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I’m a Mom

6 March 2018 at 02:56

The scent of bleach and Pine-Sol dance atop her wood floors, while fresh lines from the vacuum simultaneously decorate the carpet.

The entire scene is enhanced by the smell of the freshly lit candle, now flickering away,

Signifying that the school bus would soon appear and her morning job would be complete.

Her afternoon work would be full of math and reading and social studies homework; littered all over her freshly polished kitchen table until hungry bellies began to expect dinner; which she would soon make from scratch.

She serves her family and cleans up,

While they fill their bellies before she has the chance to even sit down at the dinner table.

As the formerly hungry bellies leave the table she tells herself she’ll “eat later.”

Before long the evening bedtime ritual is set to begin.

Clothes are laid out

Showers are taken

Stories are read


Perfect little people are safely and snuggly tucked into bed where

Sweet dreams awaited them.

Overwhelmed with both love and gratitude, she watched her perfect little person soundly sleep.

Soon she is interrupted by her own growling and still empty belly.

“I never did eat,” she reminds herself.

Passing the hallway mirror on her way to the kitchen, her reflection reflects a tired and stark face.

Having been so consumed with everyone and everything else all day,

She realizes that she never did get around to applying her makeup today


To change out of her workout clothes


Fix her wiry hair.

In that moment, staring at her reflection, she can’t help but wonder when or where she will ever find the time to

Fill her own belly

Apply her makeup

Fix her wiry hair

Put herself together in an outfit other than her morning Yoga gear


Honor a currently non-existent bedtime routine for herself?

Almost as fast as her wonder intruded on her thoughts, it was shut down by both shame and guilt.

“I’m a Mom,” she told herself, continuing to remind herself that,

“I have it all. What more can I possibly expect?”

And in that moment she went back to work, feeling oddly defeated and confused…


I’m Going to Miss This

14 January 2018 at 13:16

In his hit song, “You’re Gonna Miss This,” Trace Adkins sings to a young woman who appears to be rushing through each stage of life. Barely a newlywed, she already has a plan mapped out for her and her husband to buy their first home. To this, Adkins advises her to slow down, as she will, “miss this,” phase of her life. Later in the song, that same young woman is a bit older and is described as a bit disheveled, trying to deal with a broken appliance and a house full of rambunctious children running around. Once again, amidst the chaos, Trace Adkins reminds her that she’s “going to miss this.”

A stay-at-home-mom to one, my son and my husband are my whole world. I love being available to them whenever they need me, I love knowing that I can almost always make it to my son’s school events, I love knowing that I’m the lucky one that has the privilege of sitting with my son after school each day and working on his homework with him, and I love knowing that, despite my husband’s unconventional and demanding schedule, we’re still able to spend plenty of quality time together, because I’m home. I’m beyond Blessed and I don’t take these Blessings for granted.

Still though, when the laundry is piling up, the dishwasher is full, the floor needs sweeping, the dog needs to be fed and let out, supper is on the stove, my little guy is begging me to shoot hoops or play XBox One S with him, or I’ve spent all day cleaning and my husband walks in and drops all of his stuff (ALL THE STUFF) wherever he happens to land, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed. In fact, sometimes, I want to scream! I want to express to my wonderfully loving and supportive family that I am only one person and that, while I may not have a job outside of our home, I hold almost all of our household responsibilities, and as one single person, juggling so much, there are times when I’m tired, when I need a break, when I need just half an hour to regroup.

Don’t get me wrong, I know there are moms all over the world who balance more than one child, a husband, household responsibilities, and a career, and I respect the bejesus out of them! These women have my respect, admiration, and compassion.

I don’t mean to complain or play the worlds smallest violin. Every night when I lay my head down and say my prayers I thank God for this beautiful life that He has Blessed me with, and I remind myself that someday, I’m “gonna miss this.”


What If?

9 January 2018 at 09:00

Pingback: https://evewanderer11.wordpress.com/2016/02/22/the-daily-post-the-road-less-traveled/

By my first wedding anniversary, I knew my marriage was doomed. During the twelve short months we had been married it was made crystal clear to me that, despite the birth of our first child just 1 month shy of our 1 year anniversary, he was who he was and he would never change; not for our child, not for me, and not even for himself.

Though I knew and understood this, I consciously chose to turn a blind eye to the glaringly obvious problems that plagued our marriage. I was over-the-moon-in-love with my son and fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home-mom; never having to make the heart-wrenching and difficult choice to enroll my child in a daycare center that so many hardworking and brave women do every single day. I made the concession that he would do as he pleased and I would exclusively care for our son and not bother concerning myself with him, much less what he was up to. I planned to live my days in that manner forever.

