Thursday, 16 August 2012

Dead Mom Walking

About a year ago I was experiencing a life crisis.  I was in full panic mode about my identity as a person, my career and becoming a mom.  I was also chock-full of hormones and every single commercial aired on TLN was making me cry.

My cousin recently told me about her last visit with our grandmother A in the hospital before she passed away.  My grandmother was in a panic and kept asking my cousin, "What's next?" Her response of, "I don't know grandma, you need to tell me" was poignantly true and a truly beautiful and fitting answer from the baby of our family.  

In the middle of July last year, I was very pregnant and forced to slow down and try to relax before I became a mom.  This "relaxation" time took me away from my work and things that I enjoyed and was good at. It forced me to think about becoming a mom and had me obsessively researching everything that could possibly go wrong during my C-Section.*  It felt like there was no longer anything that I had control over.  I feared not having the "mom instinct" required to take care of our babies.  I just wanted the babies to be born so I could see what was next and figure out how I would become a mom while staying the person that I was.

This is me. Just over 6 months pregnant with the twins before going to my friend C's wedding.

I didn't stay the person that I was. I'm a mom now and once I arrived at that realization I found that I'm happy about it and wouldn't trade it for anything. 

Here we are, a year later and I'm about to hit a new change in my life come mid-September.  I'm going from full-time mom to working mom and I feel guilty and terrified already.**  I recognize that each and every mom goes through this.  Chris had to deal with this transition just two weeks after the kids were born, but lets be honest, they were pretty boring then, all they did was sleep and eat and cry.

When I was first off with the minions, time seemed to go on forever and days dragged, especially in the first 6 months and when Molly had colic.  Now that the kids are a year old, and I only have 4 weeks left of leave, time is speeding up at a pace that has me feeling a different type of panic.  I am Dead Mom Walking. 

Suddenly I am motivated to connect with all of my mom friends at least one more time while we're still off together.  I'm looking up recipes to stock the freezer so come September my evenings can be spent with my kids rather than cooking.  I am researching and heading out to mom friendly coffee shops and activities, all things that I was lukewarm about just a couple of months ago.  I have filled a giant bucket list of things to do before our lives all change again.  I even booked all of my remaining vacation time before I return to work to ensure that I have at least 1 or 2 extra days a month at home with the kids (including almost 2 weeks in December) to stay connected, where I will plan super-mom activities.  Guilt induced, super-mom activities.

I can't say that there aren't going to be tears about this next transition, from Molly and me (I honestly doubt that Jack will cry).  I'm going to try to turn this "What's next?" into a curious and happy question about the next step of our lives as a family.***

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*The drama provided in all of those afternoon real life/birth stories shows I was watching each and every afternoon weren't exactly helping my pre-birth anxiety.  
**Especially since Molly's separation anxiety clicked in.  Twist that knife a little deeper fate, there is no sound worse than those Don't leave me mom sobs.
***That is until I become a best selling author and am able to work from home every day.

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