Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Working Mom Wednesday

Are you the Mom you thought you would be?
(this blog topic hosted by Julia and Lisa)

In retrospect, I spent no time thinking about being a mom in high school, college or the following years in my early career. I secluded myself in Florida, far away from friends and family who were busy building their families. My husband and I moved to California for 2 years then back to Florida and in eight years post college I traveled to Asia 8 times. I was vaguely aware of friends having babies but they didn't share much with me - they must have been crazy busy or I was just that isolated, probably the latter.

2006 was my best year for travel and work. It started with a one month trip to Asia followed by a one week trip to London. It was a challenging and exhausting but I had so many great experiences.

Later that year I started reconnecting with close friends who were becoming or were already moms starting with friend J who had sworn she was never having kids so I always considered her my ally in a kid free life. We were career women, not bound by children - until she wrote mid-year to say she was pregnant -- deliberately no less! I was shocked and something snapped, suddenly I started wanting children too but had no idea when or how to fit it into my schedule.

In August I combined a trip to see a close friend from high school who had just given birth to a two week old baby girl with a visit to another friends costume wedding. Here's an awkward photo of me holding the baby.
See how limp my arms are, I didn't know how to hold a baby. My friend just placed her in my arms and started taking photos.

At the costume wedding my friend was marring a guy with 3 kids and I spent the weekend playing with the girls, doing their hair and make up (I think they were 5 and 8), these girls were adorable.

In October I was back in Asia for another 3 week trip at a luxury hotel with dinner on the roof every night next to the hot tub, watching old episodes of Coupling - which even had the main couple having their first child by end of season!

By December I visited friend J and her newborn son and I was finally hooked but still puzzled on when to schedule a baby!

In 2007 I went to Asia three times - January for 3 weeks, April for 3 weeks and finally October for 2 weeks; work was feverishly busy that year with taking on new licensees, building new product lines and setting up a new Hong Kong office. I worked hard that year but personally I was tiring of putting 100% of my energy into a job, working 60 hours per week and not having much personal life to come home to.

I came back from the last trip and told husband I was ready for kids immediately and I got pregnant on the first try - much to my surprise! Throughout pregnancy I didn't give much thought to being a mom, I stayed focused on the present of being good at pregnancy, getting all the exercise and eating right, I still had no idea how we'd fit Charlotte into our lives and schedule.

I guess it's obvious by now that I hadn't given any thought into what kind of mom I would be. I watched my friends, read lots of blogs for advise and received counsel from my mom and mother in law.

So to finally answer the question - Am I the mom I thought I would be? My answer to this is finding balance between work and home life and I can honestly say I'm finally pleased with the balance I've achieved between work and daughter but it's really with the help of my awesome husband who's a stay at home dad and helps smooth all the edges.


Julia Ladewski said...

wow. so funny how things change. My sister doesn't want kids and i can't imagine going thru life without them. great story and i bet now you can't imagine yourself any other way!

Lisa said...

Isn't it amazing how something that is so much work - harder than any other "job" - can be so rewarding?!?
I loved your story :-)

Miss. C said...

What a great post!! It is hard finding a balance! Wow, I should really play along today!!!

crazywildberry said...

I am honored that I was a small part of this post. (I am mom to the baby in the "awkward" picture.) I love that picture of you. I have other "favorites" of you but that one is always a good one if I need a smile. I also remember you asking about my stomach and how long it would stay that big. I was only 2 weeks postpartum. LOL! It was so cute.

I didn't see you as a motherly type when we were growing up together. However, over the last couple years, seeing and hearing how you are just blossoming as a mom, I have been proven wrong. Charlotte seems well-balanced and happy. That is what is important.

Although, thinking back, you were always sweet to your younger cousin and my younger sister. I think kids and you were just waiting to happen. Good post, Rach!

Grit said...

a lovely story; your early photo with baby is fantastic, it makes me think how we start off like that! like, what is this thing? and what do i do with it?!

when is the hong kong toy fair? we may be out there aug-dec this year.

R. Molder said...

Thanks to all for the lovely comments.

Hi Grit - the event I've visited for several years in October is the Mega Fair, details are:

Mega Show Part 1 and 2
October 20-23, 28-30, 2010
Location: Wanchai, Hong Kong
Venue: Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre
Contact: Kenfair International Limited
Tel: (852) 3588 9688
Fax: (852) 3588 5448

Hope you guys can go back, it would be awesome to spend 6mo in HK.