As my son grew older, our bond grew stronger and stronger. So connected,  I soon realized that it was only a matter of time before my son began to see his father through my eyes, and I didn’t want that for him. I so badly wanted my son to have a healthy, strong, supportive, and loving relationship with his father; developing his own feelings and coming to his own realizations about his father completely independently. So, about three years too late, I finally filed for divorce. Naturally, divorce is never easy and neither my ex-husband nor myself made any attempts to lessen the sting. Our four-year marriage managed to be dragged out over a completely unnecessary nearly three-year divorce process. Admittedly, I shut down and closed myself off to the idea of ever having a relationship again. I intended to raise my son and focus solely on him.

And then something amazing happened. I reconnected with a childhood friend and before I could even talk myself out of it, had fallen in love, became engaged, and remarried. Marrying my husband was the best decision I’ve ever made. He’s a wonderful man; a loving and supportive husband, hard-working provider, and exceptional father to our son.

Thank God I made that decision, for if I hadn’t chosen to take The Road Less Traveled, I would’ve missed out on the greatest love affair of my life.



What Will It Take For Mom to Get an Impromptu Weekend Getaway?

8 January 2018 at 08:46

Tomorrow morning my husband and his brother fly out for a golf getaway in sunny Florida.

Yesterday, we had a blizzard that brought with it ravaging, arctic temperatures and well below zero wind chills, in addition to dumping over 14” of snow on us.

My husband is a hard worker, a wonderfully loving, supportive, and patient partner and father who takes very good care of us. He deserves this trip.

But still…

While I may not have a traditional job “outside of our house,” I have many responsibilities. I balance all of our schedules, handle all of our son’s school-related conferences, activities, and assignments, and manage all aspects of our household, all in addition to scheduling and attending all pediatrician appointments. I do all of the shopping, cooking, cleaning, and gift buying. If it weren’t for me, my dear in-laws would never receive Mother’s or Father’s Day Cards, much less birthday or holiday cards or gifts.

I know my fine-dining-chef needs this break after a particularly brutal holiday season at the restaurant.

However, I cannot tell a lie.

I am jealous


A bit bitter


Even a little angry.

As I packed his bag this morning, I couldn’t help but wonder, when will my turn come?


His Loaded Smile

7 January 2018 at 07:40

Pingback: https://logicaldreams.wordpress.com/2018/01/07/short-story-that-smile/

If only she could keep a better eye on him – pay him more attention,

That’s all he needed

More of her attention.

Always so busy with the baby

and work

and the house,

Surely she was neglecting him.

When finally she managed to convince herself of this…

She caught him laying that winsome smile on the barista and she knew,

Her efforts would forever be futile.


As a Stay-at-Home-Mom With an Older Child, What’s Next For Me?

5 January 2018 at 09:22

This piece originally appeared on HerViewFromHome.com (https://herviewfromhome.com/im-a-stay-at-home-mom-with-an-older-child-whats-next-for-me/)

Growing up I always knew I was “going to be somebody and make something of myself.” An obsessive overachiever, I was confident I was destined to do something amazing with life. I had big plans for myself, and I never deviated from a well thought out plan.

High school was a breeze for me. To be quite honest, I was bored most of the time. As soon as I was eligible, I enrolled in my high school’s work-study program. Enrollment in this program allowed me to attend school for half of my day and spend the rest of my day working. By the time I was eligible for work-study I had already been working an average of 30 hours per week while attending school full-time, so work-study was like a break to me.

I began my freshman year of college the September after my graduation from high school, right on track. So sure of my plan, I went into my freshman year with both a declared major and minor. I was determined to complete my BA as quickly as possible so that I could move onto pursuing both my MA and Ph. D. I loved college. I loved my instructors, I loved my campus, and most of all, I loved being surrounded by students just like me, who had made the conscious decision to major in English and minor in Art History. Never before had I experienced the thoughtful, knowledgeable, and meaningful conversations I did during class. I was hooked; I couldn’t get enough of it! I soon grew to feel a great sense of camaraderie with my classmates. I had found my place and soared, regularly earning a spot on the Dean’s list (while continuing to work my nearly 35 hours per week “part-time” job). All was going according to plan.

And then, it wasn’t.

