My dear daughter has reached her 100 days milestone. This is a big deal in the Korean culture (may daughter is half Korean.) Basically, it means she has reached the point where she is considered safe and healthy.
During these 100 days I have a lot of time to think. One conclusion that I have come with all this thinking
that I have been doing is that the word mom is not short for mother. I have come to the realization that mom is M.O.M, an acronym for Master Of Most, and GrandM.O.M is Grand Master Of Most. When it comes to children most things can only be fixed by M.O.M. My husband and I were trying to get Fiona to sleep. She fights us likes crazy. He has been home with her for the past 3 weeks and has 3 more to go. This means I get to go to bed early and he gets up with her in the middle of night. Just like I did while I was on leave and he was working. The one night I put Fiona down and she went to sleep. An hour and a half later she woke up. Dear hubby got up with her and tried so hard to get her back to sleep. Two hours later, a still screaming Fiona had poor hubby at his wits end, hair in hands and all. I got up and let him go to bed. Within 30 minutes I had her calm and sleeping in her rock and play, although her crib would have been ideal. The next morning he came into the living room (I was sleeping on the couch with her in the rock and play) and asked if she was up all night. To which I responded, “Nope!” He looked at me with sad eyes and said, “Oh, she hates me! I tried so hard!” That is when it hit me. M.O.M is the master of most because only M.O.M can fix most problems. Not that M.O.M is any better than dad.
There are so many times only M.O.M can kiss a boo boo. Only M.O.M can take the pain away. Only M.O.M can quiet the screams. I said to my dear hubby, “she doesn’t hate you. There are just times when only M.O.M will do!
I have now officially returned to work. My daughter is now 12 weeks old and I spent those 12 weeks out on maternity leave, some paid and some unpaid. I was able to be home with my daughter for her first Halloween (althoughwe were still in the hospital since she was born on 10/30), her first Thanksgiving, her first Christmas and her first New Year’s Eve. I was home to cuddle with my little one, kiss her toes and snuggle her cheeks. I nursed her in the beginning and then moved her to formula (breastfeeding was not right for us), I changed all of her diapers and gave her baths. I would love to say that I loved every minute of it, but then I would lying. I love MOST of it. I was happy to have that time with her but when my 12 weeks was up I was ready to go back to work. I am a very social person and I am not the type that can be a stay at home. I give so much credit to those that can but I could never do it. I need to be out and about with other adults, dealing with things not related to my children. Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter more than anything but I also believe that parents need to have lives that don’t revolve around their children 24/7. Yes, 90% of the time your life should be about your children but you need that 10% to keep you from going crazy. Going back to work, joining the gym and returning to church are just that for me. They have become the 10% of my time that I get for me. Work allows me to focus on things other than my daughter, to challenge my brain and use it so I don’t become stupid. The gym allows me to decompress after work or after my daughter has been screaming for an hour and won’t nap. Church allows me to reconnect with myself, my faith, my center after the craziness of a week of work, the gym and Fiona.
At first I felt guilty for being ready to go back to work (after only 6 weeks of maternity leave.) People would ask me, “How can you want to leave your baby?” But the thing is, it was not a desire to LEAVE my child, but a desire to return to myself. A desire to return to and finish the things I began before my daughter was born. I want to be able to give my daughter the world but to do that I need to work hard to provide for her and I need to remain calm and sane. I still have my dream of going to grad school and to further my career. Having a daughter has not changed any of those dreams. She has just added to my love and desire for great things. Call me a terrible mother if you want to but I think I am doing just fine.
My daughter is now 11 weeks old. She is healthy and happy (most of time lol.) I have been given the clear by my doctor that I am good to go. I can return to my normal life activities. I am healthy and can return to work, the gym and all the other things I did before baby. But what the doctor neglected to tell me was that my body would be completely different. I mean, yes I knew my body would be different but I didn’t think it would like this. I feel something akin to a young adult just after going through puberty, or a preteen going through puberty. My body is doing all different kinds of things now. My period returned and I didn’t think I had that much to lose at one time. Using pads and tampons again is a little strange. It really seems like it is the first time I am ever using them. It’s like I am 13 again. My cramps are in new and exciting places and they are uncomfortable. So so uncomfortable. I went to gym today and used the treadmill. Didn’t do anything crazy just walking at an incline but my hips and inner thighs are killing me. Like I just learned how to walk. My back hurts in a way I never thought possible. My memory is shot. If my morning was not set to such a routine I probably wouldn’t remember to brush my teeth. Let’s not even talk about how unrestful my sleep is at night. My stomach is doing things that I don’t even want to mention but boy is it rough. My stomach medicine isn’t helping anymore. None of these things were on the “Yay Baby” brochure! I wish someone had warned me so I could be prepared. But then when you become a mom you don’t get warned about anything anymore!
When you become an adult, especially an adult that is about to have a child, your entire world and prospective on life changes. Any and every decision you make revolves solely around how it will affect your family. Will this job allow me to provide the best life for my family? Does this town have the best school system for my children? Do my friends provide a stable environment for my children to grow up in? And so on. These, and many others, are questions that fly through your mind at an alarming rate. You thought, at 16, that becoming an adult was simple. You only had to worry about things like getting a job. All you are thinking about is being old enough to get a cool car, get into the bar, to not have to listen to your parents anymore, doing what you want. But what we don’t realize, at that very young age, is that those were the best times, the easy times. You only had to worry about your finals, if the boy or girl you like noticed you, making that sports team. When you become an adult and your entire world begins to change you find yourself wishing you were a kid again. You find yourself wishing that you could ask your parents to give you the answers to life’s questions. Sadly, you can’t and you must tough it out as an adult and make the best decision that you can and hope your life experiences will allow you to make the right one. Being an adult is a very scary part of life. You may not realize it now but one day it will punch you in gut and your world will never be the same.