I was telling someone the other day about my 2011. It was a funny year – the most amazing year of my life but also one of the hardest. There are so many new feelings that wash over you when you’re a new mom. And with Bryan traveling overnight three days a week + a new baby + a new booming business, there were times when I though my world was pretty much going to come crashing down. Thank goodness for good friends who rush to your house in the middle of the night when your appendix almost ruptures. For good friends who visit you to give you some adult interaction. For good friends who get together on Fridays for chardonnay and baby play time. And for good friends who cheer you on, lift you up in prayer and encourage you daily. And, of course, for family who lets you visit for long periods of time to get lots of work done : ) I really do get by with a little help from my friends.
The reason last year worked at all was because I decided before Brady was born – as I anticipated the crazy life of a work-from-home business owner whose husband was on the road half the time – that when worse came to worse I would always make the non-regretable choice. I’d always choose Brady. In the early days this was pretty easy, Bman loved to sleep during the day (night… not so much). He’d nap in his Lamb Swing in my office while I worked. He’d have tummy time on his mat under the window while I worked or took consult calls. Sometimes he’d sit on my lap while I typed (until he became very interested in what all that noise was when Mommy pressed those cool white buttons hey there are lots of them… hey I can type too!) That ended as quick as it started.
There were so many days that I had to email/text/smoke signal Lara, Marissa and Nicole (go Team MBH!) and tell them that I had to throw in the towel. I’d stop mid-email-sentence, mid-design, mid-blog post, turn off my office light, put Brady in the car and go walk the mall or go walk around our neighborhood. Doing that was probably the biggest lesson I learned as a mama. It’s hard for me to stop a project in the middle. I was the girl that, when assigned a huge term paper at the beginning of the semester, got it done in the first two weeks so I didn’t have the weight of the assignment weighing on me the next few months. But slowly, God is teaching me that my time is no longer just my own. It’s something I’m still learning even as he approaches his first birthday (what!?)
Around the middle of the year last year, we hired “Ms. Kara.” Kara is a Godsend. She’s Brady’s “nanny” two days a week (I hate the word nanny… I like to call her his “friend” : ) They read books, play games and go for walks. Having those two days back to work is wonderful. And what a blessing to be just a few rooms away from him – knowing he’s in the hands of someone who adores him like we do.
Those two days are perfect, but now we’re approaching the time when Brady will soon be walking, is already into everything and has started CLIMBING anything within reach. And those other few days a week (of working while Brady “naps” or “plays quietly”) are coming to an end. He wants to play. He wants to go for walks. He wants to climb. He wants to eat everything on the floor (dog food is his favorite, followed by Mommy’s flip flops).
I’m praying a lot about what to do with these two days. I realize it’s probably best for Brady to spend two days a week (the days he’s not with “Ms. Kara”) interacting with other children – perhaps at a Mommy’s Day Out program at a nearby church (which we’re still searching for). Why is it so hard for me to just do this for him. About 95% of the other Moms I know do this with their children while they work and it is wonderful.
I am so blessed that this crazy dream I had has turned into a successful business and I’m able to work very flexible hours from my home studio. So blessed. I’m here for him at the drop of a hat. I never work on Fridays. What a blessing this is. So why do I feel soooooo unendingly guilty about this.
But sometimes I see my stay-at-home-Mom friends and am envious that they are able to spend 100% of their time with their children. There’s no one greater who can care for Brady than me. At the same time, I see my working Mom friends whose children go to great daycare or Mommy’s Day Out programs a few times a week who are really benefiting from the social interaction and activities those programs provide.
I realize only I know what’s best for him, but why on earth is care for him two days a week such a hard decision to make. I STRUGGLED in the decision to hire a nanny. Finally I just did it. Having no idea what I was doing – and found Kara, who is WONDERFUL and really an extension of our family.
I can do this right!? I know Bryan and I will make the right decision. I just wish it were easier and I wish someone would give me the dang Mom Handbook already!
PS: Perhaps I need to read this again. And this.