From working woman to stay-at-home mom

Molly sat with her parents at lunch one day when she was 30 years old. The conversation shifted to life goals, and the trio pulled out some business cards they had stored in their wallets and started making a list. Six years later she came across her list again and realized that while she’d accomplished most of her career goals, there were two personal goals that she’d made no progress on.

Be married by 32.
Have kids by 33.

“I realized I hadn’t accomplished those dreams,” said Molly. “I was so career focused, but I’d always, since I was a little girl, wanted to be a mother. I was getting a little nervous because I wasn’t married yet and was concerned that the biological clock was about to run out.”

Shifting gears from career to family didn’t necessarily come naturally. Molly’s own mother was very career focused, and Molly took pride in her professional performance. But when her mom was diagnosed with cancer – ultimately losing her battle – Molly knew that she couldn’t waste any more time to have the life and the family she wanted.

“Before baby, I was the person who was all about how much money I was making, being the top producer, driving a certain kind of car, looking a certain kind of way,” said Molly. “I never could have imagined being happy being as a stay at home mom and doing the simple things and making three meals a day. It’s just been a complete 180 for me from one identity and way of being to another.”

Making the transition to new mom took some adjustments for Molly, mainly in the way she looked at her new life. Here are some things she does to make every day at home with her son feel like the incredible gift it is.

  • Appreciate the simple things.

“I used to not understand how women could be happy being home all day with their children,” admits Molly. “But I am amazed at how much happiness you can find in the simple things. Sitting outside blowing bubbles for my son, taking my son swimming in the pool, going to the park, going to the beach, watching him play with rocks, just seeing his discovery of the world. Every moment that we’re together, every moment of the day is incredible. I just can’t believe how happy the simplest things make me.”

  • Get out and have adventures.

Molly said a lot of new moms are scared to leave the house or don’t want the hassle, but she thinks that getting out and doing something is definitely something that helps her in the right frame of mind.

Take walks, go to the park, head to the mall, visit friends. Giving them new worlds to explore will keep them occupied, and fresh air will keep you from feeling cooped up.

  • Give yourself a break.

Patience takes time to work up to, and if you’re feeling overwhelmed or like it’s about to break you, take a break.

“So many moms are afraid to leave their children, even for just a moment, but if you need a breather, take it,” said Molly. “Sometimes you have to put them in their crib, put them in the high chair, and just step outside, take a deep breath, maybe call a friend.”

Those few minutes can rebuild your enthusiasm, your perspective and your patience. And that’s best for your baby..

  • Ask others for help.

It really does take a village, so reach out to friends, family, other new moms, and especially your husband. Hire a babysitter for an afternoon if you need to, or trade babysitting with another mom. Find a way to get the help you need.

  • Take care of yourself too.

“The most important thing I’ve learned is I have to take time for myself,” said Molly. “For five months I was at home, with my son, by myself, no friends or family helping out, and I hit a major wall. I knew that if I wasn’t happy as a person, I wasn’t going to be happy as a mom.”

Molly started running again, going to get her hair or nails done, meeting her girlfriends for happy hour, anything that made her feel like she was taking care of herself too.

“When he was born, the doctor put him on my stomach and I looked down at him and the perfection was just mind blowing,” said Molly. “In an instant, I realized the weight of ‘I’m responsible for this life.’ It completely took me over and changed me and my life. I’ve never felt that abundance of love for anyone or anything at any time in my life.”

Love knows no boundaries — An International Adoption Story

Mary and Bill met on the school bus as teenagers and started their life’s journey from there. But when they set out to start family, things got difficult.

“I had my first Grand Mal seizure in the middle of teaching a class,” said Mary. “They took me to the hospital, and at first they said that it didn’t mean that I had epilepsy because anyone can have a seizure.”

The first seizure, however, was a sign of things to come. Mary had more and more attacks, averaging about three to five a month. Eventually doctors said she was eligible for brain surgery, and she was seizure-free for a year.

With her health in check, Mary decided to try to get pregnant. The stress of trying to conceive, having a miscarriage, and having surgery to try to conceive again caused her seizures to return.

“The one treatment that we were going with was Clomid, and you can only go through that so many times before you start to become at risk for cervical cancer,” Bill explained. “When we exhausted all those options, we started reading on what the next procedure would be, which was infertility treatments. At that point in time, we both said, ‘This is scary and probably not for us.'”

Seeing their baby girl for the first time through photos made both Bill and Mary fall in love. They were her parents, no matter what.

“They gave us a description of her personality and said she was slightly obstinate,” said Mary. “We thought, ‘She is going to be just like her mom.'”

The couple flew to China to complete their family, brimming with hope and happiness, but their first meeting wasn’t picture perfect. Their baby had no idea who they were, didn’t understand what was happening, and took some time to warm up to Mommy and Daddy.

Since coming home from China, Bill and Mary and their new little girl are just like any other family. Bill’s a doting dad, Mary’s a nurturing mom, and Anne is their little shadow.

“I am just so happy,” Mary said. “People in restaurants have been shocked because she squeals so loud with joy. They think she’s crying, and then they are floored to know she’s squealing with joy. She is just so happy. She has love, she has family, friends — my students at school went nuts when they saw her picture — she has so many people that love her. She is going to grow and be an incredible person.”

If you’re considering the adoption option, try Adoption.com, which helps infertile couples understand the process, the expectations and the experience of adopting a baby. Or dive into any of these great resources:

Hopeful Mommy Support
INCIID is an organization that supports women and couples dealing with infertility with current information, alternative options and even an in vitro scholarship program.

Just a Little Pregnant
Julie talks about infertility, in vitro and proud parenthood in this amusing, inspiring online journal.

Taking the Eastern Approach
Visit The Herbal Room for information on the use of acupuncture and herbs in aiding fertility.

One Family’s Adoption Journey
Follow Stephen & Laura as they blog about the hard work and long wait it takes to bring their baby home from China.

Nurse in private or public?

The great nursing debate rages on, despite breast feeding sit ins and loads of lactivism. We went to talk to some real women to see how they felt about breast feeding in public and here’s what they had to say.

So what do you think? As moms and women, are you put in an awkward place when you see a boob in public or are you empowered and proud?

A Lactation Education
Get news, product information, how-to videos and a hearty laugh from the women of Breastfeeding.com.

Nursing Out Loud
Jennifer Laycock stays abreast of the issues and offers insights, tips and a bit of personal perspective in her blog The Lactivist.

Hungry for History?
Jennifer James, author of the Black Breastfeeding Blog, scours the Library of Congress for photographs of breastfeeding mothers through the ages.

Pumping in Practice
Did you know that the FDA regulates breast pumps? And did you know that they have an entire site dedicated to helping moms choose and use breast pumps? Well, now you do.

Weaning the War
When to wean, that is the post-breastfeeding question. At Kids Health, learn the signs that your baby is ready for solids and how to help them make the shift.

Some Friendly Advice
Rebecca Odes and Ceridwen Morris have been in various stages of pregnancy or new momdom for 5 years running. The two friends created a go-to site offering decent, open-minded and agenda-free advice at The New Mom.