I have always considered myself to be at least kind of smart. School came pretty naturally to me, and I genuinely enjoyed it. After law school, I worked pretty hard in private practice and then as a prosecutor. I was pretty sad to leave the prosecutor’s office when I had Reid back in 2013- the job was so interesting, I felt like I was getting pretty decent at it, and I loved doing something positive as an attorney. But, there was no way I could work full time and be the parent I wanted to be, and working part time wasn’t an option. But I had also envisioned myself as a stay-at-home mom, really romanticizing what it would be like. Sunny mornings spent playing with my baby, a hot cup of coffee while he naps, having dinner ready when Kirk came home. In reality, about zero of those things actually happened. Newborn babies don’t really “play,” my coffee was lukewarm more often than not, and Kirk took care of dinner for the first several months. Regardless, I was still really happy about my decision to leave the working world and stay at home.
I started feeling a little anxious about it when Reid started his toddler class at school but got pregnant again a few months later. For the past 18 months or so, I’ve been primarily focused on baby things: being pregnant and getting ready for another baby, then actually having the baby and keeping people alive. Now, Sydney is 10 months old and I’ve started thinking about her first birthday. Sidenote: first birthday parties are not about the child. At all. It is a celebration of the parents for making it an entire year without killing anyone, as it should be! Our go-to gift is a bottle of champagne or a 6-pack. Sydney is our last baby. This is it. I get a little emotional as she reaches each milestone- she’s recently started crawling and pulling herself up to stand. Walking won’t be too far behind. She’s becoming more independent, needing a bit less from me. Reid has always been independent and basically only asks me to help with something if he can’t reach a toy or the snack drawer is locked. (We’ve installed a lock on the drawer because I caught him shame-eating muffins in the bathroom on more than one occasion.)
It’s taken me some time to reach this conclusion, but I think I have been feeling a bit unfulfilled lately. I have probably been feeling that way longer than I realize. It kills me to actually say that out loud- shouldn’t I be getting everything I need from my kids? I know that’s a little ridiculous, but mom guilt is real. I feel guilty about leaving my job in the first place and staying at home, because I worked so hard to get to where I was. I feel guilty about not “treasuring every moment while they are little.” I feel guilty about wanting to do something more than raise the kids and take care of the house (the latter gets neglected a lot anyway). I feel guilty about wanting to do something for ME.
But I also think to myself: I am responsible for setting a good example for my children. I want Reid and Sydney to know that women are smart and strong, and their mom did everything she could to make their lives happy. And I want them to know that if you aren’t happy where you are, only YOU can change it. So that’s what I’ll do. I don’t know exactly what that change is going to look like, but I can feel it happening.
But, in the meantime, I’ll be over here neglecting the growing piles of laundry and drinking lukewarm coffee.