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“Mom” is not my only name… | working after baby

Oct 9, 2016 by

“Mom” is not my only name… | working after baby

I’m supremely happy to be pregnant. I can embrace this whole pregnancy thing. I am growing a freaking human! I’m amazing! What did you accomplish today? Probably not GROWING A HUMAN BEING! My students reminded me this week that I currently have two brains! I’m fascinating.

Also, strangers carry stuff for me, I have an eternal excuse to sit on the couch and eat ice cream, and I don’t feel at all guilty having the grocery store bag boys take my grocery bags to the car. I can’t complain. I haven’t had many extreme symptoms, I’ve felt pretty darn good! I’ve been lucky. Most days I can sit here and really believe that I could successfully and happily produce 7 or 8 kids….and that’s all well and good when I think it. It is not ok when you think it…

because it is not 1950. I am not a “little housewife”, in fact, I’m a terrible housewife. I’m not keen on the idea that someone imagines me being barefoot in the kitchen. (Unless you’re my husband, and in that case….well…your mom reads my blog).  It is not my job to produce offspring and fold laundry. If you know someone whose job it is to fold laundry, and they have affordable prices, please send them my way.

I'm not a little housewife...in fact I'm a terrible housewife. #workingmom Click To Tweet

I thought we, as a society, had become more progressive than this. So I find myself surprised when my co-workers assume that after the baby I’m becoming a stay-at-home mom.

Now, before the internet starts hating me, I know a bunch of awesome SAHMs and I admire them because they are freaking awesome. I am not that awesome. I’m in awe of the selflessness being a SAHM takes, and I’m a little ashamed that I don’t know if I have that in me. I’m actually pretty intimidated by tiny humans, I don’t know how I would entertain both the baby and myself all day, and I am afraid of looming housework. Staying home with my kids has never been a dream of mine. (I recognize the gigantic can of worms I’m opening, I know the arguments on both sides of this issue… and that’s your thing. Not mine. I’m not about to argue how awesome it is to be the one to teach your kid things, not miss milestones, etc. I recognize the awesomeness of that).

Regardless, I have never insinuated that I planned to stay home and yet I have co-workers and even superiors at work who keep mentioning my role as mother, and how I am not coming back to work after the baby’s birth. I feel judged because I’m pregnant, it almost borders on harassment. This is especially true because it keeps getting shared publicly. It makes me angry. Isn’t this my decision? Stop making assumptions about my family.

I am not just a mil-spouse. I am not just a wife. I am not just a pregnant woman. I don’t intend to be just a mother, although that is a title I am really looking forward to having… I worked really hard to get where I am today. I worked toward a 4.0 in my master’s program, and feel proud every time I think about it. I’m certified to teach English in multiple states, and I’m a really excellent teacher–if I do say so myself. I became professionally certified in Colorado, so that I could become better at my job. I attend workshops and professional development to further my craft, and I have 50+ students who depend on me not only to get them through the 7th grade but to lead them toward paths that make them cool adults. I am passionate about teaching, I’m inspired to help other teachers become better teachers, and I think it’s genuinely my calling to help motivate teenagers toward embracing their education and becoming better people.

Being a good mom doesn’t mean I have to give up my career or have a homemade dinner on the table every night. I think valuing myself and my education is a pretty damn good example for my daughter. I think allowing her to see that I can juggle professionalism with a home life is important too. I want her to grow up watching her parents chase dreams and adventures. I want her to remember as she struggles with becoming adult that it is important to value herself, not put herself last, and not make sacrifices that jeopardize her happiness. I want her to see that sometimes its hard to do the things that we want to do, and to observe those moments when all that hard work matters. I want her to see that her parents have ambitions that are not based on her, and that even though she may be the center of our world, the world does not revolve around her.

The idea that someone I work with simply assumes that I want to walk away from so many things that are important to me is silly. They haven’t even asked. And it makes me mad.

