Everything I have known for the past six and half years has revolved around my children and around being a stay-at-home mom. It is how I have defined myself and I honestly do not know who I am without that title. Once I held my first baby in my arms, smelled her head, kissed her cheek, I knew I would dedicate my life to her forever. I quit my job and never looked backed…until now.
Once I had my first child, I became riddled with post-partum anxiety with a crippling fear that something bad would happen to her. My mind literally went to the worst place in every scenario. The older she got, the more my anxiety melted away, and the more I yearned to find “me” again. I started small, got a position in my field for 10 hours a week, and tried to stay active with hobbies that gave me joy outside of being a mom (dancing, working out, crafting).
Just as I was beginning to feel like I was possibly ready to send her to preschool and start working full time again, my husband and I decided to bring our second (and last) baby into the world to complete our family. During my pregnancy, I felt guilty about the thoughts of giving up part of myself again, instead of being completely overjoyed with planning for our newest addition. Once I got my head straight and got completely on board, I was determined to give him everything (and more) that my firstborn got. Well…second children never quite get that first-born treatment, let’s be honest, but I did my best. My heart exploded all over again, and I knew the moment I held my little boy in my arms for the first time and I watched him sleep blissfully, I would be dedicated to him forever.
So here I am, a stay-at-home mom of two and feeling a little less than fulfilled. My kids are at the age now where they are in school full time (or could be if COVID wasn’t putting a strain on life) and it is time to redefine myself again. Who am I if I am not a stay-at-home mom? Will I be able to jump right back into the workforce? How will I be able to juggle full-time responsibilities at work and still have more to give to my children at the end of the day? How will they adapt without me being there all the time? Oh, yes, and mommy guilt. I am feeling it already by just the mere idea of work, can’t imagine how that will be once I start.
Well, resumes were written, and jobs were applied to; now I have been offered and accepted my first full-time position, post-baby. I’ve still got it! But now comes the anxiety of actually being able to pull it off. Will mommy brain cooperate? Will old skills resurface from the corners of my memory? I can’t say for sure, but I am sure that I am excited to try. Even though I have my reservations, I do think it is important for my children to see their mother be passionate about something and put herself back out there. So, this stay-at-home mom, turned working mom will have to gain a new identity, find a new way to define herself, and make a new safe place for her children. Wish me luck!