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How to be a mom.

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Lake Tahoe, CA

I don’t usually write purely personal posts, because I started my blog with the intention of sharing about food. But I haven’t been thinking much about food and nutrition lately. I even stopped posting altogether for a while, but a good friend encouraged me to share my thoughts, put them out in the universe, and just KEEP WRITING. (Thank you, Nicole!)

Bear with me. This is bound to be a little long winded, and is for sure filled with nothing but #firstworldproblems.

For the past 5 years, I feel like I’ve been blasting through life at rocket speed. I moved to NY, got married, had a kid, then promptly another, worked for a fast-paced startup, launched my private practice, and then (record scratch) moved to CA.

Now that the dust has settled and all the boxes are out of our house (don’t look in our garage though!), I’ve had some time to sit and think. And by “time” I mean the 1-2 hours during nap each day.

You see, I’m finally able to be a mom. It’s the most complex role I’ve ever played, and I’m still trying to figure out how to BE in this role. I absolutely love being with my kids. I love how their pudgy bellies smoosh into me when they hug me; I love how they smell after a bath; I love how excited they get about showing me something unrecognizable they’ve just drawn; I love when they tell me they love me.

But I’m not sure it’s enough for me. The selfish part of me wants to keep filling my ego with accomplishments. And I think I have more to give to the world. So, I’m still figuring out how to hold onto my career without getting sucked into the black hole role of “working mom” — specifically the kind of working mom that hates her job and is so stressed that when she is with her kids she can’t let the time be quality time, because she’s always thinking about the next thing on the to-do list and wondering when she’ll catch a moment of her own.

After all, how do you find a job that’s worth taking you away from your kids? Your babbling, waddling, love-them-more-than-life-itself kids? And I say “worth it” not just in the monetary context. (Though the monetary things is real — in this day and age, you have to get paid a shit-ton just to cover childcare costs.)

I’ve been thinking about it. A lot. And I don’t know that such a job exists. I’ve actually been contemplating med school (yes, I’m insane), because becoming a doctor seems to be the only job that might justify being away from the lives I created who depend on me so much.

Our boys are happier than ever. Not that they were ever unhappy, but I get the sense that they, unlike me, are grounded. They have a routine with sandboxes and nature walks, healthy(ish) meals, swimming pools and bubble baths, road trips and plane rides.

Maybe it’s okay to just be a mom for a while. Maybe it’s okay to just be still and present and stop worrying about marketing my business, interviewing for jobs, keeping my resume filled, and plotting out the next 10 years. After all, whatever happens, you better believe I’m going to credit this space in time with: Role: Mother. Duties: Raising two amazing boys.

It’s not news, but it can’t be said enough that mothers (and some fathers!) today are under intense pressures to “do it all:” cook 3 meals, clean the house, do the laundry, remember to send birthday cards, plan social events, raise the children (feed them, chase them around the house to clothe them, chauffeur them, create educational experiences for them, bathe them, read 17 bedtime stories to them) all while being patient, beautiful, fit, and cheery. Oh and PS, you also need to have a JOB. You know, like a real career?

Because of our move out to California and our literal uprooting of every semblance of our past lives, I’m finally not committed to a job with a schedule and a routine. So why am I buzzing on the inside?

Maybe it’s just human nature to create stress when there’s not enough of it. It’s what keeps us going, as self-defeating as it sounds. Or maybe I’m afraid to depend so much on my kids for my own self-fulfillment. (After all, we all know they’ll hate me when they’re teenagers.)

So how do we create balance? How do we keep one foot in our professional career and the other firmly grounded in our role as mother?

Well I’m still trying to figure that one out. I held my boys in my arms as they both fell asleep today, and I just cried with a feeling of intense love and gratitude for getting to share my life with two beautiful, healthy boys.

So while I let my brain run circles around the idea of what a balanced working mom life is, I’m willing myself to be still… at least for a little while.

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4 Comments »

  1. Ahhhhh!!!! I think you just wrote all the things my brain has been thinking! In exactly the same boat. Thanks for sharing…good to know I’m not alone. 😘

    Comment by Tina — October 8, 2016 @ 1:48 am

  2. You are most definitely NOT alone. I have gotten so many moms reaching out to me telling me they feel EXACTLY the same. It was a very different world when our moms grew up, and I’m sure it will be very different for our kids too. It’s hard to find the right balance. One thing I do know is that you can’t search for answers from anyone else; it all has to come from within. Happy to talk thru any thoughts you’re having if you want! xoxo Miss you!

    Comment by Jessica Marcus — October 11, 2016 @ 10:16 pm

  3. Hi Jess,

    Glad to hear you are pretty much settled in CA!
    I have irked at a bank, a Consumer Research group and for 19 years as a School Bus Driver, as I’ m sure you know..
    Being a Mom and Wife have been by far the most fulfilling to me. Everyone is different though. I wanted a job that I could be
    Off when my Loves were off. I could have had so much more material items. Times have changed and it takes a heck of a lot more money to just live nowa days! Good luck in whatever you end up doing, one thing I feel sure of it will be the one that fits YOU best!

    Love ya Sweetie, Grace LaMondra ❤️

    Comment by Grace LaMondra — October 8, 2016 @ 8:34 pm

  4. Aww, thanks so much for sharing and for your sweet words of wisdom. Hope you guys are doing well and enjoying all your grand babies! Love to all xx

    Comment by Jessica Marcus — October 11, 2016 @ 10:14 pm

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