Life is full of transitions, no matter how hard we try to resist them. I always get an uncomfortable feeling in my gut when something is about to change in my life, but over the past three decades I have learned to face (and at times, embrace) life’s twists and turns.
I have found the transitions into and within motherhood to be more intense than any other transition I’ve experienced. Now that my maternity leave is coming to an end, it will soon be time to establish a new routine. My son and I will need to learn to be a bit more independent. It feels like a big step, because until now, I haven’t left him for more than a few hours. As I prepare for a new season, I can’t ignore the feelings of sadness and even some mom-guilt.
One of the things I’m wrestling with at the moment is figuring out how much to give to each of the roles I play. Saying yes to something means saying no to something else; and if one of those yes’ means less time with my family, it usually comes along with a heavty dose of guilt. Going back to work has brought on all these questions. What’s the right balance? How much can I realistically take on?
But what’s also tricky is when saying yes to my son means saying no to things that make me healthy and happy. Like sleep. Like spending time with my husband. Like having time to recharge. Like building a career. Those things can wait, but for how long?
I didn’t realize I would have such strong competing desires in me: a desire to be a completely available and present mother and wife; a desire to be a good daughter, sister, aunt, and friend; a desire to develop a meaningful career; and a desire to hone my creative abilities through writing and photography. I would like to think all these desires can co-exhist without much tension, but I have yet to find that balance. And when I try to preform at 100% for any one of those roles, or more than one, something gives. Usually it’s me.
“You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.” David Allan