I had been casually dating a neighborhood boy for the entire summer preceding freshman year. Soon after classes started and I moved onto campus, our relationship grew serious; very serious, very quickly. I began spending more and more time at my boyfriend’s house and less and less time on campus. While I remained dedicated to my studies and earning superb grades, I completely forfeited any true “college experience” for the sake of my relationship. Despite my parents’ greatest efforts to spare me from missing out on my chance at a college experience, I chose to honor my commitment to both my relationship and my boyfriend. It wasn’t long before I moved off campus and into an apartment with my boyfriend. I was only 19. Amidst all the changes that had taken place in my personal life, my academic performance never suffered and my passion for learning remained as strong as ever.

I married my boyfriend during spring break of my junior year. Nine short months later, while seven months pregnant, I proudly walked across the stage to receive my degree. I had already applied and been accepted to grad school and was scheduled to begin my graduate career the following September, after a five-month “break” to recover from and adjust to being a first-time mom. A first-time mom who stayed home with my son and handled each and every single responsibility pertaining to the care and well-being of my child, and our household. By this point, my responsibilities also included “damage control and cleanup” for whatever mess my husband had created for himself, and I began growing more and more exhausted as the weeks passed. When September inevitably rolled around I was excited to begin my graduate studies, though admittedly plagued with anxiety at the thought of leaving my infant son in the care of my ill-equipped husband for nearly five hours per week.

I attended three weeks worth of classes before realizing my son needed me full-time (his father simply couldn’t be trusted) and withdrawing. I was devastated; for the first time in my life, I was a failure. I couldn’t finish something that I both started and yearned so badly for.

Despite my disappointment, I became engulfed in my new role as a full-time-stay-at-home-mom. I was so very in love with my child, and never took for granted the privilege that I had been afforded. I heard my child’s first spoken word, witnessed his first steps, taught him to count, read to him every single night before bed, and even saw him proudly use the potty for the first time. I was blessed and I knew it, on most fronts.

My marriage was broken, shattered beyond repair, and I knew it. Instead of addressing and handling the problem, I instead chose to turn a blind eye to the catastrophe that had become my marriage. I immersed myself in my role as a full-time stay-at-home-mom and even began internally identifying myself this way. Occasionally I’d feel the sting of desire and regret over the goals that had essentially been abandoned. In those moments, I reminded myself just how badly I was needed at home and did my best to convince myself my circumstances were beyond my control; I had a small child and an immature, irresponsible, and unreliable husband. How could I ever balance graduate courses in addition to my daily responsibilities, I’d ask myself?

A devastating family death finally inspired me to file for divorce after a 10-year-long-relationship and four years of marriage. At the time I filed for divorce, I had been out of the workforce for four years and had never once worked since graduating from college. To say I was scared would be the understatement of a lifetime, but I knew I was doing what was right for both my son and me. After a few too many wine-fueled late night pity parties, I knew what I had to do. I contacted my former advisor and re-enrolled in my graduate program. I found an apartment (complete with a white picket fence!), bought a new car, and landed a pretty desirable position at a well-known local law firm. It seemed as if my plan had managed to find its way back to me and I was back on track.

My divorce was terribly messy. I was awful, he was awful, it was all awful. What should have been an open-and-closed case was dragged out for nearly two years, courtesy of my ex-husband. I was struggling to balance single motherhood, a demanding, fast-paced job, and managing a household and all the expenses that come along with it (including preschool). I was juggling this far too fragile balancing act all while taking a full load of graduate courses and maintaining a 4.0 GPA. It wasn’t long until my ex-husband decided he would no longer honor his moral obligation to provide for my child with child support payments. The fact that these child support payments were court ordered meant nothing to him. He ceased all means of support (and continues to). As I grew into my role at work and began to excel I knew something had to give. I was simply spread too thin. I was unable to be the very best mom, employee, or graduate student that I knew I had the potential to be while juggling so many major responsibilities. Because I wasn’t receiving any financial assistance from my ex-husband, I once again made the decision to withdraw from my MA program upon completion of the classes I was enrolled in. This time, I truly had no choice. I had a small child to support, obligations to honor, and I needed to work to fulfill these obligations.

Over the next few years, I largely worked in education, with a short-lived stint in IP law. I continued to struggle. Though it was gratifying to know that I was modeling strong, positive, and responsible behavior for Jack to see, I hated leaving him in someone else’s care each day. Time and time again I was told, “it will get easier,” and “it won’t always be this hard,” but it never got easier and it continued to grow increasingly harder.

When I met my now husband, he encouraged me to leave my position with the IT law firm and follow my heart. As badly as I wanted to, I was afraid. What if I left my job and once again fell flat on my face? I couldn’t bear the thought of starting all over again. Eventually, I did find a part-time position in my field and left the firm. I remember walking out of my office on my last day at the firm and feeling as though my soul had been set free from the prison it had been shackled in. I was liberated.

