How Parenthood Changed my Life
When I became a mother 4 years ago, I had no idea how much my life would change. I always thought I would be able to work full time and still have time to go out with friends and actually still have all my friends that were there for me before having my daughter. Oh boy was I in for a huge shock, life changed tremendously!
First off all, we started looking into daycare centers in the area when I was about 20 weeks pregnant. I still wanted to go to work full time and did not see any reason why that would have to change. As I started looking at prices I started to realize that something would have to be done. I was a nursing assistant and was only making about $10 an hour, if I sent my daughter, Jael, to daycare it would mean my check was mostly toward daycare.
My husband and I discussed all of our options and daycare wasn’t going to cut it. We also didn’t think it was fair for my husband’s parents to get up early and watch our kid for 9 hours, especially when they were supposed to be enjoying their retirement. Finally, with a lot of discussion and budgeting we decided that I would drop down to part time where I would work every other weekend and my husband would keep working full time because he made much more money than I did.
It took me a bit to get used to, in the end I think it was the best decision we could have made.With becoming basically a full time stay at home mom, a lot changed. I felt more alone. My husband was gone from 7:30–5:30pm every day besides the one hour he came home for lunch. All my friends worked full time or did not have any kids so they really did not understand my life change and why I had to bring my daughter everywhere with me.
Yes, I could get a family member to babysit but I never liked leaving Jael with someone that much. My husband would be okay with me going out for a couple hours around bed time or on my weekends off. When he was home I wanted more family time with the three of us instead of going out. My old life pre-having my daughter just wasn’t me anymore.
Thanks to Facebook, I got in touched with a girl I knew from high school. She had a daughter that was a few weeks older than Jael and a little boy that was 3. We started to meet for coffee, lunch or just walking around the mall just to get out of the house.
Soon after we started talking about this friendship issue, both of us seemed to be in the same place. We both didn’t have many friends who had kids. We also wanted our kids to get some socialization because they did not go to daycare like others did. Then we decided to start a Facebook group, a play group where we could put together different play dates with women around the Toledo area.
We called it the Toledo Area Playgroup and we shared it on our pages and soon we were meeting so many new moms and our kids were making friends that I hope will be life long friendships. It helped so much, I no longer was at home bored all the time. I mean you can only do so much housework and talk to a baby…
As much as I loved running my playgroup and meeting new people I was still bored. But differently than just not doing anything. I was mentally bored. Life became pretty much repetitive and mentally pretty easy. I had nothing challenging in my life. I was starting to get “mom brain.” I was forgetting silly things and had to do something to keep my brain moving.
I loved to read. I would read during nap time and I started writing out reviews on different pages like Goodreads. Then I started to look into writing my own blog about books and started one. I fell in love with writing.
When my second daughter came I became busier taking care of both of the girls. I changed my blog into a parenting and lifestyle blog. Although it is not as big as other blogs, I am definitely a beginner and have a lot to learn. I absolutely love doing something that keeps me thinking.
Shortly after my second daughter was born I wanted a little more. I was still feeling lost in my row as a mom. A lot of the time still I feel that way.
In my prior life with out kids I had always felt fulfilled, at least for the most part. The playgroup and the four times a month I worked just didn’t feel like enough at the time.
A friend from the playgroup told me about our local chapter of Mothers’ Center, a group inside the bigger Mom-mentum organization that has many groups big and small over the USA. I went to a couple summer playdates and learned more about the group. I decided to give it a try.
It was so different than just another playgroup. From September to May we had meetings on Thursday mornings for us moms, they were discussion groups for different parenting issues like; potty training, working while balancing being a mom, and so much more. It wasn’t just a playgroup when all you talk about the whole time is your kids, your husband, blah blah blah.
It was so much more than that! It was finally a place where I could grow not just in my mother role but my whole self. I was welcomed in with open arms and it was a relief to find a place where there was no clique.
I had looked into other groups but they still felt cliquey. I just was turned off by it because it felt too much like high school. I was so relieved to finally find this group. This past summer I took on a leadership role as the chairperson for membership and it is exactly what I wanted.
These last four years as a mother has been the hardest years of my life and the best years of my life. Being a mom has taught me so much about myself and has changed the way I thought about everything.
I am far more mature than I thought I would be at 28 years old. I have more empathy for people now especially other mothers. I no longer roll my eyes when another parent is struggling with a toddler who is having a tantrum. I offer help and a hug if they need it. It is the best thing that has ever happened to me and that will ever happen to me, becoming a mother.