Post submitted by Strong Momma, Ashley
Fun fact about me: I’m really honest… It’s a fault sometimes, but it’s just how I’ve always been. My teacher in second grade even told my parents that I’m “not afraid to share my opinion.” So here it goes… Honesty that I needed to get off my chest…
I feel like I missed the “mom gene” if there is such a thing. My mom was a wonderful stay-at-home mom and she wanted to be… I grew up so fortunate to have a loving mom who wanted to be home with me and still when I had my daughter was ready to go back to work after 12 weeks. I am not super mushy with other people’s babies, never have been. I was not big on co-sleeping and she was in her crib, in her own room, by 6 weeks. I worked on “sleep training” and let her cry to sleep around 6 months I only nursed for less than two months, pumping to make it last a bit longer. I am just going to lay it out there… I didn’t like it… I didn’t like being at home 24 hours a day with an infant, I didn’t like the feel or act of nursing, I didn’t like that I didn’t have any time to do anything and felt like I was losing myself. Everything I just said makes me sound selfish and heartless and I’m sorry, but that’s the truth.
I know I struggled with postpartum, I had a less-than ideal pregnancy, a husband who seemed not ready for the life changes we now faced, and then a colicky baby. I was so tired and upset the first weeks she was home I honestly don’t remember them…complete blur. Those are not excuses and I obviously have some guilt about the way I feel or this post would never have been written. I do think there are other women like me out there who are just afraid to say anything…. especially with the over-sharing Facebook friends who are constantly posting about how happy they are staying at home with their wonderful children, how in love they are with everything and suggesting that everyone would stay at home if they could. That’s great, good for them, I would not be happy doing that. There does not need to be a battle about what is harder, what is better, what a mom who stays at home versus one that works is worth financially, etc … it is a personal choice and shouldn’t be a battle between women. We have enough to battle in life, why start a fight over something so personal?
I realize that in my present situation staying at home isn’t even an option, but I would have chosen to work anyway. Now I will say that my profession as a high school teacher is incredibly conducive to being a mom. I will be off the same breaks as her, be able to go to her sporting events, and do get to be with her every day in the summer. It’s almost like the best of both worlds! BUT I also make sure I have time for me…even during the school year. I don’t want this to take a negative tone…. I love my daughter. I don’t know if you truly know love until you have a child, biological or otherwise. I am not a particularly emotional person, but I get emotional when it comes to her and I am not even remotely kidding when I say I would do anything for her, or to help her succeed. I don’t even remember life before her and feel like something is missing the days I don’t have her. Every time I drop her off at daycare on the weekends she goes with her dad, when I leave work I cry all the way to the gym…I go to the gym particularly those days because it is my happy place.
I know that my choices mean in the precious hours I have in the day I spend most of them at work, so then to train for another hour is a sacrifice of time that could be spent with my child. Is it selfish? Maybe. But it also makes me happy, reduces my stress, and gives me the “me” time I really need. I know I could not be the mom that I am if I didn’t take the time to do something for myself. I want her to see me as someone positive in her life, who refused to settle and is a complete bad ass woman. Again, I know others will understand and some will think that this is the sacrifice I made when I became a mom…. I disagree. I think that I can do it all and I can do it well… I don’t need to be mediocre… I will be good at my job, be a good mom, and be a good athlete. Try and stop me. 🙂