Much to our surprise, shortly after we became engaged, my then-fiancée (a fine dining chef), was recruited by and offered a position in Las Vegas at one of the country’s top-grossing restaurants. The offer, experience, and education my fiancée stood to gain was far too good to turn down and so together we made the decision to accept the offer and move across the country to Nevada. Our move and the major change in lifestyle we experienced brought with it many new decisions to be made and questions to be answered.

During one particular conversation, my husband sat me down and told me he thought I should stay home with our son. He thought it best for me to be completely available to our little guy during his transition period. I agreed. He surprised me, though, when he told me that he knew I wasn’t as happy as I could be. He continued, reporting it was his observation that I hadn’t been truly happy since returning to the workforce and forfeiting my role as a full-time-stay-at-home-mom. What could I say? He was absolutely right. In that moment, we decided I would resume my role as a full-time stay-at-home-mom, with the unconditional support of my husband. I was so filled with relief, love, and gratitude that I couldn’t speak.

The next few years were amazing. We blossomed into a whole, healthy, and happy family. My husband experienced great success and our son prospered. I was once again fortunate enough not to miss a single baseball practice or game, school performance or event, soccer game, or karate lesson. To our son’s delight, I was even able to read to his class a few times that year. My “job” as a full-time mom allowed me the freedom to ensure our little guy was able to accept almost all invitations to play dates and birthday parties, sleepovers and camp outs. I loved “having my old job back” and was deeply happy and content.

A few years ago, my husband accepted yet another prestigious position, this time closer to our home state on the East Coast. Though it was difficult to leave the friendships and life we had created during our time in Nevada, each of us was excited to be so close to family, friends, and home. We settled beautifully in our new beachside community. My husband continues to excel in his career and our son is well adjusted, popular, and a genuinely good-hearted little boy. We’re all healthy, happy, well taken care of, and safe.

So, what could possibly be wrong?

Me. It’s me. As I approach my 34th birthday and my son rapidly approaches his 10th in just a few short months, I find myself wondering and worrying about my future. Though he is still very young, requiring supervision, guidance, and love at all times, my son has begun to assert his independence. He will need me less and less as the years pass. Then what? What happens to me?

It’s not my son’s job to fulfill me, make me happy, or give me an identity. That’s my job; always has been and always will be. This I know without a shadow of a doubt.

My husband’s career has taken off. He’s experiencing well-deserved critical acclaim and has even been featured in local media quite a few times. My heart swells with pride and admiration for my husband. He deserves every bit of the success and attention he’s achieving and receiving. So, he’s good. He doesn’t “need” me for anything either. But what about me? Where does that leave me?

The same fears, worries, questions, regrets, and anxieties continuously run through my mind. The relentless fears and regret torment me, racing through my mind leaving me to wonder . . .

Is it too late for me?

Did I waste my potential?

What is my purpose?

And finally . . .

Maybe, just maybe, now is the perfect time for me. Maybe now is the ideal time to revert back to my plan, get back on track, and to not only meet but crush both my MA and Ph. D. goals.

From the sidelines where I find myself sitting these days, it seems now is as good a time as ever.


Speaking Out About Sexual Assault: Why We Must Keep Raising Our Voices

1 January 2018 at 19:28

*This piece originally appeared on HerViewFromHome.com* (https://herviewfromhome.com/speaking-out-about-sexual-assault-why-we-must-keep-raising-our-voices/)

I was nineteen the first time it happened to me, standing in the coat check line of one of those seedy eighteen-plus clubs that reeks of smoke, too much cologne, and spilled booze. The music was still pulsating through both the club and my body and the “ugly lights” had yet to come on when it happened. My body went numb when I realized what was happening. As his hand made its way up the back of my shirt and around to the front of my body and eventually my breast, I stood completely still and silent; too paralyzed with fear to even look back at who the hand belonged to.

Thankfully, my ever-loyal and always protective best friend was quick to notice exactly what was happening and swiftly reacted. Before I knew it, she was screaming and yelling all while pushing my assailant away from me, eventually punching him square in the face. A gentleman who was waiting in the same coat check line soon caught on and took over where my best friend left off. My assailant was thrown out of the club and that was that.

I never spoke of it again, I never reacted, I never even realized I had just been sexually assaulted and, unknowingly, had become part of the group of females aged 16-19 whom are four times more likely than the general population to become a victim of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault. According to The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), an American is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds. Shamefully, the same source cites that only six of every 1,000 perpetrators of sexual assault will end up in prison. It turns out I was in good company by staying silent all those years ago.

