Reality Check - Motherhood
14 September 2016
I wonder what motherhood will be like for me coming from a life of a fast-paced professional.
Coming out of tax season, of course I thought the joy in motherhood would be incomparable and such a relief to my professional life. Because it would be slower-paced, not necessarily because of less demands, because those will come emotionally and physically, but SO much less mental stimulation and anxiety and stress. Switching from the exhaustion of being totally intellectually on point every day and keeping up with stress levels and deadlines to a more subdued home environment.
But, as I've spent more time at home, my intentional slowing of my career to ready my body, mind, and emotions for a baby, I've found that the work of homekeeping has less-keeping fulfillment. I enjoyed the constant progress, goals, and clear impact of my work. There was always a bottom-line benefit, either for me or for the company. It came with praise, recognition, mostly my own sense of satisfaction. And I always had my sights set on the next big thing. Next goal, next strategy, next turn. But a clean sink in a house? It's unnoticed, and then repetitively in need again. Low fulfillment, next to zero longevity. I do enjoy tidiness, and I do find satisfaction in engaging in some form of it daily. But... the zero longevity negates the fulfillment.
I tell Ryan I can see why mothers engage in outside projects - the DIY crafters, the MLM socializers, etc. Because it's a feeling of broadness and effectiveness that is no necessary when your life becomes the walls of your home. So I do intend to hold onto just a tail of my career, and I'm grateful to have worked so hard for a career that allows me to do this.
I tell Ryan, also, that I see him hold onto his hobbies so easily! And I admire that. He successfully holds space for him and is still a successful husband and a employer. My female nature was born to nurture and tend to, which mean I am constantly in awareness of Ryan's needs and seeking to lift his load, even before he notes what his needs are. And I undoubtedly will do this with our children. I explain to Ryan that for this reason, I am always "on." When Ryan is around, I mentally rest much less than when he is away on a hunting or fishing trip, and I am left to just being my own. And soon, a child will always be around, and I will have this same mental "on"ness towards her. Will I ever catch a mental rest?
My hobbies are all things that leave me alone and stop the mental "on"ness - reading, writing, running, meditating. Ryan tells me that I must keep space for myself, especially because he won't always know when I am in need of it. It won't be good if I crack and break down, without expressing my need for a break. He does so much to be loving and caring and sensitive to me. But it is true that I will need to be mindful of me when I become a mother.
I believe that my sudden nerves towards motherhood is really the angst I am feeling towards the birth and delivery.
After some really great relaxation meditations, I am feeling my confidence restored in motherhood. It is going to be much more rewarding than I can understand right now. I know I will love it. Maybe not every moment. But I have amazingly hobbies that I can step into for a refresh, and a husband that is supportive of me checking out and doing so whenever I need. :)
Upward and onward,