I thought motherhood would look different. I started a blog post ages ago with that exact sentence. I'm still reeling from the shock and hurt that I am not busy mothering a toddler and sacrificing sleep with my 5 month old. But you know what else?
I didn't think the dried oatmeal on my shirt would be holding it all together.. well that and amazon prime. I didn't think I'd be this much of a disorganized mess. I loose everything, drink more coffee than water, don't give enough attention to our dog, don't you dare move anything in my home because I don't know what you'll find underneath. I stepped in something sticky yesterday. I also have more than one friend who is skeptical of my car's cleanliness. Like they offer to drive. Anyone else out there?
When I joke about the lack of clean undies in my house, people say "well you work".
I read an article recently that pit mother's who work against mother's who stay at home. I couldn't help myself and wrote a snarky note to the author. Aren't we all working, all the time? Isn't being a Mom a full time job? I'm still momming it up when I'm at the office or at home. It irritated me much like the breastfeeding chatter. It didn't work for me so why do I let social media tell me I'm less than awesome.
The internet and and society has made it too easy to shame other Moms. I've also learned that carrying and birthing babies opens gates for all sorts of advice and opinions. I've been back to work now for a few months and today re-read an old post about returning to work twelve weeks after Piper died. I didn't want to do it. I wanted to wallow around in my pajamas but work was an important tool in my learning to cope with grief. It gave my brain another option and it continues to be an important tool in keeping Andy at bay. Good old Andy Anxiety.
I get to work about three days a week. I feel like I have the unique perspective of straddling the fence on the topic of working in your home vs. working outside of your home. I'm home more than I'm not. And often when I'm home I'm working harder then when I'm not. But there are certainly times I relish in the adult contact that comes along with the chaos of working in a pediatric setting. I eat my lunch real slow and look at Instagram. But other times I cry all the way to and from work because I miss our daughter. I'm certain being a mother of two has made me better at my job. There is another complete topic on the financial aspect as in going from a two income home to one wasn't going to work for us. So here comes a common undertone to a lot of my feelings, guilt and more specifically mom guilt. I think did I pack her enough diapers? Does she have her hippo toy? Does she miss me (she doesn't)?
Am I doing it all right?
And there it is folks. The question that bands all mother's, everywhere, together. Whether you have it together or not. (Sidenote: If you do come help me). If you work 80 hours outside your home or chase your babes for every hour of your day. Are we making the best decisions for our children?
Do I wish I stayed home more? Often. Do moms who stay at home wish they worked? I don't know. It doesn't really matter. Motherhood is freaking hard and I have a huge tribe that practically begs to watch Birdie and it's still hard.
So whether you are posting a picture of your clean home or dragging your dirty toddler out of Target, I raise my hand in solidarity and assure you, you are doing it as right as you can. I'm proud of you and we need to stick together.
Oh and, my house has always been sticky so we can't really blame work.
Rest easy Piper Kai, I wish your sticky hands were a part of this mix.
Piper Kai Bennett
I will scream, sing and share her story may it be short. Our only child was born still at 36 weeks secondary to an umbilical cord accident. This is our journey about choosing life rather than existence.