After spending the last two years on maternity leave I officially resigned from my job! I felt freer, lighter, until I realized something was missing…My safety net.
Choosing to stay at home with my daughter and pursue my ambition of authordom is the stuff dreams are made of. So why did I stop writing after I drafted that final email to my boss?
Nothing in my day-to-day life changed but suddenly everything was different. I became resentful of the daily chores, of being alone to deal with our toddler, of living so far from my family. In my head I started practicing answers to the innocent question “So, what do you do?” My outlet- my keyboard- gathered dust.
There were no longer obstacles on the pathway to my destiny- that is except for myself. I didn’t expect to feel so insecure and afraid to take the next steps.
These new labels: ‘stay-at-home-mother’ and ‘blogger,’ are two things I’m not quite comfortable with yet. I mean, what are labels good for anyway, other than making snap-judgments about people? And yet here I am judging myself.
Ironically, fear of being judged (as lazy, spoiled, bored, weak, incapable, or brain-mushy) was the main it took me so long to decide to be a SAHM. In a society that often fuses career and self-worth often the harshest critic of the stay-at-home-mother is herself.
Thanks to therapy, I have been able to place a lower value on the opinions of others and trust myself more- a gift which ultimately helped me follow my heart to this paramount decision.
I recognize that I am writing from a position of incredible privilege- to have the choice whether or not to return to work is something to be grateful for. I honestly feel kinda bad that I’m even admitting to being confused (guilt follows me everywhere as a mother, I should be used to it by now.)
You see, I belong to a generation of women who waited until their 30’s to have children. Just when we started owning our adult lives this defenceless little human enters and turns everything upside down…Inevitably we have to choose: is the career we built worth going back to, or should we wipe the slate clean? How’s that for a mind game?
Speaking of minds, there is this extra space in my brain which used to be occupied with “should I go back to work?” and in that vacant space where debate once lived, doubt is muscling its way in. Maybe I need to do myself the kindness of adjusting to my status change for a hot minute.
When I close my eyes and breathe, I know I am doing the right thing. For the first time since childhood I feel passion, dreaminess and inspiration from my everyday surroundings. I don’t have to be in a nightclub in Latvia, dancing with foreign drifters to feel alive.
I’m excited by the prospect of cooking something I’ve never tasted, smelling the intoxicating scent of my daughter’s hair (I have no idea when that will start to get creepy for her), relishing rare moments of quiet, feeling supported when my husband’s hand squeezes mine.
My end goal is to craft these everyday moments into something tangible that can be shared with other Mothers. Forget about Pinterest birthday parties and filtered Instagram smiles and saving tears for the closet. We can get through this with honesty and grace because it’s not all meant to be perfect and social-media-pretty. Let’s just do what we do, and own it.
So for now I’m going to stop worrying, my decision has been made. I slammed one door shut so now I have to hold my breath, close my eyes, and plunge out of the next open window. After all, that is the best way to set an example for my little girl.