Ever since I had my son back in January, I put my PR and marketing career on hold to focus entirely on our growing family. Being a SAHM is the most incredible experience, but it’s also the hardest job on the planet. Harder than what I expected. Harder than what people told me. Harder than I think I could’ve even prepared for.
I felt like I was still trying to figure it all out 99% of the time for the first six months straight. Now granted, yes, I know it’s pretty standard to feel lost the first few months (you just had a tiny human take over your life, after all) but in my case, it lasted longer than just a few months. But then once he started to develop his little personality and we got into a groove as a family of three, everything seemed to feel like our new normal — and it’s the most beautiful thing in the world.
Yesterday I grabbed coffee with a friend who has a successful PR and marketing career and is considering motherhood. She wanted to pick my brain about life as a new mom, wondering when the “time is right” to have kids. My answer? There is no “right time” to have kids — you just, surrender. I don’t mean surrender as in give up or give in. I mean surrender as in surrender yourself to motherhood and family. Have a baby. There’s no better time than the present.
But let me be very clear on what I meant by that. I did NOT mean that she shouldn’t have her career too.
There’s a lot of pressure when you’re pregnant to answer the question: Will you keep working after you have the baby? As if that question results in a clear yes or no answer. It’s just not that simple — at least for me.
The plan all along was for me to take six months off to be at home and then we’d “reevaluate” things to see if I wanted to go back to work. In thinking about things over the course of those six months, I was certain that I wouldn’t go back. I wanted to be home with our son. I didn’t want to miss any moment or any meal. I didn’t want to miss any first or any fun event. I didn’t want to say goodbye or see you later. But when it was time to actually sit and have that conversation, my feelings had changed — and while difficult to admit at the time and even now, I’m thankful I was honest with myself and my family.
I needed something more.
Over the past two months, I have worked hard to find the balance (my balance) between being a SAHM and a careerwoman. I am still a full-time SAHM and I have learned to cut myself some slack if I hire a sitter, leave him with his daddy for a little while or lean on family. I am taking on freelance projects that I am passionate about. Projects that I can choose to do or decline to take on. I am exploring this new chapter of my life and feeling proud of the balance I’m achieving. I’m not missing anything — I’m not missing his firsts or his fun. I’m not missing any moments.
Once again, I’ve surrendered. Yet this time in a different way.
I’m recognizing what I need as a woman, wife and mom. I’m being honest and open about my needs and desires and figuring out the balance to make it happen. And I’ve learned that I am a better mother to my son when I achieve this balance. I don’t have the secrets and I don’t claim to have it all figured out. But for now, life feels balanced. And it feels really, really good.
The truth is, all mothers need to cut themselves some slack. Motherhood is hard work, y’all. And whether you choose to be at home full-time, work part-time or work full-time, or some combination of your own — cut yourself some slack. Give yourself the balance you deserve, the balance you want and need. Be honest and most of all, surrender to yourself.
PS – This was just too funny not to include. Have a good day, mama. You’ve got this.