As a mom of a little NICU baby girl, I spent about a year in and out of the hospitals with her as she went through multiple surgeries, countless doctor visits and check-ups and the usually newborn checks. My whole life for a year was shower-less days, mom buns, endless caffeine and basically trying to be the best stay-at-home mom I could be.
Shortly after Grace’s 1st birthday, I found out I was pregnant with baby number two and I was just glowing from it. As many of you know, things did not work out to plan. When I lost baby #2 in early September to an ectopic pregnancy, I was broken. I know I wasn’t being a very good mommy at moments to my little one and she deserved better. I went through postpartum depression and anxiety (again) without the baby I wanted so bad. My husband could tell I needed more time out of the house, socializing with people other than the one tiny human who just yelled garble at me. I needed change.
As luck would have it, I needed a job. I am a fairly educated person. I spent most of my life in school up until I had Grace (and a little while pregnant with her.) I went to undergraduate and then to graduate school to follow my lifelong dream of becoming a journalist.
I started working at company who owned our local newspaper. It is a great company (I’m not going to name names, though), but it was not necessarily for a position I thought I wanted. However, the job turned out to be exactly what I needed. It was fast-paced, deadline orientated and kept me busy. I loved it, and I still do.
The way it affected my home life though was dramatic. I started to miss things like bedtimes and bath time and milestones I would never get back. The working mom curse, right? I felt I was being selfish needing to work. The money helped our household too, and honestly it was why I was able to start my bucket list with Grace to visit all 50 states. I needed to somehow “make it up” to her, though technically I did nothing wrong. I got judgment for not being there and had to always worry who was watching my child when my schedule did not mesh with my husbands. I stopped seeing friends and it was harder to make the playdates I had become accustomed to having regularly (which caused me to have fewer mommy-to-mommy relationships). I gained work friends (who I treasure) and lose personal friendships (who I miss.)
Where is the balance? Grace is in school now and it breaks my heart to keep missing more and more. I needed this for me though. I’m sorry, to Grace, if that seems selfish, but I love you with all my heart. I hope I am still the best mommy to you. I’m sorry to my husband for making you think that you were not enough to fix me when I was broken. To anyone else, I have nothing to apologize for.