Balance

Earlier this month, I saw a post at Absolute Write to join the February blog chain. After following along with the January chain as a spectator, I decided to jump in. It has been interesting to see the directions different authors took when describing balance. Some have described balance in life, others balance in writing. Ms. Colby wrote on balance in dancing.

The other night, there was a message from Life in Scribbletown saying it was my turn, she had posted her entry for the chain. The following words struck a chord with me. Okay, so the entire post had me nodding as I read, but this about sums it up:

Eventually, I got my shit together. Continued to work. Watched my daughter learn to talk, to walk, to draw, to read. I learned to trust myself. I threw out the books. My life is not the same pane of glass it was seven years ago. Different, much more up-to-date, but better.

It’s always interesting to read REAL accounts of motherhood from REAL mothers. I don’t want sunshine blown up my skirt. Being a mom sucks at times. It’s also amazing at other times. If you think about it, that is a balance in itself. The bad times ground you from being on a cloud thinking life is always rosy and the amazing times remind you how truly blessed you are.

When Khaila was born, I returned to work after four short weeks. It wasn’t enough time with her but it was necessary. When she was just shy of two, I quit my job, started working from home and thought life would be wonderful. I could be home with her, still earn a living, not feel guilt for having her in daycare, not feel like I wasn’t doing “my part” for the family.
What I learned is that I’m not full-time stay at home mom material. There are women out there who amaze me, their homes run like clockwork, they have it under control. Me, I could feel the walls closing in on me. I had to get back to work. At first, I returned part time, a job in the mall during the holiday season. More recently, I found a new job and I’m working 50-60 hours a week, only off on Sundays.

I’ve learned that everything in motherhood is a balance. Personally, I’ve fought to be myself while still identifying as a mother. There was an evening shortly after Khaila was born when I was introduced to my step-mom’s family. As we left for the night, Rick tired and me grumpy (I had been told to go home and take care of my husband and daughter), Miss Laura called out, “Bye Rick, bye Mikhaila’s mom.”
That moment was a bit of a turning point for me. In the six months prior, I had gone from being Heather to being Rick’s wife and Mikhaila’s mom. On the way home, I lost it. I sat there crying to my husband that my name was Heather, that I was more than his wife and more than our daughter’s mom. In some ways, I’m grateful for that moment. If not for Laura, I may not be so determined to maintain a sense of self today. No matter how many children we eventually have, I will always be both mom and Heather.

Next up is Green Diva

Be sure to check out the entire February chain:

The Writers:

The Unfocused Life

Auria Cortes

Spontaneous Derivation

Organized Chaos

The Writer’s Round-About

Spynotes

Williebee

Even in a Little Thing

Spittin’ (out words) Like a Llama

A Thoughtful Life

Life in Scribbletown

My Path to Publication

For the First Time

Green Diva

Polenth’s Quill

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This entry was posted in AW Blog Chain, Finding Heather, Life in General, Mommyhood. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Balance

  1. Unfocused Me says:

    Good post. We all have to find our own paths to surviving parenthood.

  2. Auria Cortes says:

    I’m not a mom, but many of the women I know have gone through your experience. Some are still there – have no personal identity. As a spectator it’s interesting to watch, that’s for sure.

  3. freshhell says:

    Yeah, I’m nodding. I remember a moment, with a friend, about 6 months after my first was born. She referred to me as a mother and I was stunned. “Mother? I don’t feel like a mother. I just feel like a person with a baby.” Eventually I got used to being referred (mostly by other children, thankfully) as Dusty’s mother but I’ve struggled ever since with having a separate identity. It’s not easy.

  4. Skelly says:

    Excellent post, and great insight. I’ve come to a point in my life where I relish both my individuality and my role as my son’s father. Very well written post.

  5. Gillian says:

    So the trick is not finding your balance so much as remembering who you are. I need to remember that one. It rings a bell somewhere deep.

  6. Being a stay-at-home mom is hard. Especially when you are trying to work at home. It is easy to find reasons to feel guilty. If I spend the day playing with my daughters, then I feel bad that I didn’t get any work done. If I spend time working, I feel guilty that my children didn’t get enough of my time. You have to find balance in every situation.

    Also – being Rick’s wife and Mikhaila’s mom doesn’t take away from you also being Heather. There are so many phrases that describe you. Just because someone leaves out some of the phrases, it doesn’t take away from who you are. You have to be comfortable enough in your own skin that you don’t feel the need to defend yourself. Just be happy with all of your roles and titles. They all make up who you are.

  7. I love the quote from Dolly Parton…”Figure out who you are and do it on purpose.” And you’re so right: who you are has much to do with your roles and your family. Who would I be if I wasn’t Brian’s wife, Ashlee’s friend, Fran’s daughter, Courtney’s sister, Stuart’s dance partner, Sawyer’s owner…my life would be pretty sad! Thanks for this post.

  8. I’ve never thought about the dual identity of parenting before; to be both a mother and your own person.

    Someone’s identity can be tied up with their job, but rarely is their meaning as intertwined as it is between parent and child.

    Thanks for the insight. And may you continue to find your balance.

  9. Pingback: Blog Chain Links « The Unfocused Life

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