Welcome to the second post in Bloggers on Motherhood!
What surprised you about motherhood?
Like most people, I had no idea what to expect when I became a mom. I was already really anxious while I was pregnant about how working would fit in with being a parent. We knew we couldn’t afford full time childcare so it was just this big unknown, diving into this black hole with everything being new. A new role as a parent. A new life with a baby. A new way of working for myself as a freelancer.
I’m typically the kind of person who likes to know what is happening. I crave stability, though our life has been anything but stable in the last eight years. I’ve learned to conquer some fears and roll with the punches. It’s been all about adaptability and flexibility, but also creating a life that works for us. Sometimes I still can’t believe we made it through those years, juggling childcare with careers. It’s proven to me that we can quickly adapt, make changes to our lifestyle as needed, and persevere through whatever gets thrown at us. Much of it is for survival, but I’m not sure that I could have foreseen that I had that in me.
What is one of your favorite memories about your mother?
I don’t know that I have a favorite memory of my mom, but the one moment that I think about often as my kids get older is the day I moved out of the house to live on my own in Manhattan during my first year of art school. My mom called me later that afternoon after she helped me move my stuff into my new apartment to say that she had been sitting in on my bed in my room alone for the last hour, crying. I was only a subway ride away, but of course, this was a huge moment. I think about how weird and surreal it must be to let go of your kids for the first time. It’s probably as weird and surreal as the day you bring them into the world.
What is one of your favorite things about being a mother?
I love how as babies, everything - and I mean everything - is new. It’s a trip to see babies and toddlers experiencing all the new stuff for the first time. You see things in a different light. I love how holidays are relevant and fun again. I’ve really appreciated how being a mom has forced me to look at certain aspects of my personality head on. I’m constantly learning about myself through my relationship with the girls and identifying things that I’d like to work on. And on a much more superficial note, it’s fun to have kids who are grade school right now. I can really see how doing “girl stuff” with them in a few years will be fun. They’ll be my little companions. I didn’t really have this buddy relationship with my mom even though she was a full 10 years younger than me when I was my girls’ ages, but I can kind of see myself having this relationship with my girls.
Thank you for sharing this with us, Jenna! xoxo