Type A-personality. This phrase has been used to describe me by both fellow students, co-workers and acquaintances but rarely family or close friends. Why is this? Probably because they know that despite meticulous planning and forethought into my professional life, I’m often a jumbled mess of emotions when it comes to my personal life.
I once said to my co-worker and friend after I came back to work from maternity leave, that I had known all along I was having a baby, in fact very, very early in my pregnancy, but I hadn’t known that baby was going to be Little Bit. Somehow in all my planning and dreaming I had only thought of my darling daughter as “a baby”, somehow the little detail of her being an ACTUAL person eluded me. My co-worker, a mother of three as well as a grandmother laughed knowingly. We both knew what I was saying; my very small child, with her very unique little self, had in a short few weeks transformed me into a mom–one incapable of separating herself from this small, beautiful, demanding being that was no longer physically a part of me. She was Little Bit and she depended on me to feed her, care for her provide for her. This included finishing my graduate degree and working nightshift on labor and delivery; although at the time, it was these two things that felt like they were keeping me from my child. In fact, it’s only now, 5 months after graduation, that I realize I was fighting/hating something needlessly. Never had I thought being a stay-home mom would be the most attractive job, but in the first two years of Little Bit’s life the offer was incredibly appealing to me.
Now that school is over and I’m working as a career woman (my sister affectionately calls it a big-girl job) I’m still finding it hard to balance work with that overwhelming need to spend all my time with the tiny person who carries my heart in her pudgy little fingers. I realize I’m not the first mom to have these thoughts/feelings, nor am I the first to wonder if my choice to show my daughter that she, like her mom can have the best of both worlds is causing my daughter psychological harm because she spends five days a week at the sitters or my parents’ home until hubby and/or I get home, scramble to feed, bathe and prepare her for bed. I do make an effort to slow down in this hustle/bustle routine to read her a story or let her tell me about her day, but I can’t shake the feeling that I’m doing her some sort of disservice by not being there all day.
I guess that little voice, the one that sounds an awful lot like MY mother, keeps whispering, “How do you make sure YOU are raising Little Bit and not having a stranger or your parents do that job?” And “How do I make sure that my Little Bit grows up to be a wonderful, productive person if I have to depend on others so much?”
My question to you blogosphere moms is, despite whether or not you are mom 24/7 or are career-mom, how do you ensure that you are doing your best? What routines/mom rituals have you decided to encore orate into your daily routine to make you feel like a “good” mom?