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.”

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From pregnant to parent

When Vanessa found out she was pregnant, it triggered a roller coaster of emotions for her.

The ride began on New Years Day. After taking a pregnancy test she said to her husband, “Happy New Year. Guess what’s going to be happening this year?” He was floored and very nervous as he started going through the list of “Can we afford this?” and “Should we be doing that?” As the idea grew on him, though, the fears and uncertainty turned to excitement.

Vanessa was looking forward to being pregnant and having a baby as well, but from time to time she would feel a real sense of anxiety over whether or not she was ready to become a mom.

“I was in denail about the whole giving birth thing,” she said.

Five days past her due date, Vanessa’s doctors decided it was time to induce. They gave her a planned epidural and killed time playing games and watching TV with her husband and best friend.

“It hardly felt like labor, and then it came time to start pushing,” she said. “That’s when the epidural starting wearing off — perfect timing. I pushed for a few hours, a part of a day. You can do anything for a part of a day.”

Vanessa considers herself to be a little bit of a Type-A organized person and worried that that she was going to try and have everything be rigid, but said it actually ended up being kind of natural for her to just go with the flow.

“Instead of getting anxious and worked up, it was better to just roll with it, to take cues from the baby,” Vanessa said. “My husband was a huge support in that, and we became a team. We didn’t worry too much about if we were doing this right or that right. If you just relax and go with it, it will go well.”

Take a second to check out these 10 tips to help you adjust to becoming a new mom or these other resources if you’re on a journey from pregnant to parent. Good luck!

MORE TIPS & TOOLS

A Virtual Doctor’s Office
You’re pediatrician has all the answers your co-pay can get you, but if you’re looking for some free peace of mind, ask an expert from the Pampers Parenting Institute.

Exceeding Your Expectations
At Pregnancy.org, get reassurance and information to make the next nine months a walk in the park.

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.

Mommy Amusement
See what Capessa blogger and mother of three Erin Monroe does in her spare time at Finding Yourself.

Mommy Needs a Cocktail
Sip on the little moments with Kristen, mom to two and the rising queen of hilarious. With handmade accessories.

Getting through My Mommy Meltdown

The morning of Leiah’s mommy meltdown was much like all the other mornings she’d had since giving birth to her son Ben. She was going on several short bursts of sleep and wondering when it’d be possible to take a shower. But for some reason, that day it all seemed like way too much.

“Having the mommy meltdown really put things in perspective for me,” Leiah says now. “Just because you become a mom, you don’t become a super hero and you don’t get magic powers. You can’t deny that you are only capable of only doing so much. I had to modify my life and really get into a routine.”

leiahbenLeiah said that since Ben was born, she’s been on “mommy time”, living her days go in two- or three-hour increments, depending on when Ben eats. This also includes getting sleep in chunks instead of getting a full night’s rest.

“Luckily my child allowed me to be able to get on a routine where I could sleep between his feedings at night, and then I’d get up around noon and eat something while he is asleep,” she said. “From noon until eight or nine at night, I function like a normal person.”

She and Ben’s father Matt are working on creating a schedule now that allows her to feed Ben and pump milk through the day. Matt will take over the evening feedings so that Leiah can sleep, then she’ll feed him through the night.

Taking care of yourself is essential to being a good mother, Leiah explained. Although at times putting yourself first can feel selfish, she said, it’s all a part of motherhood.

MORE TIPS & TOOLS

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.

Count to 10
Take a second to check out these 10 tips to help you stave off your Mommy Meltdown.

Your New Best Friend
Debra Gilbert Rosenberg has gone three rounds with new mom mania, which is why her book, the New Mom’s Companion: Care for Yourself While You Care for Your Newborn, comes straight from the heart and speaks right to the minds of the recently blessed.

A Virtual Doctor’s Office
You’re pediatrician has all the answers your co-pay can get you, but if you’re looking for some free peace of mind, ask an expert from the Pampers Parenting Institute.

When Mama’s Happy
To keep mamas from getting baby brain, the gals at Mamazine have given birth to a crafty outlet for creative expression. Feel like a grown-up even though you’re all about baby.