This week I spent a lot of time thinking about life after baby. What got the whole process started was being asked to go to the NKOTB/98º/Boyz II Men concert (jealous, aren’t you?) and was also asked to be in a wedding. The obvious answer to both of these questions was an extremely excited yes. Then after about 10 minutes it clicked, it’s not just me anymore, I have a son to worry about. In the past I wouldn’t have thought twice about asking Ben if doing something was okay (we have a pretty good understanding about doing what we want within reason), but now I can’t do that anymore. At what point did this happen? Oh wait, about nine months ago.
After telling Ben about the concert, he too was like awesome go have a great time. Then I said you understand you’ll have to stay home with Henry right? Not sure if it was the dawning for both of us, but he was like yea not a problem. Now I have ZERO fear in leaving my son with anyone, especially my husband. For those you that don’t know, we have 10 nieces and nephews, which means we have A LOT of experience with kids. Not to mention, I will NEVER be one of those mothers who doesn’t think they can leave their child because their husband isn’t “capable.” First of all if you’ve ever met my husband you’d know that he is the most capable person in America, next to my father. He can tackle anything. Second, I want to have a life outside of our children (sorry Henry, I love you, but mommy needs her sanity). Third, my husband is my partner and best friend. We discuss EVERYTHING (no really, we literally talk about everything), so if I can’t “trust” him to stay home with OUR child then not only will I never have a life, but I’m pretty sure I won’t have a husband either. With that being said, knowing that Ben will be home with Henry while I relive the early 90’s (I was just a small child, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy them) is perfectly okay.
Next, came some anxiety. Kelly got engaged a few weeks ago and I was so surprised when a box came in the mail asking me to be her bridesmaid. Kelly and I have been friends since sixth grade, even though I didn’t like her at first because she was too “cool.” (Good thing I got over myself). I knew that Kelly was going to be getting married in the Dells and the first thought I had was, YES a weekend away for mommy and daddy. Well after discussing (see I told you we discuss) with Ben, he was all about bringing Henry along for the weekend. BIG RED FLAG in my book. Do I really want to be that parent that has to bring their kid everywhere…HECK NO?!? (Again, I love you Henry, but you’ll learn real fast that mommy needs a lot of adult time in order to stay sane). Ben on the other hand didn’t see a problem with the idea. We didn’t get too far into the details or discussing it further, but it will need to be decided eventually. In the end the question is, will we leave our son home for the weekend or take him with?
I got to thinking about being “that couple” and nearly threw up. This is not to place judgement on anyone (for real), but I really can’t imagine tagging our children with us everywhere. I do understand that Henry is not here yet and I may rehash this post later because the thought of ever leaving my son could be “the worst thing on earth.” Though, I’d like to say, the difference between me and the moms who feel that way is A LOT. I’m going to be a stay at home mom for the time being. So, I won’t be leaving everyday for work and not getting to spend all the time with my child. (I do have intentions of being a teacher come fall, so this is literally from now until September. We’ll revisit staying at home and being apart at that time.) I never in a million years would’ve thought that I’d stay home. I have $60,000 in degrees, why wouldn’t I want to use them? Unfortunately I don’t necessarily have control over my decision to stay home. This being said, I NEED to be away from my children in order to be a better mom. Those of you who know me know that too much alone time for this girl isn’t always a great thing. My mind gets the best of itself and it isn’t always a good thing. So I can’t be that mom. I can’t have my child with me all the time and for those of you that can I applaud you. There’s no difference between you and me, we just have different make ups. Ben and I have already established that we will have “our time” once a week. He will go do his thing one night and I’ll do mine. This doesn’t make us awful people. It is our attempt at wanting to be who we are outside of the parents of Henry.
We also want to have time together that doesn’t involve children and I want our son to have experiences with babysitters. I was a nanny for five years, so not only do I have high expectations for anyone who will babysit our children, but I also know the importance of children interacting outside of their parents. For those poor middle and high school kiddos that I will eventually leave our children with, be prepared for a grueling interview process.
Okay, enough of my I still want to be Allie and Henry’s mom soapbox, here’s where the real anxiety came in. Not only will Kelly be getting married in August, but with weddings come bachelorette parties. Kelly lives in Minnesota which means a weekend away from my boys. AHHHHHH!! Yep, it happened. The thought of leaving for a weekend gave me extreme anxiety. Not because he’ll be with his dad (we already established my point of view), but because I’ll be away from him. See the previous paragraphs about how I want to have a life outside of children. So, yep I’m contradicting myself already. I love my husband a lot and we’ve been together for almost seven years so we have quite an attachment. I have a hard time spending weekends away from him, unless I’m in Colorado, that’s a different story, but now having to be away from him and Henry…YIKES!! It took me about twenty minutes to talk myself off the ledge and realize that if I want to have children and life outside children I need to do this. Brittany and I had a very funny talk about how the weekend will not go. I will not cry in the corner of a bathroom about how much I want to go home nor will I not drink because I’m a mom. I will however enjoy myself and may even ask Brittany to hold my boob while pumping.
I’m sure the mothers reading this post are probably laughing and calling me naive to motherhood, but don’t be so quick to judge. Each person has their own view on parenthood. There are many of us who don’t agree with how each other parents, but I can assure you I’ve had a LOT of time to think about how I want to raise our children. As all of you have had your time to think about how you will raise your children. That’s how we’re different; your children are yours and mine are mine. Being me is very important to who I want to be as a parent, wife and person. If I “fail” at my hopes of staying me, then I hope someone will smack me upside the head and tell me to take a step back. This person will most likely be Brianne. She tells me like it is all too often and opens my eyes to what’s around me. Of course I anticipate the changes motherhood will bring me. It has already changed so much. I now realized that I can’t just think about myself. I probably can’t spend as much time watching TV, going on vacation whenever I want and I should really learn to love the noise of children’s toys.
With three weeks left, motherhood has hit me. It really is happening. As Giuliana Rancic said you’re only as ready as you can be and the rest will come with time. That’s my motto at this point. Physically I’m more than ready to meet our son, mentally I’m ready to tackle motherhood and emotionally I have no idea how I feel (I’m naturally emotionally unstable so no surprise there). Until this week I had zero anxiety about how our life will be as parents and how we’ll make it all work. Will we still have our lives? Yes, we will. We will have “us time,” “me time,” and family time. All of which I cannot wait for. Knowing that Henry and I will spend weekends apart still makes me anxious, but I’ll deal with that it time. He’ll eventually start dating and that gives me even more anxiety.
Here’s to motherhood anxiety, tackling it, staying sane and knowing that I can only be as great as I allow myself to be. Since I want to be great, I know that I’ll handle all of it with a grain of salt, a great husband and a few bottles of wine!! Henry really will have a great mother despite the fact that her busy mind sometimes gets in the way of what’s standing in front of her.
To the moms I’ve consulted in about this already I thank you for all your advice about making it work. For those of you who are stay at home moms and have given me pieces of advice about this new lifestyle I thank you even more. I’ll lean on you all throughout the months to come.