Our lil’ guy is almost 10 weeks old now and so I wanted to share a lil’ insight into what life has been like for me as a new mom. I still can’t believe he’s almost 10 weeks! For me, time feels like it has flown by although Jason might say differently ;). I waited so long to be a mom (4 years) and I can honestly say it has been nothing short of amazing. Jordan continues to amaze us everyday and we may be bias, but he’s the cutest baby ever :). So far, learning to be a mom has not been the toughest part for me. This is mainly due to the fact that I have the most incredible husband/partner/father to Jordan. It is definitely a team effort in raising our son and doing this together has made our marriage even stronger. So what has been the hardest part you ask? Read on to find out!
For most moms, they have something called #momguilt. And when I took on a few projects for Morning Lavender at the end of May when Jordan was only 7 weeks old, I definitely felt my share of #momguilt. I was away working all day for 2 days straight and then on the 3rd day I got sick! So almost 3 days of not being able to be there for my son made me feel so guilty. I started to think “what if he forgot me already?!” I was convinced that when I got home, he already bonded more with his father and I was a stranger :(. Of course that wasn’t true, but I felt guilty for being away and missing all the lil’ moments with him as he’s still so new to this world. So at that moment, I realized I wasn’t ready to come back from my maternity leave just yet. Before my c-section, I initially thought I would return to work in 4-6 weeks – I’ve always been such a career go-getter that I couldn’t see myself being away from work for longer than that. With the c-section, I knew the recovery was longer so I thought ok, by end of May, it would be 8 weeks and I would be back at work regularly starting June. But as the days go by and as I fall more and more in love with Jordan and this newborn stage, I know I’m not ready to be away from him for long periods of time just yet. There’s also the reality that I had so much difficulty conceiving Jordan that I might not be able to give him a sibling one day which means that this might my only chance to enjoy every stage of my baby. As he grows older every week, I actually get a lil’ sadder. Every night before I go to sleep, I stare at his photos from birth to now (even though he’s sleeping in his bassinet right next to me). I know – I’m a very emotional mama!
So earlier this month, I told Jason that I wasn’t ready to fully go back to work just yet and that I needed at least until the end of this month. I feel physically ready by not so much emotionally. And so these last few weeks, instead of feeling #momguilt, I started feeling what I call #workguilt and that has been the toughest part of my life as a new mom so far. As a small business owner, there are always a million things to do. Being small, you can’t necessarily afford to outsource everything or create large departments so you and your small team are left doing every lil’ thing. And while I’ve been gone these past 10 weeks, my team has been doing an amazing job of keeping things running and preparing us for a busy summer. But when you have a large base of e-commerce customers, 2 retail locations, a food service business and 50 employees, things don’t always go as planned and there have been times when I have had to step in these past 10 weeks. I’ve involved myself in many meetings and important decisions during my leave and as issues arise, I can’t help but blame myself for any mistakes or difficulties we have come across lately. I think of my team and our customers and think what if I have been there – would this have happened? What if I had been at work more? And that’s what I call #workguilt. As I am at home taking care of Jordan, I feel guilty that my team is taking care of my Company and has to be the one dealing with all the stress and all the work. I know I’m raising a human but as someone who has always been ambitious and career driven, it’s been hard for me to sit aside and not give everything my all. Now that I am a mom, I have soooo much appreciation for working moms. It really is a fine balance to have time for yourself, your goals and your baby. And I realize you can never expect to find the perfect balance and there is no right answer. In the end, you can only do what’s best for you and your family. I have to keep reminding myself that I can’t be so hard on myself. I have to remember this is this exactly where I wanted to be for so long and he’s finally here. And on top of that I have this successful Company with this incredible team that is not only working for us, but has been supporting and rooting for us this whole time. Not only do I finally have our family, but we also have this amazing work family and these are two things I do not want to take for granted. So as I sit here in the dark watching my baby sleep and writing this post, I know how blessed I am and I know how hard I worked for all of it. At this moment, I feel I really do have it all and instead of feeling guilty for it, I am just going to enjoy every moment of it.
Congrats! To my own surprise, I decided to not return to work at the end of my 3-month maternity leave even though I was physically fine as well – but for all the reasons you mentioned. I am kind of re-building a freelance/alternate career path now but I have no regrets – and know I never will – about making that decision. Time is so precious, especially with a baby. And his father and I have both had days where we felt like the baby wanted one of us more and felt bad but if you are both with the baby a lot, it will probably just alternate here and there based on who can give him more time/attention on a given day. I just remind myself that it is a really a blessing that he is attached to us both so we can both get needed away time to refresh. Mine turns one this week btw! You have an exciting time ahead – they change so much in many delightful ways in the first year! 🙂
So glad to see you back and you will do great as a mom and with your business. It will all work out great. So happy for you. 🙂
What you say is true and there’s never a right answer. I wanted to do it all before and after my son was born and the guilt was just everywhere. I eventually left my job and was miserable but knowing that my son has the help and care he needs makes up for it because truth is, he is getting older.
Maureen | http://www.littlemisscasual.com