Figuring It Out: a mamacoaster update
HI GUYS! I promise I’m not ignoring you, in the past month or so I have had some big shifts professionally and at home. It has me reconfiguring how I spend my time. I am so glad that everything has been positive and we are happily figuring it out.
So the biggest change for mamacoaster is that I took on a new job in which I work from home part time. So far I am loving it. I’m consulting as a curriculum designer for Generation: You Employed. I am designing curriculum for unemployed young people which is a huge departure from my previous education experience. I was a kindergarten teacher for many years. I realized that being out of the house for 12 hours a day and getting paid well...a teacher’s salary was just not going to work with a baby, so I took a step back.
One of my beautiful sisters in law, who is also a super mom, works full time for Generation and alerted me of the opportunity (TBH, I have 4 sisters in law, 3 of whom are super mom bad asses. The 4th is known as Aunt Monster and she’s a cool and funny future, someday super mom).
Generation was created in 2014 to address the fact that worldwide, more than 75 million young people are unemployed. Yet employers can’t find skilled employees to fill their entry-level positions. So Generation seeks to bridge this gap. I’m thrilled to be part of an organization doing such important work that resonates globally. Every single person I have interfaced with at Generation is so enthusiastic and they all work their tails off. It’s a very inspiring culture to be a part of.
I squeeze work in when I can, during naps and after MC’s bedtime but I found out real quick, we would need consistent part time help. We hired a woman based on a recommendation and so far she has been wonderful. I work remotely but find it very hard to focus in our house with MC nearby. I find I just want to be with her and tell the nanny “how to do it.” I am lucky that my parents live nearby and I can spend my work days there. I get all the feels when I leave MC even though it’s really just for 2 days a week. Like many moms, I got my first taste of real mom guilt and guys, it tastes really bad.
Leaving her more often and for longer periods of time has increased my anxiety. I have this icky feeling inside whenever I leave her. I think, no one knows her as well as me. No one can take care of her like I can. I worry, does she know I am gone? Is it too much for her having different people take care of her? Most of these feelings are irrational and I am certain she is taken care of. Even still, it has been really important for me to acknowledge these feelings to manage the anxiety effectively. I also recently spent my first weekend away from her with my girlfriends which was SO.MUCH.FUN. Yet I found the separation impacts this fear I have that she might feel abandoned. I have had some of my own issues with feelings of abandonment and I don’t want to project them on her. It's important to note, I have never been abandoned, my parents have always taken the best care of me (they still do). However, we went through a time as a family where other family members needed more attention more than I did. And while I was and am more than fine it had an emotional impact on me that I did not realize at the time.
I find it so important to be aware and acknowledge all of my feelings around leaving her. However, irrational they may be. I know we will spend a lifetime figuring out how to be apart and separate. I want to do it in the healthiest way possible. That said, motherly instincts and the feeling that I need to be with her are strong and real.
On the other hand, I love my days where I get to put being mommy on the back burner (yeah I said it) and use my brain in a way I haven’t in a long time. I always imagined I would stay at home and not work outside the home (if we could afford it) once we had children. But as I have learned, things are rarely as I imagine them. I worked hard to get my Masters degree and realized I am not ready to give up working yet. Not everyone feels this way and I’m not implying staying at home isn’t enough. It is MORE than enough for me, it is easily the more challenging work I have ever done. Perhaps, when we have more children, I will be home full time. For now while we can make it work, this job has been really beneficial for my mental health.
Aside from my professional changes, Mary Clare has experienced some major growth. She has started to sit up like a little ballerina, her posture is so good! I guess when you have a mondo dome, you need to sit up straight to keep from falling over? She is pushing herself around and backwards on her play mat and rolling around so quickly we can hardly keep up. Crawling is on the horizon and I know that will change our world, big time. Mary Clare also recently developed a love for the swings at the playground. She squeals and kicks with delight when the swing in even in her sights. She is learning to wave and play “how big is Mary Clare.” We started music class a few weeks ago. It is an absolutely joyful time to be her mom, except for teething but that’s a post for another day! It does however require that I am much more actively present with her when she is awake. It has become increasingly difficult for me to do any writing while she is playing. In a way, this has made our time together even more wonderful for me because it is forcing me be more in the moment with my girl. It seems my little one is always giving me the lessons and assignments I need most!
Motherhood continues to teach me that seasons change. We go through times that are mostly filled with joy and ease and we go through times that seem to be mostly exhausting and challenging. I think it is the nature of life but it is much easier to have this perspective when you are in the joyful, easy time. When I am at my wits end, I need to remind myself of this, everything has it's time.
We are both growing, changing and figuring out what our life looks like as mother and daughter. I never want to stop writing and sharing my journey here on mamacoaster. It is so important to me personally because it helps me be better. I also continue to hope that it helps other women know we are all just figuring it out as we go. I hope you will hang around as I figure out how to fit it all into the wonderful, joyful busyness of life!
with love EJK