torn between two roles
work has been crazy busy since we got back from a two week holiday break over christmas. i have a one track mind and it's hard for me to divide my attention. when i do, i don't do things as well as i would like. since returning to work last august, i've felt torn between my two roles as a (1) working (2) mom. of course there are all the other aspects of life too: marriage, friends, jesus... but my tug of war has been between my role of being a mom and working full time.
since we made the decision to move back to my home state of michigan, i've felt relieved to know that soon i will not be torn between two roles. i will be a stay at home mama in a few short months (we recently decided to bump up our timeline from end of june to beginning of may, so even shorter than before!). of course, that has its own challenges and it will be a major shift for me that i'm sure will take time to get used to. regardless, i am looking forward to being fully present for one of my roles, instead of going back and forth between the two and feeling like i'm doing neither as well as i would like.
i feel like i can't be as dedicated to my work as i once was. i'm a mama. and a breastfeeding mama. i can't just stay late to work on something. i have to get home to breastfeed my baby. i don't want to put in extra hours to finish a project or prepare for an event because i already have such precious little time to spend with bina bina in the evenings when i get home. she continues to wake once a night to feed normally, and i welcome it as more time to hold her and be close to her (well, not always. sometimes i just want to SLEEP. ha). before bina, i could work overtime and not think twice. my job necessitated it at certain times of the year in order to stay on top of work, so i did it. and i was proud of it. and i felt accomplished.
there may be some changes coming to my current job in the future that would require more frequent travel than the 1-2 times a year it currently requires. before i may have been excited about that prospect. but now i just think: i can't be away from my baby that much. i want to have more babies and breastfeeding and travel just don't mix well. i COULD do it, but i don't want to. my priorities have shifted. i would rather be home for my baby and future babies than put more time and effort into my work.
now i know there are working mamas out there that are totally able to balance this crazy thing. they may have their moments, but they thrive on staying busy and doing it all. good for them! i thought i might be one of those moms. staying at home full time didn't really appeal to me. i thought i would be bored or something (ha). on the weekends i have a hard time keeping up with my constantly moving eight month old. she is like a little monkey. pretty sure i won't be bored, i'll just have a different set of tasks to take care of! before, i thought i would at least work part time if i did stay home some. even part-time work doesn't appeal to me now. just like when bina was born, what i thought and expected was just not reality for me. and that is ok.
i am learning me. it's ok for me to think things will be one way, and then when they happen they are actually another way. it's okay to flip flop and be the opposite of what i anticipated. this whole mom thing is a bunch of trial and error (at least for me). as i learn more about myself, i try to give myself more grace and accept my own limitations. it doesn't mean i'm weak. it just means i'm me. and for me, for this season, i want to be able to fully devote my attention to raising my little and future littles. i want to be in charge of the home front. i want to take care of this one area for my family. that means david will be taking care of the financial side of things that i was doing previously. it's going to be a big change, a big shift for both of us. but we are ready to make the change. we're ready to make the shift. it's going to be difficult at times. i'm sure i'll have some marley and me moments like jennifer anniston's character who snapped at her husband and confessed that though she made the choice to stay home and doesn't regret it, she feels like she gave up a lot of what made her, her. david and i will work through those moments together.
i used to cry at the end of marley and me when the dog dies. i didn't yet have a baby, but i did have two dogs and i couldn't imagine one of them dying. now that i have a baby and have been wrestling with my identity as a person and a mother, when i watch marley and me i cry all the way through. i feel like i totally identify with jennifer anniston's character's struggles. when she's holding her first born and telling her hubs that they're pregnant again and she has to quit her job because the doesn't want to miss out on "this" (as she holds her son close), i feel like that's me right now (minus the second baby on the way). and i'm so thankful that an opportunity presented itself for david that would allow me to have the option of staying home full time. when i went back to work in august of last year, staying home full time was not a financially feasible option for our family.
in the meantime, i feel like i'm stuck in limbo between our life in austin now and our new life in michigan in the not too distant future. i know i'm going to be leaving my job soon, but not yet. i have about two more months. this semester has been the busiest yet for work. i find myself agitated a lot of the time. this may have something to do with weaning off my anxiety meds. the stress of this current season sure isn't helping though! so i'll take things one day at a time. try to recognize when i am agitated and work hard not to take it out on those i love most, or anyone, for that matter. i need to finish this season well before i move into the next one. two more months of feeling torn between my roles. i've done it for the last six months, and i can do it for two more. i'm thankful that i can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and that it's bright!