Being a stay at home mom is really, really hard.
I prepared my little guy for the change. I made sure he was well versed in what sharing attention with a sibling would entail. I prepared my husband for the changes by making sure he knew that I'd need his help. I double and triple checked that he wasn't anticipating a 1950s lifestyle: the house wouldn't always be clean, dinner wouldn't always be ready, and hell - I would likely still be in my jammies when he came home from work. I even prepared my dog by rezoning our house and introducing him to all of the baby smells.
I didn't prepare myself. I forgot about me. And that's been the problem. In the six months that I've been a stay at home mom - I've forgotten about ME.
I worked after having Jet. 6 weeks maternity leave, and then back to work. It was heartbreaking and I remember the awful feeling of driving away from him. I remember the jealousy I felt towards my own mother because she got to spend the days with him. I remember worrying about him when he went to daycare. I remember missing him always. It was so very difficult. Even last summer (he was 7!) I cringed when I dropped him off at camp.
When my husband and I decided that I would stay home - I was elated. I was so grateful that I wouldn't have to experience the pain of missing my little one. I was excited to be more involved in both of my children's lives - more hands on.
But like anything - there are pros and cons. The obvious cons of being a working Mom (that worked out of need, not want) is that I missed my little guy. I felt like I was missing out on so much. But because I HAD to work - I made the best of it. I maintained a sense of self. I was social. I got dressed and went in public and had time to have individual thoughts and experiences and adult conversations. Taylor was well preserved - she was Taylor, Jet's Mommy.
I am now Navy and Jet's Mommy, Taylor. I spend all day with my children. I have been away from Navy an accumulative 3 hours in her 6+ months of life. I know how she behaves when she is sleepy, cranky, and playful. I know every single experience she's ever had. I have missed out on nothing. I miss her never. I have her always. But Taylor - that's who I miss. I miss ... me.
I was not prepared for how much of myself I would be giving. (Spoiler alert: it's everything) I tell my husband that my family operates like a totem pole ... With everybody else's needs ranking above mine. I haven't taken a single bath or shower without somebody needing something from me while I was in there. I'm constantly tugged and needed - morning, noon, night - and every moment in between. Am I grateful? Yes, yes, yes. But I am exhausted. A shell of who I used to be.
It boils down to this - it's a thought that I keep having ... "My heart is full. But the rest of me is empty."
Tell your Mom that you love her. Appreciate her sacrifices. You probably scratched the hell out of her when she nursed you. Or you slept when she couldn't, and screamed when she could. Motherhood is the hardest of any job on earth. It is all encompassing. To all the Mommies - thank you. I see you out there. I feel your sacrifice. I realllllllllllly feel your pains. (Especially those nursing scratches. WTF is with that?!)