My son is my best friend.
Without a doubt. He makes me smile on my sad days, he helps me with my make up, he chooses between 2 nail colours for me and he eats doritos and guacamole in bed with me whilst watching Netflix.
However, he has just turned 2 and I had an epiphany that I lost myself.
Somewhere between the midnight bottles, the birthday parties and the little red book appointments I forgot what it was I wanted in life, except being a mother.
I find myself striving for nothing other than being like the mothers I see on social media, or having a bigger house or more children. I don’t factor in how I might get to that stage I just assume as I am a mother already I must continue along this one path and just succome to the preconceived idea that now I “must be due another”
A few weeks back I sat down with a friend after I was offered a work opportunity that would require more time away from home and I explained all the reasons I wanted it and all the reasons I didn’t.
One of my reasons FOR the change was that, as previously mentioned, I felt I had lost myself. I used to be so driven by success and recognition. I would thrive off of praise within the workplace but somewhere along the road it became less important what others thought of me. Which is of course a good thing except when it was such a core part of my drive ‘pre baby’. I wanted to work really hard and really prove to myself and others that I was worthy.
However, my friend reminded me that whilst being a mum isn’t my whole life, Oscar will only be learning these new things for a short amount of time, career progression will be waiting, Oscar learning to put his wellies on himself (a small victory I still find amazing and hilarious as he doesn’t quite put them on correctly so walks much like me in heels after one too many) won’t be waiting. I will come home one day and he will be chatting away and I’ll wonder when he started doing all those things.
I am now wondering how many women this happens to, or even men. How many other parents get lost in parenthood and forget about all the things they wanted in life, do they look back and regret not working more, do they look back and maintain that concentrating more on being a family was more important? What IS the perfect family life/work balance?
I always struggle with whether to work or not, I feel like I have adequate time with both my work and Oscar at the moment but I do have days when I think I’d love to just spend everyday with him and equally I get days when I think I want to completely throw myself in to work.
I’m trying to devise a plan to get myself back, I’m working hard to make a career plan and actually put in to practice those ‘5 year plans’ people speak of.
Family wise AND career wise, I think it’s a good idea to have some clear steps mapped out and give myself deadlines because I have goals I want to reach, I’m still the kind of person that needs constant progression.
Do any of you have a 5 year plan or something similar? How is it going?
Give a gal some tips