More and less of me

Going into labor only 26 weeks into a pregnancy was surreal. I was sure that the Braxton Hicks contractions weren’t supposed to start so early, but I was busy working and guzzling coffee on the morning I went into labor with my daughter. My initial concern slipped through my fuzzy pregnant brain too quickly for me to grasp. Fast forward 6 hours and the neonatologist asking me if I had picked out a name for my little girl. Those “Braxton Hicks” were real contractions coming every  5 minutes.

Magnesium sulfate makes the brain even fuzzier and thanks to mega doses of it, I remained pregnant (albeit on strict bed rest) until my daughter had grown into a full term babe. I said, “Goodbye,” to my beloved career and chose to stay at home full time, raising my children. Man, it feels like just yesterday and it was over 7 years ago. Nah, I’m lying. It feels like TEN TIMES 7 YEARS!

I wasn’t one of the women in the world who felt incomplete before becoming a mother. I felt fantastic! I was focused on my career, physically fit and abreast of the latest news of the world. I was perfectly content to live childless. Clearly things changed and we decided to start a family. I felt it would only add do my happiness and I was right. IT DID! It’s just that now my children need something different from me and I’m experiencing what I can only describe as some sort of sticker shock with regard to the cost of transforming my dumpy, stay at home mom self.

My daughter has reached some significant milestones of independence, allowing me to spend more time out of the house for both social and professional reasons. Attempting to juggle the stress and expense of raising my kids took 100% of my focus, and now I find myself feeling like a stranger in a strange land. I am fashion backward. The years of neglecting my personal appearance, wardrobe and connections to the outside world aside from its direct connections to my children have taken their toll. I look like shit, a true blue caricature of the frazzled sitcom housewife.

My once young, tight and muscular body is now much softer, older and harder to find clothes for, and I have no perspective on what looks good on me (if anything at all). I’ve become apparalized; so intimidated by shopping that my discomfort prevents me from spending any amount of time finding out how to dress my 40 year old ass. It's not uncommon for me to end up slumped over in a clothing store dressing room in a hopeless last minute panic trying to find something other than my uniform of grease stained yoga pants and t-shirts with cartoon characters on them.

I also have lost my ability to hyper focus on work. My previously single minded attention to the task at hand is now split amongst no less than 20 ideas, worries, concerns and distractions related to caring for my family. Getting a haircut and highlight used to be a relaxing necessity, now it seems a waste of precious time and resources. I realize that just as my transition to full time, stay at home motherhood was a confusing and strangely uncomfortable experience for me, the transition back into the world of work will likely be equally as stressful and challenging.

The biggest challenge this time around for me is the constant battle in my mind as to whether anything I do outside the home that doesn’t include my family could ever matter to me as much as even the most basic things that I do for them every day. I just can’t imagine ever truly loving any job the way I’ve loved and still love the job of being a mother.

My family needs me in a different way now. They need me to use my gifts to provide resources for their growth and increasing need for tangible items. How will I do this? Will I do it right? Who the hell have I become? Where will these incredible changes take us as a family? And most importantly……




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  • fb_avatar

    I wish I could hang out with you even though that's sounding sort of weird stalker chick like, but I don't care, I do, plus i'm not stalking anybody, i'm just looking around and shit.

    True story, one day in a grocery store while people watching, (noooooooo, not stalking, GAH), i saw a woman that looked...tired. She looked...frumpy, one might say. She seemed a bit frazzled as she placed grocery items in the cart with one hand and gently (i'm throwing that one in there for any non-spankers out there reading) swatted the bottom of one of her 3 lil monsters with the other. I watched her, and I thought to myself, she is so beautiful. She was breathtaking to me really, in a, purposeful, "hero" sort of way.

    Moms are so beautiful and you reminded me of that day and now I am perfectly content as my 43 year old ass sits here and types this in my sweat pants and my big ol' brown "there's an evil monkey in my closet" t-shirt shoving chips down my face.

    You'll do amazing, you've got mass amounts of grit, plus you already bring joy, humor and empathy to a great many people outside of your home, so leg up if you ask me.

    As far as what to wear, do what I do, wow 'em with either your black or gray slimming powersuit that I also phrase my court clothes (noooooooo, not for stalking, GAH), lol.

