A time for change.

For three years now, I have been a stay at home mom. Day in and day out, I have been blessed enough to have the privilege to stay home raising my little boy. Every milestone, every bad day, every good day… I have been there to see them all. When I began my journey as a stay at home mom, I never thought I would see the day where I felt like I needed more. My job was to be mommy, and that was all I could ever want.

But here I am three years later and I found myself beginning to think “what about me?”. I am a mom. I am a wife. Those are my two favorite titles and I am so proud every day to be both of those things…but I’ve reached a point where I need to have my own identity outside of those roles. I need to take care of me in order to take care of them.

Some of you may remember me writing a blog post similar to this earlier this year. I briefly tried working part time at a yoga studio before deciding that it just wasn’t for me. I happily returned to my life as a stay at home mom, thinking that I had gotten it all out of my system. I’d seen the other side of the grass, decided it was not actually greener, and told myself I never wanted to leave my baby ever again.

Until a few months ago.

My husband has been traveling so much for work lately that more often than not, he is gone about 2-3 nights a week. Sure, we sometimes travel with him. But when he’s got too much work to do or we don’t want to put our dog in boarding too often, Liam and I remain at home. I found myself having far too much free time, and with that time, I couldn’t help but feel like I could be doing something more to better how I felt about myself. Something that could not only benefit our family financially, but something that could motivate me and get my mind moving (because sometimes potty training a toddler day in and day out just isn’t quite the mental stimulation you desire).

It slowly began to dawn on me that perhaps the problem with my short lived yoga studio front desk job had not been with me being a working mom… perhaps the problem was that I was leaving my baby to do something that I wasn’t excited to be doing. I felt like I had been giving up precious time with my baby to go to a job that I had zero interest in pursuing a real future with. What I needed was a job that I enjoyed. A job that I could excel in and be proud of.

And then just like that, everything fell into place. I often find myself completely amazed at the way the universe works… The way you can throw a thought or a prayer out there and have it answered in such an obvious way.

I had been taking a long “me time” bath a couple of months ago. As I sat there thinking about what sort of job I really wanted to pursue, I found my mind continuously going back to the job that I was working when I found out I was pregnant with Liam. I worked sales, customer service, and social media for a locally based baby product company and it was a job that I truly had a lot of fun with. I knew that the responsibilities that I had at that job were what I wanted to look for in my next job, I just wasn’t sure how I would find it…let alone find something that worked into my ideal schedule. I had thought about contacting my old bosses but assumed they had filled my role long ago and wouldn’t have a spot open for me to return to.

Several days later, out of nowhere, my old boss just so happened to contact me to see if I was interested in working a convention for them. I accepted the job and before I knew it, one thing lead to the next and suddenly I had my old job back. I was able to work out a schedule with them that allows me to work from home half the time, which gives me the best of both worlds. My biggest fear in returning to the working world had been that I would have to sacrifice the time that I got to spend raising my son. The way that it worked out, I don’t feel like I have to sacrifice anything. I get to go to the office a couple days a week where I am surrounded by adults + get to focus all of my attention on the job at hand…and Liam gets to go to a great in home daycare a couple days a week where he can socialize with kids his own age. I could not have asked for a better situation and I am so incredibly thankful that this opportunity came our way because no matter how long it ends up playing out… It has made me feel like me again.

It has been a few weeks now since I have returned to the working world and so far I couldn’t feel better about the decision. Liam absolutely loves playing with the little babies at day care, and I absolutely love what I do. On days that I have to be in the office and my husband is in town, we forgo the daycare and Liam gets to spend quality one on one time with his daddy… something that very rarely happened before because I was always around.

I take a step back and look at my life each evening and can’t help but to feel completely overjoyed with the life and the opportunities that my family and I have been given. Perhaps it’s just the joyful Christmas spirit filling the air, or perhaps it’s the total uplift in my own spirit, but I couldn’t be more content and excited about what the future holds.

If you’re a stay at home mom struggling with the same feelings that I was experiencing… take control. I was in a slump for a while there and the only thing that finally picked me up out of it was my husband reminding me that this life is mine to do what I want with. Whether your inner happiness is going to come from a part time job, starting your own blog, getting involved in mommy groups, getting out of the house to go to yoga a couple times a week, or the hundreds of other possibilities… just go find it. Find whatever it is that is going to make you feel like you again and make it happen.

