making la madre

Hello! Apologies for the radio silence. I had intended to share the baby room and a few more posts this week but early Tuesday morning we welcomed our baby! Having a baby the week of Christmas really makes things extra busy. We came home mid day on Christmas Eve and have been adjusting well since.

Today I have a post from my friend Regan- a very busy and active former co worker of mine. Regan has great style: date nights, play dates or working out Regan does the 'look good, feel good' very well. She is mom to 3 year old Sydney who I can tell is already taking after mom quite a bit. Regan regulary contributes to the blog Cardigans & Couture with her twin sister Katie- reporting on style, fitness and my favorite the 'keeping it real' posts providing both East coast and West coast perspective. Regan put together a little post for me offering some thoughts on my transition to parenthood. Take a read and share any comments you have, we would love to read them.

When Lydia asked me to write a guest post on her blog, I wasn’t quite sure what topic I would write on. Lydia gave me some ideas, but I decided to just start writing and see what came of it. Here is the result.

Let’s start at the beginning. Lydia and I worked together nearly 5 years ago. At that time my life was very much like hers. We worked for the same company, we enjoyed travel, fashion and food. We even got our dogs within months of each other (our first children). Now our lives are quite different, although they will soon become more similar.

I know that Lydia has thought a lot about how she will balance motherhood and the demands of her career. Like Lydia, I was very career driven. I worked hard, I enjoyed professional success, and I never envisioned leaving the corporate world. Shortly before becoming pregnant, I started my own consulting business. I was frustrated in my job and knew that long term I wanted greater flexibility. It was a scary and bold move, but it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Had you asked me 10 years ago if I would be a “stay at home mom”, I would have quickly and with conviction responded, “No, never.”

I have spent the last 3+ years as, what I like to call, an “on the go mom”. I am rarely “at home”, hence my self-given title. In addition to being the primary care giver to my daughter, I do consulting work, I am an instructor and Master Trainer for Barre3 and I sit on the Board of Directors for the Junior League of Portland. I don’t have one job. I have many.

I spend my days driving to and from my work and volunteer commitments, to and from school, swimming lessons, playdates, the grocery store and countless other places. I blow noses, wipe butts, clean up spilled food and am constantly doing dishes. I am a babysitter, a housekeeper, a dishwasher, a chauffeur. I am a mother. It is not luxurious, but it is a luxury. Before having a baby, I might have said that only women who can’t make it in the corporate world or who aren’t very smart or savvy stay at home with their kids. But let me tell you, making it in the corporate world is a hell of a lot easier than being a stay at home parent. Toddlers are irrational, demanding, obsessive compulsive, and often bi-polar. Being a mother is the toughest job I’ve ever had, and my 3 year old is by far my most difficult boss. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Just because you have children doesn’t mean you have to give up your identify, professional success or the things you enjoy in life. You can be a mother. You can have a successful and satisfying career. You can travel. You can have date night. You can workout. You can have coffee with your girlfriends. You can “have it all.” Just not always at the same time. And it usually takes more planning and preparation than it used to.

My final thoughts for Lydia on finding her own balance as a mother and a professional.

- There is no harder job than being a mother, but there is no more rewarding job.

- The days are long and the years are short. Don’t miss the important moments in your child’s life for unimportant things.

- Don’t allow yourself to be confined by the identity that you have been or think you should be. It may change (maybe not, and that’s okay too).

- Don’t judge other moms if their choices are different than your own. Be supportive.

- Make time for yourself and take care of yourself. it will make you a better mother.

Thanks so much Regan! As for the rest of you I will be back next week with an update on motherhood thus far and an introduction to our little man. I have lots of thoughts and feelings to share thus far.

xx Ly