    Peace momma ♥

  • In reply to DeAngela Osborne:

    well, i hope that whoever picks up my book will let me do the signings in bars. then we can meet and shoot the shit for as logn as we want.

  • fb_avatar

    Oh wow, it posted, what the heck? it kept giving me a fucking error message so I posted on your FB page instead. now I really do look all stalkerish and shit! Bahahaha!!

  • I love to read the many wise words that come from your mouth! Admittedly I am so NOT funny, but feel like when I read your posts, I am just as funny as you. I find myself in the same boat as you when it comes to clothes, what, can't wear jeans and a tee to a black tie affair?? Shame, I've got plently of those. Whatever you do and whatever you wear, you'll be great, all of us moms who relate to you feel it!

  • In reply to Missy:

    believe me, missy, what i'm considering wearing to a presentation on thursday night is most likely going to feel like ME! xo

  • Well-said, Nikki, as always.
    I am dreading the days when my babies don't need me anymore; especially my actual spawn. The step-spawn don't have invisible connections to my uterus like my baby boy does, but I do love them, too.

    Every time my boy learns something new, and no longer needs me for help, I feel like one of those invisible connections is cut. It makes my mommy parts ache for more babyness, but I know those days are long gone and are only getting further away.

    In the meantime, since I am still mostly needed, I get to stick to my wardrobe of yoga and/or pajama pants or raggedy skirts that do a very poor job of hiding my lumps and bumps, and tee shirts and tanks that all have at least one stain on them.

    Ahhh...gorgeousness. We rock the mommy look hard core, friend, and that's because we are awesome mommies.
    If I know you, (and really I don't, but who's taking score?) you'll take this realization and turn it into something fantastic and funny. I bet you'll start an exercise and diet routine that gets you down to a slim, svelte 6 in no time. Then, you'll be able to buy all new yoga pants and tees. Minus the grease. ;)

  • In reply to kantal113:

    hard core. hells yesh, right? complete with the most unsexy panties ever created. why is everything they do toward independence partly heartbreaking. time is truly precious.

  • Married, worked full time
    Left work to stay home when kids came (2)
    Stayed home for 9 years total
    Got divorced, had to go back to was the hardest thing. There was no option here.
    A number of years later, new relationship, new baby, now still working. There is no way I can stay home again. 3 kids, they cost a lot!
    Very emotional thing. The other kids had all of me for years, the new one, not so much!
    You know what? Everyone is fine. I have to work, that is that. Everything costs money, school stuff, activities, everything and 1 income doesn't cut it anymore. The real difference is that scheduling is around when I get home. The kids adjust, they understand. They are not really missing out. Some things they cannot do but is their life over, no. I hope that they realize what needs to be done to live and play. It's not magic. It's all a sacrafice, mostly for me but I'm good with that. I chose them, not the other way around! Whether or not I have the money or the time to do everything that they want or need, I will always try.
    You do what you have to do and everything will fall into place. My mom keeps telling me I have to find time for myself. I'll squeeze that in someday. :)

  • In reply to Deanne:

    squeeze it in between dreams! xo

  • From my blogsite to yours is a very long years and in values...but here's my any of the great modern moms here ever look over heir shoulder to assess the relative values and merits of their parent and/or grandparent moms?....I notice even Jackie's grandchildren were "shocked" at her "antiquarian" values...and yet, weren't some of those values the very shoulders on which their world was built...just asking

  • In reply to Jack Spatafora:

    i need to check out YOUR blogsite! and i have no idea how to answer your question. i am still trying to figure it out. xo

  • fb_avatar

    My job is to know this fashion stuff and I was on the floor of topshop today. on the way to meet you for social media week in fact. Happens to us all! KOB

  • fb_avatar

    man oh man would we sooo get along. i love this blog and my me time wouldnt be near as entertasining if i didnt have ur blog to read! another thing tho. i think it will be a getting used to thing for the family but i think they will adjust and thrive just the same. as long as your available for family crisses and broken heart mending they will be fine! and we your readers or at least me will be here if u need to vent:)

  • In reply to Christen Campsey:

    thanks for taking the time to comment and reading. i'm glad i can make you smile. you do the same for me. it's amazing. i'm so grateful.

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