I sit here the eve of my daughters first birthday and I tear up every time I think about the day she was born. Being a mom was everything I’ve always wanted since I was a little girl. The ten years Chris and I were together before she was born I often thought about what our baby would be like, who she would look like. Then she was here.
I had a rough recovery from her birth but otherwise my maternity leave was bliss. I spent the next nine months following day dreaming of our early days together. Afternoon naps spent snuggling on the couch, our adventure road trip down to Floridia with a two month old baby. It couldn’t have been any more perfect.
After my maternity leave was over I went back to work. It was what I thought I was supposed to do. Chris suggested numerous times over the course of my leave that I stay home with Harper and leave work. I was scared. Scared to lose myself, scared of losing my friends, scared of losing the income. Going back to work was just what I had to do.
I spent the last nine months struggling. I was so determined to lose my baby weight that I was up at 5 am every morning working out for an hour. Spending a hour with Harper before I had to quickly get us both ready for our days, rush her to my parents, and get to the train to work as fast as I could. I sat at work missing her so much that it hurt. The work distracted me and I was surrounded by some of the best friends I’ve ever had but a part of me was bitter, my heart was heavy. The routine became a struggle. I stopped working out. I started indulging in eating whatever I wanted. I grew more and more stressed.
On top of all of that, my husbands new nursing job required that he worked nights three days a week and every other weekend. we were ships passing in the night. I was spending nights at my parents while he spent his nights working. Then while I worked he slept. With one car it was helpful to have my parents nearby to pick Harper up and take me to the train. Chris and I never saw each other, we never saw our daughter, the only time we spent together we were both so exhausted that we had a hard time enjoying being a family. We were making it work – but it didn’t last long.
I started battling with myself. Should I leave my job? It was such a comfortable job. I was good at what I did. I was surrounded by a work family that people only dream they could have. I felt incredibly lucky the two and a half years prior at my job. Why did having a baby change my mind completely? Could I make a living working for myself and being home with my daughter? These where the questions on my mind daily. I wanted to raise her, I wanted her to know that I was her mother.
Everything changed when Harper started calling my mom “Mommy.” She said it to both of us, but their bond was so much stronger than ours. Picking her up every day was a struggle. She clung to my mom and screamed when I tried to take her out of her arms yelling “no no no no.” It killed me, I couldn’t do this anymore. I went into work the next day and told my boss how I felt.
My managers were so understanding. They hated to see me go, but making the decision was exactly what it took to make me feel better. After that meeting I felt like a weight had been lifted.
It’s been two weeks since I left my job and I’m so thankful I did. I took a giant leap. Starting my own freelance graphic design business, working on my blog, and being a at home mom. It isn’t easy, it’s actually so much harder than I ever could have imagined. But I’m thankful every day for the time I get to spend with my daughter. I feel like I missed out so much on her first year, and I’m so happy to have the time with her now. She’s the best thing I’ve ever done and I’m so grateful that I get to teach her every single day. Our bond is growing stronger and stronger.
I’ll be posting my journey as I go. I’m setting out on a new adventure, working to peruse my dreams of working for myself as well as being a stay at home mom to Harper.