As we adjust to life with a newborn, I’m trying to make this blog more about my everyday life so when I started to post about this in a group on Facebook, I asked myself, “Why not blog about it??” The topic is…
Returning to the stay at home mom life
I ended my teaching job a few months before I became a mom in 2005. Ever since our oldest son was six months old, I’ve done some sort of work from home, from direct sales to social media consulting to running an Etsy shop. Most of it was a creative outlet more than a money-maker. Then when our second son started preschool, I worked about 15 hours per week outside of the house for a time and made consistent income. Once both boys were in school (which is conveniently a half mile from home), I transitioned into a “work from home mom” with my time split between my laptop in my home office and being out and about meeting clients, attending networking meetings and speaking and teaching.
Once I got pregnant at the start of 2017, I gave myself permission to take it easy and back burner most of my extracurricular projects and activities. In the last trimester, I backed off on my volunteering, too, knowing I’d be limited in what I could do once Kate was born. In fact, I refused to hustle and will not turn back.
I admit to living in a “baby bubble” this year and ever since Kate’s birth. Stress is my worst enemy so I had to protect myself, and Kate.
I also believe in the “fourth trimester” when babies adjust to life outside of the womb and we’ve done everything we can to make Kate’s transition as smooth as possible.
So now I’m working through something. As many of you know, Kate’s arrival was long anticipated. We’ve wanted a daughter all along and it took us four years of “trying” to get her. Besides her being a dream come true, I’m also one of those moms who very much enjoys babies and the toddler and preschool years. I am thrilled to be “starting over” and determined to enjoy her first year, and really the entire time I get with her until she starts school.
But I’m having a hard time figuring out what to do with myself.
I have really given myself the rest of the year off and the places where I volunteer know that. I do it every year because November is our family’s busiest month and December is…well, December. Don’t worry–no one is pressuring me and I’m not feeling this compulsion to resume my pre-pregnancy pace. I’m also not chomping at the bit to “go back to normal.” We’re developing a new normal. So for now I’m just…pondering.
I do miss being at the Gilbert Historical Museum front desk. I’d love to still attend the occasional networking meeting or community event. But it would be with a baby in tow and a diaper bag and a stroller. Note to self: find a great baby carrier.
The issue is really more about how a new baby fits into our lives. Or more accurately, how do I design my life to accommodate a new baby?
I am, by the way, an “attached” mama by most definitions. I breastfeed exclusively (no bottles, no formula) so I don’t leave my babies much in the first two years (yes, you read that right). So leaving her with someone for more than an hour or so is not doable.
On the one hand, I know I’ll find my way and I know I’ll get more comfortable with having Kate out, and with having people in. I haven’t had a newborn in eight years! But I’m also really not sure how to resume my influential life in a way that honors my family, my priorities and my schedule. And I have no idea how “baby friendly”…well, ANYthing is these days. Even just a trip to the grocery store is a major feat right now.
Maybe I just have to do less for a season. Or do the best things more strategically. I’ve gotten pretty good at that.
So again, bear with me as we navigate this new season.