Maternity leave is in quotations in the title of this post because that was sort of a foreign concept to me...
I've always been someone who has a hard time taking time off. I blame it on my parents :) All 4 are very active people and from a very young age my brother, step brother and I were always involved in lots of activities - sports, summer camp, clubs, etc. As a result, I don't really like sitting down. I don't like not having things to do. Then Chris and I found each other and our constant need/desire to check things off our lists sort of just eggs each other on and fuels the beast.
When we got pregnant I wondered how a baby would change that. And I wondered how I would acclimate to taking care of our little one while also working from home at the same time
Enter the day we went to the hospital. I was doing billable work only a couple hours before we left. We came home with our little lady the Saturday night following the Thursday she was born I was at the computer (granted for a very short time) on Monday doing billable work. A couple days after that I was helping Chris on the house. We were both getting lots of cuddles in and bonding with Zoe, but the desire to work never really ever leaves us. I don't really know what it is.
I had intended to take time off of work and off of the house, but I found that if I went the entire day and didn't work on either that I felt kind of weird. The feelings of being a new mom while also trying to maintain who I was before I was a mom were hard to get used to at first. I felt a lot of pressure from myself to still get a lot done, and I felt a lot of pressure from myself to be the best mom I could be. For me, being a mom meant also working pretty much from the start of Zoe being born. And part of me has felt guilty about that
Did having a desire to still work on our house and work at my paying jobs so soon after she was born make me a bad mom? Of course much of my days are spent feeding, bonding, playing and cuddling Zoe, but I still want to make sure I take time our to do the things that I identify with as being a part of me. I am a mom now and I love holding her, seeing her smile, bonding with her and getting so excited about the fact that I can see her learn and develop each and every day. But there is also a part of me that finds happiness in working on our house and doing day job work.
Of course I am incredibly lucky to be able to do so much of my work from home. I am able to be with her each day, be her primary caretaker and still get work on the house done and make money. Yesterday was the first day I went to work without her: I went back to work at the A's. It's been a challenge learning to pump (and I say learning because every day is a new challenge with that machine and trying to get the most out of your boob as possible, especially considering at some feedings she eats 6 ounces), and I was very sad to leave her. But I was also was excited to see my co-workers again, get paid to watch baseball and also have an identity outside of our house. I am so lucky that I don't have to be away from her 8am - 6pm Monday - Friday and that when I'm at work at the A's Chris is home to take care of her so she always has some good old fashioned parent loving
It's a constant balance - being a mom, working, renovating and doing all the other things I feel like define me. I was afraid how it was all going to shake out and every single day is a new learning experience. Soon I'll be driving down to San Jose once a week for meetings with my brother with Zoe in tow and I wonder how she'll do in the car for that long or if she'll fuss when my brother and I talk about bookkeeping, a property he owns or a project he needs me to tackle. Zoe will always keep me on my toes. But I like that. She's my little buddy. Every day I learn something new and getting to be a working mom while also getting to take care of her is something I know I'm very lucky to get to do. She's a good painter, a good bookkeeper, a good graphic designer, and definitely a good A's fan
They only allow you to dress them up with no objections for a very limited time, I need to take advantage of this obviously...