A pregnant woman has been making the news recently and she is none other than Marissa Mayer, the newly appointed CEO of Yahoo! Mayer has also announced her pregnancy at the same time, stating that she plans to work through her pregnancy and maternity leave.
Honestly, I am not sure why there is such a big deal made about this. Some mothers are just happier when they are not just mothers but also working professionals. If she loves her job and is able to manage both career and family, then great for her. This balance should be seen as a norm and not the exception.
I am not a CEO or some other high powered career woman but speaking from personal experience, I’ve been back at work for the past two weeks and I am really happy to be able to do so.
For the past three and a half months, I had been looking after Aidan by myself in the day. It was tough, one of the toughest things that I have ever done. Being the sole caregiver of a wakeful baby is not easy and I was battling depression, sleep deprivation and a sudden loss of self.
When your days and nights revolve around a little being, it can feel awfully claustrophobic. Suddenly, I felt as if I had lost myself even as I was thrown headlong into the role of a “mom”. Instead of sipping tea and reading Frankie, I was changing poopy diapers and willing a wailing baby to sleep. I barely had time to pee and have lunch, let alone get onto the mat for a yoga session. Immersed in being a mother to my baby, I stopped doing things that I used to, pre-baby.
On hindsight, I became a shadow of the person that I used to be.
Of course, I could have left A in the care of my mother or mother-in-law and take a few hours off to do “me” things. But I’m built like a stubborn mule. I felt that A was my responsibility and I didn’t want to palm him off to someone else other than his father (now, that happened a lot!).
And so, for the duration of my maternity leave, Aidan and I were practically joined at the hip. Wherever I go, there he will be. I don’t regret that, I enjoyed my stint as a pseudo stay-at-home-mom and every moment spent with my little man was precious.
But now that I am back in the office, I do feel a sense of liberation. I can have a leisurely lunch with my colleagues and NOT talk about the baby (much). I’ve started popping into the gym during my lunch hour for classes. I’m planning my lessons for the next semester and feel confident and happy.
Best of all, I can do all these things and not suffer from Acute Mom Guilt.
Before I gave birth to the little man, I entertained notions of becoming a SAHM, But having gone through four months of that, I can scratch that idea off. I like being at work, I enjoy earning my keep, I like putting on pretty clothes and makeup and having big people conversations. Some women, like myself, are just happier to wear other hats apart from the MOTHER and WIFE ones.
And a happier me means that Aidan will have a happier mother.