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Confessions of a Working Mama: The Big Leap

I am so late in writing this blog. I am late in contacting the amazing mamas who run the blog with my e-mail of excuses as to why I didn’t have it submitted in time. There are compost bucket crumbs around my sink. My “one load a day” laundry rule has been long forgotten. I definitely need my eyebrows waxed. I have to finish sending out my son’s birthday thank you notes. The list goes on. I’ve always had the list in my head, as many of you can empathize. But suddenly, my list has become faded and blurred. My list has taken a back burner.

On October 30, I transitioned from full time stay-at-home-mom to full time working mom. There was no gentle shift for me, it was full steam ahead. So far? Things have been okay. My husband and I have figured out how to successfully prepare as much as possible at night so that the mornings aren’t a chaotic ball of stress. I’ve still found time to read at night. No one has objected to this new lifestyle. The organization of our routines seems less and less like a blue, three eyed alien from Mars.

Although the physical organization seems to be under control, my emotional organization had a rocky start. The first day my two year old stayed at school until 3:30, I was a bucket of nerves. Every moment that I was unoccupied with work I found myself tearing up, thinking about all of the moments she was experiencing that I was not a part of. I thought about how, although her teachers are pretty much rock stars in gentle, loving care and spur so much natural creativity and curiosity in her, that they still wouldn’t know how to quietly encourage her to eat her strawberries. I felt my stomach pang with worry. Yes, my children are blessed to be in what my husband and I feel is the best place possible for them. It’s everything we dreamed of for our kids. But still? It’s not with me.

On that first day, thoughts diverted to my girls, I didn’t think we were going to make it. I couldn’t have full conversations with co-workers without feeling a well of emotions inside, let alone focus on an actual task. After six years as a stay-at-home-mom, how could I possibly give up control? I felt powerless, scared, overwhelmed. Absent mindedly, I checked my phone. A dear friend and teacher knew exactly what I was feeling that day. This is what she sent me:

Two peacefully, blissfully sleeping girls.

ConfessionWorkingMom1

 

So the teachers aren’t me. That’s true. But what is true is that they love my girls. They delight in their blooming spirits. They rub their backs and stroke their hair as they drift off into sleep. They want my girls to be happy. Most of them are also moms and they understand me. Because even though I don’t attend preschool with Sophia and Maggie, I’m still part of them. Knowing that they understand me and how these girls are my world, well, it makes this all okay. It’s okay now, and it’s going to be okay next week.

I’m now three weeks into my new job. Yesterday I picked my two year old up first and she was so excited to see me that she crashed into the wall during her usual running leap into my arms. Her eyes twinkled and sparkled after a fantastic nap and I could actually feel  how happy her day was. The teacher? She looked at me with a proud smile and said, “wait until you see her lunch box. She ate every last scrap.”

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4 Responses to Confessions of a Working Mama: The Big Leap

  1. Nissa November 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

    Loved reading this! So glad that the transition is beginning to go smoothly!

  2. Deb November 20, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

    This makes me feel so much better about eventually transitioning to a 1st shift job. Right now my husband and I work opposite shifts so we are home with our daughter all the time. It’s hard on us, but I love being able to spend so much time with her.

  3. Kim November 22, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

    Tricia, as usual a terrifically well-written piece that I enjoyed reading very much. You have a way of being able to put your emotions into words that really make me feel what I am reading. You have a true gift. I am glad to hear things are working out and your transition is growing easier!

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