I'm in Massachusetts right now with my good friend Carrie. She recently gave birth to her third, a beautiful baby girl with a full head of dark hair and a pleasant disposition. I volunteered to fly out for a week to help out by cooking meals, doing laundry, running interference with her other babies, and of course, snuggling and sniffing the baby to give her a break from the endless handling and holding.
I also came to get in the mood. I always thought I was destined to have a large family, maybe 5 or 6 kids, the more the merrier. After I discovered I was not a glowing pregnant lady, but rather a miserable, vomitous whale with blotchy skin, I was less enthused with the idea of going through being knocked up again. But I quickly forget, mommy amnesia, once that beautiful little girl was in my arms. The second one was no better during gestation, and the adjustment from one to two took me completely by surprise. It was not like having just one. It was not easy.
And then I stayed home with them. And I felt like the smart, intelligent woman with the goals and ambition was wasting away, trapped inside my house, forced to watch cartoons and smell like mac and cheese, and wear sweat pants and fuzzy slippers. And baby three didn't seem all that appealing. I was not in the mood.
I have been fixated on getting a job. I know what I want to do, I just need a job. This staying at home stuff was not for me and I was feeling the mommy guilt. I have been taking it for granted that I am able to stay home with my babies.
I realized that on my trip. I have been away from them for long enough. I have visited with former coworkers and friends and I see what I have missed. They have reinforced that I am doing the right thing, I'm where I should be right now in my life. I am missing great moments with my kids. You hear the cliche about how they will never be this little again, and I didn't realize it, but it is spot on.
Maybe it is the intoxicating smell of new baby, or seeing another great mom making it work with her family and enjoying them, but something has clicked on this trip. I feel like I'm finally at peace with were I am right now. If I am not able to get a job, that's okay, there are much more important things than my career right now, and there is plenty of time for that. So I will need to make the most of the time I have with my babies.