“Mom, why are you working so much? I don’t like that you’re working all of the time” said Raines, my oldest.
I sat there, stunned by his words. For most of his life, I had been a stay-at-home mom. From the minute he was born, Raines was my little buddy, my partner in crime, we were never, ever apart. We were attached, both metaphorically and (thanks to the Ergo) physically. With Raines, I had slowed down, discovered myself and found peace.
And then Pax was born. (I’m joking. Ha, ha….ha)
But life is different now. Not only have my kids changed and grown, but I’ve changed too. There’s been this sort of natural progression of letting go and moving on. I am no longer the only women in Raines’ life. His teachers have become increasingly important to him, as have friends. Our little bubble of existence – where the two of us so happily spent those first few months of his life – has expanded. I am still at the center, but now he is at the edges, pushing out, away from me.
I’ve heard other women, moms with more experience than I, talking about this seemingly inevitable shift. They’ll use words like “rediscovering” themselves, or as one friend said, “I’m just now getting myself back“.
I get it. From the depths of my soul, I get it. But at the same time, there’s another part of me rebelling at those words, “getting myself back,” and wanting to scream. Because the path of rediscovery implies a loss, right? In order to get yourself “back” or to rediscover your self, you first had to lose it.
I didn’t lose myself in motherhood; instead, I was found. So any journey I embark on now, from this point forward, has to honor that early experience, that truth.
I am now a working mom. Sure I work from home (with a really flexible schedule), but working nonetheless. And while part of me thrills to put on my high heels and take the train into the city to write, or discuss collaborations in a professional, adult voice, and I think “YES, there she is! There’s that girl I’ve been missing!”…perhaps it’s more accurate to simply say that I’m ready. I’m not rediscovering some former self, lost among the diapers and the spitup and the 2847364 incessant questions a day from two young boys, but it’s the woman that – along the way – I grew up to be. This woman who is ambition and drive and goals and forward-thinking…but who is also that new mom – will forever, irrevocably be that new mom. The new mom snuggled in bed with her newborn, the light slanting into the room as she kisses a fat thigh, her heart swelling to impossible proportions.
I am all of these things.
So when Raines asks why I work so much, I pause. I look up and see past his long limbs and crazy hair and remember that once-upon-a-time it was just him and I in the bubble; I was his whole world. Actually, I remember it better than he does. “I work because I want to, Baby” I say. “I work because I love it. We only get one chance, you know? One life to figure out what we love to do, to make a difference. I work because it helps me figure that out.” We stare at each other. He grins. “Okay” he says. And just like that, we are back in the center of our bubble.
Mobile Office Must-Haves
Soooo…..as I get more embroiled into this working-mama-world, there are a few MVP items that have made my life so. much. easier. Especially for working on the go.