“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.
1. Lily Jade Diaper Bag
So the irony here is that I never used a diaper bag during those early new-baby years. But now? When I need to store phone chargers and kindle chargers and external hard drives and battery boosters and a zillion other cords? POCKETS.
Lily Jade’s diaper bags have become my go-to work bag. Not only are they chic, but they hold my entire mobile office and are a dream for travel.
2. Macbook Air
My saving grace, lugging around a mobile office, is that the Macbook Air weighs so little, yet is so powerful. There’s really nothing to say except love, love, love this product. For maximum portability, the 11″ Macbook Air is hard to beat.
NOTE: Ipads are great for reading content, but if you generate content, a laptop wins, hands-down.
3. External Hard Drive
If my laptop is the cornerstone of my mobile office setup, my external hard drive is the unsung hero. You know how your laptop eventually gets bogged down with too many pictures? External hard drive. Or while on vacation, you fill up a memory card and don’t have a good place to transfer the photos? External hard drive. Or when visiting family, someone takes a ton of pics, but you never seems to get copies? (I mean what do you expect them to do, burn a CD? Snort.) External hard drive.
These little drives are tiny, portable, affordable, and – get this – mine is one terabyte. In non-nerd language: That’s A LOT of pictures.
I like the Transcend 1 TB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive – Military Drop Standards and Case Logic’s portable hard drive case. It protects the hard drive, and keeps the cord handy.
4. Moleskin Notebooks
I’ve tried numerous apps on my phone to help organize my life or to record and brainstorm new ideas…and nothing works as well as notebooks. I like Moleskin the best. They’re nothing fancy, but they’re easy to slide into almost any bag, and they have a nerd-chic vibe I love.
Oh, baby. I’m excited about this one. To celebrate hard working moms everywhere, I’m giving away one mobile office! The mobile office consists of a Lily Jade diaper bag of your choice, stuffed with a Macbook Air laptop, an external hard drive and case, and a set of Moleskin notebooks.
That’s right. I’m giving away a laptop. (Because seriously: laptops rock.)
So here’s how this works: To enter, you have to find the giveaway graphic below on The Mom Edit’s Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, then tag two of the hardest working moms you know. I don’t care if these Mamas are working hard 9-5 at an office, or working hard round-the-clock as a SAHM, or some combination of the two – motherhood is hard. Sometimes it’s even grueling. So let’s take a sec to pat each other on the back for all of the hard work we do on a daily basis. And if you win…the two hard-working mamas that you tagged will ALSO (thanks to Lily Jade), get to choose a Lily Jade diaper bag of their choice!
1. Find the above graphic on The Mom Edit’s Instagram, Pinterest (the giveaway graphic will be on this board), or Facebook account, and tag two of the hardest working Mamas you know! (Make sure you’re following The Mom Edit somewhere.)
2. Come back here and enter via Rafflecopter so I don’t lose my mind trying to keep track of entries. (And Rafflecopter has a few more ways to get additional entries by sharing the giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, etc. if you are so inclined.)
Don’t forget to find us on Social Media and tag two hardworking Mamas!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
ps. I don’t do giveaways that often, so if something is confusing, please let me know.