The truth is, it is my intention to take a maternity leave to be with my wee one, and then go back to work. I am responsible for those little faces in my classroom, I am responsible for contributing financially to my family, and I am responsible for creating my own happiness. The truth is, that its nobody’s business but my own. The truth is, I have no idea how I’m going to feel going back to work when our little girl is here, my friends with kids have told me it’s brutal. I’m sure it will be. Maybe I will eventually decide that it’s better for us if I stay home for a while, I cannot predict that. I do know that I can’t wait to hold her in my arms and tell her how much we love her and how long we’ve been praying for her. We’ve just started looking into childcare and it’s terrifying. I don’t know how you make the decision to leave your child with a virtual stranger, but we will do what is best for our family. The truth is, that’s my decision to make when the time comes, I don’t have to decide now and you certainly do not have the right to decide for me. I take offense to people telling me what to do.

I think I get that from my grandmother.

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Baby Showers are the Absolute Worst | Baby Shower

Mar 25, 2016 by

Baby Showers are the Absolute Worst | Baby Shower

I know I shouldn’t compare apples and oranges, but it’s really hard to restrain when the bellies of all my closest friends are starting to take the shape of the aforementioned fruit, meanwhile we are still over here TTC.

 

Did you know there’s such a thing as pregnancy envy? How ridiculous. This isn’t a competition, but sometimes we allow ourselves to feel that way.  There is quite literally a constant stream of pregnancies around me, it starts to eat away ,a little, at my resolve to be positive about this whole thing. I know I am not the only woman in the world to be waiting on motherhood. I know I am not alone in this. However sometimes it’s hard to ignore the hurtful comments. It’s hard to ignore the fact that I am quite quickly running out of magnets for the fridge what with all the pastel colored baby announcements I have to hang up to torture myself with.

That being said, I went to a baby shower this weekend. The Mom-to-be is a coworker of mine, whom I adore. I know that she too had some struggles on the path to pregnancy and I am super excited for her. (It should be noted that I would attend 100 torturous baby showers to celebrate her and her pregnancy. ) I also appreciate her shower was on a Sunday, and not on Saturday, thus not ruining the entirety of my weekend… The shower itself was pretty and sweet. It might have been fine even, it I were able to join the ranks of women with children, or had a battle story of my own to share, but instead I found myself surrounded by tales of woe, destruction and horror. Not only was this incredibly depressing, but it also spurred the twinges of jealousy. Things started floating through my mind like: How dare they complain like that? I’d be so happy to have those problems. Although, actually bloated feet and a torn, unrecognizable vagina are not actually on my top ten things to do list…Baby Showers

I’m sure when I do become pregnant I will want to complain too. I’m sure it will be freaking awful and I will be a hot mess.  I know that pregnancy and new motherhood is probably both a difficult experience as well as a blessing, and I also know those gals meant no ill will… but I still left the shower in a state of unease. Feeling both jealous and sad. I hope I will remember in the future when I am actually a mom, that detailing my birth story in excruciating detail will scar the single girls and the childless for life.

I should have known better of course, and been prepared. Everyone knows that attending a baby shower puts you in the midst of a conversation that will inevitably circle around babies and parenting for the better part of two hours. It shouldn’t have surprised me, and the truth is, if I had thought it through a little better I might have even declined the invitation and just sent a gift. If I had thought it through I would have realized that attending a baby shower would be emotional Armageddon. If I had thought it through I would have had a few cocktails first… If I had thought it through I would have remembered that at the heart of the matter,  I hate baby showers anyway.

Like I hate, hate them. I hate that there is no alcohol present (I know we are celebrating a pregnant woman here, but still the rest of us shouldn’t have to endure party games without a beer in hand). (**side note: when I do become pregnant and someone decides to throw me a shower, please remember the non-pregnant are enduring the shower and serve them a cocktail or two.) I hate that there are party games to play at all. I hate that in order to purchase a worthwhile baby gift I have to spend shit tons of money on a gadget that I don’t actually know what it’s used for, or be the asshole that buys baby washcloths and a onesie they will outgrow before they wear.

Next time, I will go for a moment. Hug the soon-to-be-momma fiercely, tell her how genuinely happy for her I am. I will eat cake, I will leave my obligatory gift, and then I will make an excuse involving a gastrointestinal emergency related to my lactose intolerance (believable) and head for the door.

Because I am excited for her. And for my other co-workers, and two of my best friends, and my sister, and my dental hygienist, and the girl down the street, but I don’t want to have to wallow in your ever enlarging shadow while I binge eat cake with pink and blue frosting.

Binge eating pink cake, and other reasons I hate baby showers. #fertility #babies Click To Tweet read more
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