Tuesday, December 28, 2010

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Conundrum.

There's nothing unique about my situation or what I'm going through. I am a mother. A stay-at-home mother. I got pregnant, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on Valentine's day, and have been home with her ever since.

When I was pregnant we never really talked about how Cati would be cared for; would I stay home with her or would she go to daycare? Things just kind of fell into place. School was going nowhere (I guess law school just wasn't the right thing for me) and I had no job to speak of (well, I did work but there was no guarantee of paid hours) so after Cati was born I stayed home with her. There was nothing to go back to. No one who would be counting down the days until my return. No light at the end of the tunnel or sign along this maternity road that said "Maternity Leave Exit 3/4 mile." All I could do was move forward. I didn't have to savor the days like most women because my time at home with Cati was indefinite. Everyday was special and no day was more special than another because time was ticking closer to the end. I didn't have mommy guilt about returning to work and I have never felt obligated to stay home with her because it's the "right" thing to do (I have no opinion on this, I think every mother should do whatever will make her the best mother). I have stayed home with Cati because I can and want to and because, at the end of the day, Alex lets me. I may care for Cati all day and it is a huge responsibility, but Alex is the one bringing home the bacon and keeping us on a budget that allows for us to have a certain lifestyle that includes me being income-less. We have goals like everyone else and these goals would be met sooner if I worked but staying at home with Cati makes me a happier and better person. Which in turn makes me a better and happier wife and companion to Alex.

Plus, I have no clue what I would even want to do professionally.

Having Cati has completely screwed me. For the first time in my life I am actually passionate about what I am doing. Is this because none of the jobs I've had have been a step on the career ladder? Or because I'm still trying to figure out what I'm good at and what I could actually enjoy doing for hours on end? Does a profession even exist that can match the intensity and satisfaction I get from my personal time with Cati? Am I just asking for too much and should I just focus on the perfectness of this exact moment?

And so this brings me to my conundrum. I never thought I would be the type to be a stay-at-home mother. Let's face it, it takes a certain type of woman to stay home, want to stay home, and actually enjoy staying home. I am that woman who enjoys staying at home with her daughter and would be happy staying at home for as long as we can afford it. Like I said earlier, I am passionate about it and find it fulfilling and satisfying, so why do I feel like I am wasting talent away at times? I don't think highly enough of myself to actually think I am talented in a special way; what I mean is feeling like I went to school in hopes of and preparation for a Big Career and now I am at home with Cati and not unleashing my talents unto the Professional World.

I am constantly undertaking different projects just to remind myself that I am good at something other than "chasing after a baby" (I always say this, sorry friends!). So if I feel so passionate about being a stay-at-home mom and I feel like this is the best thing for my daughter and, most importantly, I have chosen this path, why do I need affirmation (or is it confirmation?) of being good at different things? Is this me struggling with how to incorporate motherhood into who I am or me struggling with not letting motherhood be all that I am?

I know I should be thankful for the opportunity to spend my days with the greatest kid in the universe because there are plenty of mothers who wish they could do the same, but I hate feeling like I need to prove something to myself.
Stephanie

1 comment:

vickdn said...

Well you are proving that you are a great mom. And maybe just get involved in some outside hobbies, or take on a part-time job maybe?