Feeling the WAH in WAHM…by Liimu
When I was pregnant, I bragged to people that with my fourth child, I had every intention of getting back to work as soon as possible, stopping throughout my day to snuggle or breastfeed my new baby – a true Work at Home Mom (WAHM). I likened myself to those field workers in the early twentieth century who were said to give birth among the rows of corn, and then continue to shuck and pick alongside the rest of their crew, with the new baby suckling at their breast. Slightly ambitious a plan, I had no idea how hard it would be to execute. My youngest child is 4.5 years old – I barely remember what those early days were like.
Although I do remember that I put together (and got approval for) a very involved proposal that would allow me to work from home for three months following the birth, transitioning back slowly to the office. I also remember one day being on a company-wide conference call, during which the president of our division of J&J was speaking, when my two-month old daughter began to wail and scream. I reached down to try to quiet her, bringing the phone right next to her face, not realizing I had not put the phone on mute. My mistake was painfully evident when the CEO stopped to say to the group: “Could someone please quiet that baby or put their phone on mute??” Why I thought managing number 4 alongside work would be that much easier than number 3, I have no idea.
So, now with little Max nearing his week 5 birthday, I’m struggling just a little bit to manage it all. This blog, business development (to ensure that I have a job for which to come out of maternity leave), a small projecct that began last week, not to mention all the work involved with taking care of him – figuring out breastfeeding, sleep deprivation, pumping, and so much more. And before you guys all jump all over me to tell me to slow down and enjoy this time, I am. I really am. I’m napping with him whenever I get a chance (like right after I finish this blog), I’m spending time with my husband, and I sat down yesterday with my mother’s helper to let her know that after our vacation next week, I’ll officially be off maternity leave and ready for her to really start helping with Max during the day so I can work in earnest.
But WAAAAAHHH!!!!! For the first time in my 10 years of motherhood, I am sort of wishing I were a stay at home mom, instead of a work at home mom. I am so in love with this baby and totally enjoying being completely devoted to him (and his sisters, when they’re home). But honestly, I have a glorious, blessed life and I love what I do. And I’m fortunate enough to be very successful at it, so rather than lament my situation, I’m jumping in with both feet. And believe me, I will be taking full advantage of the flexibility it affords. So when others are taking their coffee breaks or smoke breaks, I’ll be taking my snuggle breaks and nursing breaks. And I’ll be doing that for as long as I can before he’s off and running in the other direction beginning the inevitable process of exploring his independence from me.