To be honest, I had a very easy pregnancy. I wouldn’t say I “loved” being pregnant, but I was able to be fairly normal and myself right up until the end. I couldn’t relate to those that were having a tough time getting around or others who had to leave work early. I worked up until the bitter end and loved every moment of being in my routine and in my own element.
Then I was told I’d need to be induced due to low fluids…and so my labor began and it was a difficult one to say the least. But we all managed and recovered. Three days after my C-section, I felt a little sore, but again, fairly normal and returned to being more myself in the weeks that followed delivering my son.
He could not have been more cute if he tried. The cooing noises he made, the little snorts and fidgets, it was all adorable, and I loved it. However, after about a week and a half post delivery, all I wanted was my normal back, my routine. I loved spending time with him, bonding with him and my husband and watching all the new skills he learned. But I felt like I was losing myself by only being with him.
I had always imagined that I’d take a full maternity leave, that somehow that’s what good moms do. It’s like this invisible pressure, if you love your kids and want to take good care of yourself, you’ll take the time to rest. And I’d always assumed that I’d want that time to sit it out and rest. But after that week and a half passed, it became two weeks, and I was ready to not be home. I wanted to see my co-workers, to be needed, to run some errands, something!
I didn’t want my identity to somehow be lost.
And as I had those feelings, I started to feel really guilty. Because wouldn’t a good mom want to stay home? I mean, wouldn’t they take more time to be home, after all, they aren’t little forever?? Why go back to work after only two weeks post delivery, who does that?? All those thoughts plagued me and it took a lot of time taking to friends and family to get them out.
But I finally came to the conclusion that if I feel better and fulfilled, I’ll be a better mom. For some women, that may mean being a stay at home mom, or taking a longer leave. For others, they may feel like they need to get back to work, even part time just to get their bearings back. It won’t look the same for every woman, and I never thought this would be me, but I think it’s the best decision I could have made.
When I come home, I’m a bit more fresh for my son, I appreciate him more, and I feel more put together since I was prepped for work, instead of being in sweats all day. When I come home, I see him playing with his Grandpa and Nana, and how happy they are to share love with him. Motherhood, it’s a challenge that nothing can prepare you for. But I believe it wasn’t meant to take over or to be done alone. Use the people and resources you have so that you can start to feel like yourself again too. There’s nothing more useless than a burnt out mother who resents her children because she tried to do it all or to be something she’s not. So if you’re the stay at home mom, embrace it. And for those who really want to get back to work, go for it–it doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy your children when you get home, and it doesn’t make you less of a mom.
Do motherhood your way.
photo credit: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Guilt&view=detailv2&&id=82C2E2F678DDC901340752E0435ECDD17DB72323&selectedIndex=17&ccid=jCzbcWnl&simid=608053802902291952&thid=OIP.M8c2cdb7169e58a97a50a431cb849c33fo0&ajaxhist=0.