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.”