Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The best job I could imagine

Another blog I follow just posted the most beautifully written account of her first few weeks with her second child.  She touched on how fulfilled she is by just being a mom.  That phrase is something I have struggled with for quite some time- just being a mom.  I love being a mom, more than I probably ever thought I would.  I think I was secretly blessed when I was laid off while pregnant with Nathaniel.  At the time I panicked, thinking about all the "stuff" babies need and how we would possibly pay for it all, but miracle of all miracles we did.  We survived without the extra income and suddenly the thought of being a stay at home mom didn't seem so far fetched or unattainable.  My initial thoughts when pregnant was that I would try and work 4 days a week and Tom would continue his 4 day a week schedule helping us only have to send the new baby to daycare 3 days a week.  At the time that seemed reasonable, it gave each of us a day alone with the baby but let us continue with 2 incomes.  Well after Nathaniel arrived and I held that sweet baby in my arms I knew in my heart of hearts that was it for me.  No job, no amount of money could pry that sleeping babe from my arms again.  Although it felt right to me I struggled with the decision to stay home.  I went to a fairly expensive school that I took massive loans out to pay for.  I don't regret the decision to go to school there because it led me to Tom and ultimately these 2 boys who I couldn't love more but if I were talking to an 18 year old now I would tell them to really think about the long term decision of so many student loans but I digress.  That overpriced education, albeit amazing, was part of the reason I struggled with stay at home mommyhood.  I constantly felt judged for liking staying home, like being a mom wasn't enough.  It never helped that I felt pressure from my mother in law, who regrets being only a stay at home mom. I let the feelings I had cloud my mind for the first few months of being a mom and I wish I hadn't.  Looking back on it now I let those feelings interfere with my truly embracing being home and loving my days alone with Nathaniel.  I probably suffered from a bit of depression, whether postpartum or otherwise and those first days when I should have been over the moon were plagued by indecision and regret.  Recently I was sitting in bed with Tom snuggling sleeping Jackson between the two of us and I just blurted out "this is enough".  Tom was mostly asleep and basically grumbled "what the hell are you talking about?" I let him sleep instead of trying to have a deep philosophical conversation with someone who would just grunt in return but I did bring it up the next night after dinner. "This is enough" I stated again.  Enough.  That word gets a bad rap but in my case it couldn't be more fitting.  My life, in this very moment is enough.  Enough sweetness, enough love, enough fulfillment.  My struggle to accept judgement over my decisions will probably never end but at least for now it takes a back burner.  A back burner to snuggling my boys on snow days while watching Curious George for the millionth time, to spending the afternoon baking cookies with Nathaniel and teaching him to scoop and stir, to watching as something I taught either boy really sinks in and they put their newest skill to the test.  This life that probably sounds boring or mundane is just what I want.  I lay in bed at night and I have never felt more blessed.  Being a mom is more than I could have hoped for.  I can't lie and say every day is easy or fun because they aren't but they even on the hardest days I still feel like I won the lottery.  I couldn't imagine a better job than raising these 2 (and hopefully more) babies, teaching them about life, and being a good person.  This is the job I think I was destined for and the best job I could ever imagine having- where else do you get paid in smiles, kisses and hugs?  Will I feel this way in 10 years when they are in school, who knows but for now, it's enough.

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