To each her own

30 Apr

Today on the mommy board that I belong to, a new stay-at-home mom (STHM) posted about feeling overwhelmed. Most first-time parents, certainly first time STHM, can easily related to her. She writes:

I’m a first time Mom…  I am feeling completely overwhelmed sometimes, with just life in general…

Here is my unedited and hurried response.

Oh sweetheart! Welcome to the club!  I haven’t read the previous posts but I imagine that they’ve been overwhelmingly supportive. This is my second child and I’ve gone back to work after only three months (I had 16 months off with my first).

When I was at home with my first I loved it. I was so fortunate to find a wonderful mom’s network in my local area. No mean feat when you live overseas! Those ladies, and their babes, were my lifeline. Don’t know what I would have done without them. There are only two of us left in town now. The rest are scattered around the globe. And that’s why I love Facebook because we can still share so many of our ‘mothering’ adventures. Although, after the first year, I really felt ready to go back to work. And, like you, I REALLY looked forward to bedtime too. Nothing wrong with that!

I look at motherhood like being a passenger on a plane. You have to put on your own oxygen mask before you can be of any assistance to anyone else. So whatever your ‘oxygen mask’ is, be it work, school, a good workout, or a great weekly mani-pedi…you have to take time for yourself. I can honestly say that the only times that I felt lost as a mom were those moments when I started to lose sight of who “I” was.

Now that I’m back at work with two kids I find it so tough to find that balance. Two things I do for myself are a standing bi-monthly mani-pedi appointment on Saturday morning with a good girlfriend. And second, the hours between 4 and 6 from Monday to Friday are generally mine to do with as I see fit.

See, I’m a teacher. Between the hours of 7am and 4pm, my priority is making sure that I’m giving the best of me to other people’s kids. And that’s not a snarky or flippant comment. As a citizen of the world, I have a vested interest in making sure that the kids entrusted to me can one day go out into the world and, ideally, make it a better place. That they have the drive, the desire and the knowhow to do so is something that me and tens of thousands of other hardworking and dedicated teachers are striving for on a daily basis. But I also have another equally (arguably more) important obligation to my own kids. And I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t give them what they need (the best of me) until I’ve had some time to decompress from my work day. Some will undoubtably call me selfish but this is what works, right now, for me and my family.

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3 Responses to “To each her own”

  1. lovingrice April 30, 2012 at 11:42 pm #

    Brilliant, brilliant post (says one of your many mama friends scattered across the globe!).

  2. bigmangomomma April 30, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    Hard to believe that I wrote this exactly a year ago today. Yet it still rings true as I prepare for the big move.

  3. Click this link May 20, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

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    It kind of feels too complicated and extremely large for me.
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