This is where I’m supposed to be today . . .
Getting up at 8 a.m. with a snuggly, smiling baby girl.
Washing yet another load of dishes.
Wiping down a high chair and sweeping crumbs.
Cleaning another poopy bum.
Dancing and laughing for an audience of one because it makes her happy.
Making dinner for my husband before he starts three 12 hour night shifts.
Giving another bath to a baby who loves splashing in the water.
At home nursing my daughter as she falls asleep beside me.
I am in a season of life that is very fulfilling, tiring, repetitive and fleeting.
Each day I wake up and realize I have limited time left in the baby stage. I feel both sad and excited for the days to come. Soon the babbling will turn into talking and the supported standing to walking. To watch your child develop and grow is one of life’s greatest treasures.
As much as I love being a stay-at-home mom, I struggle with the tension of not working formally. I’m not advancing in my career or using my university degree. I don’t make an income. I stay at home with my 9-month-old daughter.
Often I feel unsure about the future. I wonder will I be a working mom? What will that look like? Is the cost of childcare worth working?
Perhaps working won’t be worth it financially but for my mental health.
Although my husband is very supportive of me being at home with our daughter and does not pressure me to work outside the home, I still have a desire to contribute. I want to share my gifts and talents with the world.
Since conceiving my child my body has been used to support another life. Can anyone but another mother truly understand the toll this takes on a woman’s body and mind?
I am no longer autonomous. In this season I am fully depended on 24/7. Even during my sleep, I have anxiety-inducing dreams about not being able to feed my child.
Although my current contribution to our household is not monetary and therefore not as visible, I know it is indescribably important.
I can feel the significance of my impact on the bond I have with my daughter. Being her primary caregiver, we share an extraordinary bond. I can make her laugh, quell her crying and fulfill all her pressing needs. I don’t take for granted the wonderful privilege I have been given.
At times, I still feel like I fall short. Then I remind myself to enjoy this season of being able to fully focus on my daughter. Perhaps in the future, I’ll be a working mom (however that looks) with a whole new set of challenges and insecurities.
No matter what season of life we are in, there is a desire to be better and do better. I will always feel some sort of tension in my life as I pursue my next steps. At the same time, I want to cherish the season I’m in.
To enjoy all the baby cuddles.
The feeling of small hands touching my face.
The looks and smiles only for mommy.