Hello minions, wipe your tears; I return from a wondrous adventure exhausted and surprisingly liberated. On Superbowl Sunday, just as the players ran out into the field, a little guy made his way out into the world and immediately proclaimed himself my overlord.
Having been raised by a tribe of Amazons, I’m not used to having a guy tell me what to do. But seven months of colic, then teething and endless wet diapers will really make you re-evaluate what strength really is. I’ve been humbled, terrified and awed at what someone so little can do to your life.
When I returned to work a few months ago I found myself with a new set of eyes; and I don’t just mean bloodshot. Suddenly the deadlines and the countless of “crisis” moments didn’t seem so big. Sleep deprivation will make you go through some mystic journeys—or make you completely delusional. I began to think about what every working mom does: How do I reconcile being a mom with my personal ambitions?
Common sense and this economy would dictate I should stick with my sure thing; a reliable enough job and steady paycheck. But now more than ever I find myself wanting to take that risk; to grab at my passions and hang on to dear life until I get what I want. Not that I wasn’t already working toward this, but I didn’t expect that the fire in my belly would go from burning to raging.
I look at this adorable little thug demanding so much of my attention and how quickly he’s growing. It won’t be long before I’m spouting platitudes about hard work and reaching for your dreams. And that’s when it hit me: kids don’t listen to what you say; they pay attention to what you do. He needs to see me striving. How else will he learn?
He and I are lucky that he’s got the most doting dad in the world. Having a Dad who juggles his work and his share of childcare plus late night feedings with finesse is a great thing. For a working mom it’s invaluable. So with this support on my side I move forward, knowing that every step and fumble I make will be watched.
For all the unsolicited tips and advice thrown my way, nothing prepares you for the unexpecteds; you see, each kid is unique and brings with him a set of curveballs that no one can predict. Like who knew you can contract tendonitis on your wrist from carrying a tall, hefty infant? Or that some babies sing with opera lungs at the strangest times--like the crack of dawn, so you wake up clutching your chest and heaving from the shock?
And in the midst of all that kookiness, it's not the situations but how you react that molds your character--and your baby's. So I get to working, then come right back to ruling my roost with a bandaged wrist, eager to pick up that boy because he ain't heavy; he's my baby!