It was mid-February 2016 and to our surprise our little peanut decided to rush into this crazy world 3 weeks early, catching every one off guard but no one as much as me…
Reality had struck and stuck harder than I was prepared for… literally… I had nothing prepared! Whilst trying to bond with this little wrinkled creature in a bustling hospital I Also had to organise my friend to pack and bring us a baby bag (like I said, he caught us completely off guard!), I had to get my mum to organise 22 tablecloths which needed to be ironed and sent out to a client, I had to get my mother in-law to pick up the change table, I had to get my brother to pick up and bring us our pram and car seat from the post office… and that was just day one!
The first weeks slowly fumbled by as we faded in and out of a sleepless, new born haze, finding just enough spare time to high five the small wins as we focused on keeping this foreign creature happy. After what felt like a life time, we slowly began to emerge from the fog as we stumbled into a rhythm and gradually that foreign creature became a cute little lump that we suddenly couldn’t live without let alone begin to fathom how we managed to survive without him in the first place.
As we began to settle into life living alongside this cute little lump (at times successfully… but majority of the time we were defiantly faking it!) I started allowing myself to spend small amounts of time getting my creative thoughts back on track for my business (because remember this was my time to SHINE…hmm we’ll see). With my cute little lump by my side, we successfully executed a wedding early on and had hire items going out left right and centre and I thought I was loving it! `
As time began flying by (and I began doing that thing where love struck parents measure life by months… something I swore I would never do) more inquiries started coming in and business was looking good. Parallel to the business growing, that cute little lump was also growing… growing into an actual little human! This little human was seriously cute and as he grew out of the lying around not doing much stage the more I wanted to push aside the emails and planning sketches to spend endless hours rolling around… yep rolling around the ground pulling funny faces with my little human.
I didn’t realise at first, but over time my response to inquiries became slower and less enthusiastic and the hours I had once set aside to run the business were being eaten into by limitless hours in the garden with my little human. I was finally allowing myself time to set up the nursery, time to finish painting half sanded pieces of furniture that was scattered around the house, more time with my little human helping to muster the steers and feed the ewes, together we were engaging in what was happening around us and it felt great!
Then it started… my expectations… the guilt…
I was embracing motherhood with both hands and with each day I was feeling more and more comfortable in my new role as a mum. However with each day I could feel this slow growing guilt that I wasn’t meeting the expectation that I had set for myself. Suddenly I was feeling very self-conscious about my place in the community, what would people think if I didn’t go back to full time work? What will people think if I put my business on the back burner? It was these thoughts that kept me pushing forward with my design business… However my joy slowly turned to resentment.
As my little human turned one I became hyper aware about the amount of subject material out there to empower the working mum and the successes that mumpreneurs were having all over the internet, I thought I wanted to be one. But for now all I want to be is a mum… all I want to achieve is a happy healthy family… I want to be with my son. Tthis in no means makes me any less of a strong contributor to my community… but still why do I feel the need to justify rising my family?
I slowly gained the confidence to talk to my friends and family about my conflicting thoughts, however my own expectations had created scenarios in my mind that everyone would be disappointed in my pending decision … but of course the scenarios were far from the truth! Everyone was super encouraging and said they would support me in whatever path I wanted to choose. They each complimented me by saying that I am very clever in what I do, but also… that I’m a great mum!
The latter compliment is the one that grabbed me by the tear ducts and made me swell with pride… it’s confirmed… I’m going to be a full time mum!!
Few… finally…decision made! All of the guilt, expectations and conflicting thoughts are beginning to fall away. Until someone asks the annoying question…”So what do you do?”… dam it, that feeling of needing to justify my reason and place in the community all come flooding back with that one little question. All new feelings of expectations heading my way… but that’s for another tale.
For now I’m just enjoying the realisation that it is MY TIME TO SHINE… just in a different way