It’s been three months since our little man entered our lives and changed us forever. Thus, probably 1 year (including preggy time) of him being part of our family and influencing our decisions. I’ve always been a career driven person and enjoy working. Most new parents would tell us just how much babies change one’s life and would smile knowingly when I told them that I was planning to take 3 months off and would then go back to working. I have managed to structure what I do in such a way that I can mostly work from home and I thought that I would be able to balance things easily.
Three months later and I still have not quite found my balance. Firstly, I have never had routine in my life and struggle to put my son into a routine. I have had countless raised eyebrows when mentioning my lack of routine to other parents and I understand that I’m setting myself up for a bit of a reality check later on. For my son’s benefit and my own, I’ve started researching routines and hope to follow a fairly flexible one soon. At least we’ve managed to get some sort of bath and sleep routine going, but my dear boy has no plans to “sleep through” any time soon. Every time a mom speaks about her child sleeping for 12 hours non-stop at 3 months, I feel like I’ve done something wrong, but I must admit, I’ll miss some (note – SOME, not all!) of the early morning feeding sessions when he does finally sleep through.
I have started shooting television again and attending a few meetings. I’ve spent two nights away from my son for speaking engagements and I now understand what they mean when they say your heart will beat outside your ribcage for the rest of your life when you have a baby. Besides the fact that my son was always on my mind and I exhausted my phone battery watching videos of him continuously on the flight, breastfeeding has meant that I have spent lots of time in the most confined spaces hoping people aren’t wondering what the sound is emitting from the airplane toilet cubicle, for example 😉 I recently did a Top Billing shoot from 6pm (Daddy got to do bath time so I could run to work) and by 10pm, the entire crew had to have a coffee break while I sat in a quiet room with my trusted Medela pump wearing my breastfeeding bustier memorising my script – expressing in a gorgeous designer ballgown with perfect hair and make-up – careful not to spill. But, I made it back home in time to do the 2 am feed and cuddle with my son.
I’ve realized that when it comes to either being a stay at home mom or a working mom, it’s a hard decision that depends on various factors. I enjoy working and feel that taking a few hours out from full-time mommy duties actually makes me a better mom. I’ve also realized that being a full-time mom is a full time job and take my hat off to women who manage with a newborn baby or a few children and no help. Before actually being at home on my own with baby for 3 months, I would jokingly remark to my full-time mom friends that they were living the life – probably watching soap operas all day in their PJ’s and meeting for tea at their friends’ houses to gossip. How far that picture was removed from the day-to-day reality of being a mom! Being a mom is the most rewarding full-time job in the world and I’m blessed to be part of this sisterhood of mothers.