her own. I grew up in a single-parent home where self-sufficiency was key, even if my mother didn’t realize that was the message.
That message was certainly not a bad one, just one; after a decade in the finance industry and a professionally driven mindset stemming from a lifetime of never thinking even ONCE that I wouldn’t go to a job every day, that made the transition to “stay at home motherhood” a complex one.
If you had asked me three years ago if I planned to be a stay-at-home mother, my response would have been, “Not in my life!” My son turns three in July. I feel strongly that we made the right decision, but I cannot say that decision was made without looking back.
The Day My Life Changed Forever
I didn’t realize my world would be turned upside down. Up until 39 weeks pregnant, I proclaimed to my workmates that “there was no way I could breastfeed more than 12 weeks. the inconvenience! 8 weeks maternity leave is for the weak!” (I breastfed my firstborn for ten months until I became pregnant with our second son. Our second son is almost 15 months, and we’re still breastfeeding.)
Confessions of an MBA Turned Mom – the Shock
The day I returned to work (after 12 weeks, by the way, eight, and then I tagged on all my vacation while on leave), I felt gratitude for my mother for many reasons.
This time, she flew in from Maine to help with the transition back to both of us working full-time. My sweet baby boy was ten weeks old. I had a rough labor, delivery, and recovery, and in short…that day going to work felt simple and wrong.
I HAD NEVER FELT SUCH FORCE OF CONVICTION UNTIL I SAT IN MY OFFICE STARING AT A COMPUTER SCREEN. LEAVING MY INFANT SON FOR “THIS” WAS NOT AN EVEN TRADE-OFF. HE NEEDED ME. I NEEDED HIM.
No matter the uncertain road, leaving my baby for 50 hours a week didn’t feel right. Leaving my baby felt as right to me as pumping in a handicapped stall in the work bathroom.
It took two weeks to convince my boss that I must leave the job. He didn’t understand the decision. Honestly, there were moments when I didn’t either, but I couldn’t stay. I “resigned” FOUR times before I finally said, “I won’t be in on Monday,” to which my boss replied, “Okay, but if you want to come in on Monday, just know there is a place for you.”
One of the clearest realizations was on the drive home from work that last day. I glanced over at my passenger, Breast Pump, and thought, “Wow, I don’t have to do THAT anymore. I can be there for my baby when he needs me.”
Simple. Profound. Clarity.
That was 2.5 years ago, and I haven’t looked back…sort of…as I mentioned in the opening paragraph, I grew up in a home where self-sufficiency was paramount to being, whether my mother meant to convey it or not.
Again, not a bad quality to instill in children, just one that can make leaving my job to be a full-time mother, a role of which I had no clue how to perform, fraught with feelings of vulnerability and insecurity in ways I had never experienced in my entire life.
Being home all day with this little being felt wrong. But it didn’t. Not being able to choose when I could shower, go to the bathroom, and eat felt wrong. But it didn’t.
I was so conflicted internally that my subconscious had no idea what to do with me. My dreams during this time were outright hilarious and frightful. I feel 100% secure in my marriage, but suddenly, I had dreams about my husband leaving me in every way, for example.
I was so uncomfortable. I suddenly had no idea how to relate to anyone…
…but maybe I could have related to you?
Here I am, almost three years later, with as much conviction, but little did I know that the discomfort would last so long.
This piece begins a series outlining my transition from MBA to Mom. There are meaty topics of which I have been seeking an outlet to process…and, alas, my outlet, my blog, is certainly not private but effective. I look forward to sharing more of this journey with you.
Perhaps more importantly, I hope to relate to you in your journey down a similar path. If you haven’t yet read Flux: Women on Sex, Work, Love, Kids, and Life in a Half-Changed World by Peggy Orenstein and Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses by Claire Dederer give them a go. Great books on the topic.
Thank you for visiting. Come back soon.