I knew motherhood would be a massive change in my life. And I thought I was ready for that change. After all, I always loved and embraced change in my career and personal life. So I have always been prepared to move with the times even when it wasn’t very comfortable.
So why was I suddenly facing some unexpected growing pains? I never saw these three things coming.
Let me explain. It doesn’t hurt the baby; it hurts me. After close to half a year of adjusting to being the only food source for my child, I knew and was even looking forward to introducing solids. I expected to feel free. It was the opposite. I found myself confounded by the feeling of loss. I realized that the adjustment to my new role had defined my identity to some extent. And now, the baby no longer just depended on me for food. And that realization hurt.
The La Leche League as that it is absolutely normal for such feelings. In fact, some women experience both positive and negative emotions. And it makes sense when breastfeeding is the central part of your motherhood experience. A significant amount is spent with the baby on the crook of your arm or in whichever position. And suddenly the time is left but the activity is drastically reduced.
2. The Essence of Time
I wrote about time previously, but let me expound. On nights when I don’t sleep too well, the daytime hours blur into one big blob of existence. I do function, thank God, for routine. But frankly, I am only fully present in spurts, and in those moments, I thoroughly enjoy our life together.
But after a few days of little sleep, I will have one restful night and see how much my child has grown in the previous days.
This feeling of time being abstract extends to my career as well. I keep up with the changes in my industry and organization. But sometimes, it feels like nothing is moving until it does. When I don’t stay informed for a few days, I can appreciate the changes that otherwise would be so minimal to notice. Now, this isn’t new, but the perspective from observing my child develop helps me notice things that I would have continued seeing but not appreciating.
3. Becoming a stay-at-home parent
A loved one once quipped that maternity leave is like a holiday. I know. Before you lose your temper, the person has since recovered from the momentary loss of common sense and empathy.
Staying at home is hard AF, pardon my language. It is more challenging than the 22-hour shift I have done in the past. It is more tasking than the 48 hour trip to Paris that I did to save money. It is hard. Many elements make it hard such as being on call, being touched out, having invisible labor, the list can go on.
However, make no mistake. I love being my child’s mother. This child is such a light bomb in my life, and I wouldn’t change anything about us.
Nonetheless, I also love being a career woman. I enjoy challenging my brain with things that are different. I mean, one could argue that researching the safest car seats in 2021 is challenging enough. However, it doesn’t take up the space that my work had. So I miss my job, I miss my career. And although I have attempted to go back earlier, less tangible things like attitudes and more practical things like child care keep me from going back to work before one year.
And that lack of choice makes it even harder to be a stay-at-home parent.
For more information about the safest car seats in 2021, check out the English version here.