As Christmas approaches, I wish you all so much love and happiness. I would like to say that I will be blogging more consistently again but after saying that a good five times now, I’m going to refrain from making any promises (but i certainly plan on trying).

Cheers,

The Whine Connoisseur

 

 

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When did “discipline” become a bad word?

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When I became pregnant, I was young, scared, and paranoid that everything that could go wrong would go wrong. I ran out and bought a baby heart monitor that I would lay In bed with every night. I bought the pregnancy books and I had a new list of questions for my doctor every visit. One of my biggest ways of coping with my constant fears and questions was pregnancy chat forums like babycenter and circleofmoms. On these sites, I could find women with all of the same crazy questions and concerns as me. Not sure if that’s gas or a baby kick? There’s a forum for that. Is being this tired normal? Forum for that. Can I eat that food? Forum for that. These forums helped calm my nerves and guided me through my pregnancy complications and bed rest. After enjoying these forums so much while pregnant, I naturally turned to them as well once my son arrived, but I’ve quickly become more and more disappointed by what I’ve found on these sites.

I recently began having issues with my son while at restaurants. The second he turned one, it was as though a switch was flipped and he suddenly began acting out at restaurants in a way that was obviously disturbing to those around us. It upset me that not only was I being glared at by those around me, but even more, it upset me that nothing I did to soothe my son seemed to work. Being a first time mom, I had no idea what to do in these situations, so I went to the internet in an attempt to seek advice. Upon finding an open forum started by a mom with the exact same issue as me, I was completely disappointed with the responses I found. Fellow mothers were taking over the forum and absolutely destroying the mother who simply wanted advice as to how to teach her child to behave in a restaurant. One mothers response in particular stood out to me. She said something along the lines of “you are a terrible person for trying to train your child. Children should not be trained, they are not pets”. Excuse me? Since when is teaching your child good behavior and proper manners  treating them like a pet? Has the current generation of child raisers become that morphed in their thinking that they view discipline as an abusive practice? I would like to apologize to anybody offended by my thoughts on this matter, but I can’t, because I truly am not sorry for thinking that children should be raised to grow into respectable adults.

I am honestly nervous about the future my son will face. Raising a well behaved and respectful child is proving to be a more and more difficult task when surrounded by a world of new age parents who view teaching respect and good manners as an abusive practice. Teaching your child right from wrong.. Teaching your child how to behave in public.. Teaching your child to respect.. These are things that I feel are common sense, and by no means does teaching my child these things mean that I love him any less. While I realize that he is still young and is unable to communicate his feelings, it is my job to use my judgement to determine how to respond to the situation, and it is my job to respond in a way that my young son will understand. It is not mean to encourage my son to have good behavior… it is mean to allow him to grow up thinking that he is free to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. I feel as though there is a very negative connotation tied to the idea of “disciplining” your child. Discipline does not have to be harsh and it does not have to be mean. Discipline and good behavior can one hundred percent be taught through love, respect, and understanding.

I have found that raising my child is not simply me raising my child. It feels as though there are always watchers. If I tell my child no in public, there are parents who look at me as though I am cruel. If I let me child do what he wants in public, there are parents that look at me with disgust. There is no way to please everyone, so with each day and each public outing, I am left to make a decision not for the public, not for me, but for my son. I want my son to grow in to a strong, respectable, polite man. I could choose to overly baby him now. I could choose to let him do whatever he wants. I could choose to let him call the shots. But when would that end? At what point would he suddenly become the respectable man that I wish for him to be? It does not just suddenly happen. Good behavior is something that starts young. It is something that must be taught, and it is something that takes time. So what better time to start than now? I am not “training my child like I would a dog”, as the forum mother said. I am simply teaching my child to be a good person, and I am doing my best to teach my child that in a way that he understands.

I would like to know what other moms think about this topic. I am not here to argue, and I am completely open to hearing all opinions. As I’ve said before, I am a first time mom. I am stumbling my way through parenthood and hoping I making the right turns along the way. If you have any thoughts on this matter, I would love to hear them.

Cheers,

T.w.c.