Mandy’s Mommymetum Maternity Leave Resolution

Mandy's Mommymentum Maternity Leave Resolution

Hello friends!

I feel like it has been an eternity since I posted to our blog. So much has happened in my life. I thought it might be nice to catch you up on what has been happening (and possibly justify my 7 month sabbatical!). I can break it down into 2 major life changes. First, I had a baby!

Mandy and Carp

As you may or may not know this is Baby #3 for our family. He was born healthy and happy.  Also, he weighed 10 pounds. I’m kind of wearing that as a badge of honor if only to pay tribute to my poor back which was in agony those last couple months.  So to bring you up to speed, I have a 4-year-old, a 2-year-old and a 6 week old. Does that sound crazy to anyone else? It has been a whirlwind, but also kind of freeing in a way. To meet the demands of basic human survival, I’ve had to let go of a lot of tiny life stressors (like keeping my toenails painted in the summer or putting away laundry in a timely manner).  Instead I’ve had to focus on the big ones like providing sustenance to all these little human beings in my care. My days consist of feeding, diapering, buckling and unbuckling. Here’s my backseat – it’s a car seat, an infant car seat, and a booster seat. They’re all nice and snug and we’ll be fine….as long as the kids stay the same size forever. 🙂

Backseat Freestyle

The other big life change for me is I am changing jobs.  I have been a teacher for the past 10 years and loved it.  However, as all working moms know, since I’ve had children it’s become difficult to balance my dedication to my family and my job. I’ve felt resentful that being a great teacher means staying late and working on weekends writing lessons. I’ve felt frustrated that I’ve had to miss out on professional opportunities because I needed to be present for my family. I was never sure I wanted to stay at home, but it didn’t matter because it was never on the table until…Daddysaurus and I starting doing the math for daycare when I returned to work this fall and it didn’t add up.  So after some discussion and number crunching we decided that it made sense for me to stay home with the kids. At first I was thrilled. Then I was worried. Then relieved. Then sad. Then ecstatic. I think I was having a bit of an identity crisis. Working mom, stay-at-home mom, why all the inner turmoil?

Mommy-Shaming Karma

Soon after becoming a mom I started comparing myself to other moms. I’m not proud of it, but we all do it, right? We’re scared. We’re sore. We’re tired.  We feel guilty about our life choices. A quick-fix is to put someone else down to make yourself feel bigger. It’s fleeting and immature much like that bag of M & Ms you inhale at the trunk of car after surviving a checkout line meltdown where you told your 2 year-old  that they couldn’t have candy because it’s not a healthy choice.  As women, we can tend to candy coat our insults.  A delicious candy shell surrounds a vindictive attack. I’ve heard myself say those back-handed compliments to stay-at-home moms like, “I don’t know how you do it. I just could never stay home all day. I would go totally crazy and get so bored” or “You are so good.  I am just too selfish. I’ve just got to have something that is just for me. I just couldn’t give up my job to stay home with my kids.”

But I did.

And I’ve already heard people say those things to me. Karma, huh? I’m staying home and I’m sure I’m not going to be bored – in fact, I’d welcome a little boredom right now. I am still selfish because I do have things that are just for me like blogging, cooking, concerts, and audio books. I put the kids in front of the TV so I can enjoy cooking without interruption.  I give them LeapPads on car rides so they are distracted while I listen to podcasts (my summer addiction).  But I don’t think this makes me a bad mom. I think every mom has a million hard decisions to make everyday. I’ve learned that it is hard enough to make them and then live with them without comparing them to others. Call me Elsa cause I’m gonna “Let It Go!”

Hibiscus

There is a hibiscus plant next to my driveway. During most of the year it looks like a weed that just needs to be ripped out of the ground. The first summer we lived here I was shocked when one day it had blossomed into gorgeous flowers of white and pink. I thought I knew what it was and then all of a sudden I looked at it in a new way.  I can’t wait to share my blooming new way with you!

I really love being connected to our Mommymentum community and I’ve missed you so much! So please comment, share, email and let us know what’s going on and what you like or what you’d like to see. You are our inspiration!

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4 thoughts on “Mandy’s Mommymetum Maternity Leave Resolution

  1. Mandy,
    i am so happy that you are sharing your thoughts with us again. I think it is good for you when you tell us what you are thinking. At least some of your thoughts. I am so happy for you at the same time that you are enjoying your life for whatever it is. Love, Pa

  2. Couldn’t have said it better. After just having my second and having said the same things, it’s interesting to see both sides. Hope you’re doing well. Miss you.

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