According to RAINN, it is estimated that two of every three sexual assaults go unreported. The reasons for not reporting sexual assault include fear of retaliation, the belief that the police won’t do anything to help, feelings of shame and embarrassment, and the belief that the incident wasn’t significant enough to report (as was my belief), among other reasons.

My first brush with blatant sexual assault would not be my last, and as it turns out, I’m once again in the good and sadly too plentiful company of countless other women. Since the now infamous Harvey Weinstein scandal broke in October, thousands of women have broken their silence, telling their own stories of sexual assault, rape, and sexual harassment by starting the hash-tag #metoo on social media that almost immediately began trending. Since the Weinstein story broke, the Hollywood Executive Producer now has nearly 100 accusers, with 14 claiming he raped them.

Harvey Weinstein isn’t the only A-List celebrity to have been accused as of late. Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey and famed comedian Louis C.K. have both recently been accused of sexual assault. While Weinstein unequivocably denies all accusations of non-consensual sex, both Spacey and Louis C.K. have issued public apologies. Because Spacey claimed to “not remember” the incident in which his accuser reported and came out for the first time as a gay man during his apology statement, many say his statement was nothing short of a copout. It’s interesting to note that each of the accused men referenced here is accused of assaulting victims who either worked for him, with him or were attempting to gain employment (or casting) from him (as in many of the Weinstein cases).

With all of the recent allegations, confessions, and apologies, it should come as no surprise that the rates of workplace sexual harassment are sky high. A 2016 study performed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Coalition (EEOC) showed that one in four women will be the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace. The EEOC states this may be a conservative statistic though, as there are estimates as high as 85 percent reporting women as the victims of workplace sexual harassment. Like many sexual assault incidents, many incidents of workplace sexual harassment also go unreported, with the EEOC estimating up to 75 percent of women NOT reporting being sexually harassed at work. The reasons are eerily similar to those of unreported sexual assault: fear of retaliation, feeling ashamed or embarrassed, fearing future professional repercussions, and minimizing the incident. For the record, of the 12,860 reported incidents of workplace sexual harassment in 2016, only 2,134 (or 16.6 percent) of victims were men.

It is here where I can once again relate. When I was 27-years-old, I applied for a position I was well qualified (perhaps even overqualified) for at a group home for men. I interviewed for the position and after passing the necessary background checks, was offered and accepted the position. I was told by management they would soon be in touch with my training schedule and start date. After some days passed, I began calling the manager who was to be my direct supervisor. For over a week, I left messages inquiring as to the status of my training schedule, start date, and finally to the actual status of my position. When he finally did return my call, he informed me that he “regretfully had to rescind my offer,” because, and I quote, “I can’t have a girl that looks like you do, working in a house full of men.” I hung up the phone shocked, saddened, embarrassed, and angry. College educated, experienced in the field, and maintaining a 4.0 GPA in my graduate courses I was enrolled in, I wondered how and why what I looked like mattered? It was 2013 and naive as I was, I believed the days of women being denied positions they were qualified for because of their appearances were behind us.

Perhaps the worst part of that ordeal was the doubt, though short-lived, that the manager was able to instill in me. I wondered if I had dressed inappropriately for my interview or if I came off as “too flirty”? It wasn’t long until I realized it had absolutely nothing to do with me and was purely reflective of both the manager and the company he represented. Too embarrassed to tell my story, I never reported the blatantly illegal sexual discrimination I had experienced.

As time went on, I again experienced sexual assault, this time on a crowded subway during rush hour. Confused and disorientated by the commotion of rush hour and the shock of what was actually happening, I once again froze. I was so angry at myself for not yelling, pushing, fighting back, or screaming “NO!” as loud as I could have. Surely, other subway riders would’ve helped me.

The thing is though, you just don’t know how you’ll react until it happens to you. I was always the girl who adamantly claimed I would never “lay back and let someone rape me.” I swore I would “fight back as hard as I could,” and scream, “NO! NO! NO!” before I let that happen to me. Then it did happen to me and I didn’t fight back or scream “NO!” or even move.

I tell my stories and report these facts not because I believe there’s any shortage of available information or articles in today’s media. Instead, it is my goal that in telling my stories and reporting these awful statistics that maybe we can recognize the common theme among both of my stories and many of the statistics. Silence, inaction, fear, and embarrassment are all prevalent in both of my stories and in so many of the facts reported in this article. Perhaps if we, as women, continue to come out, freeing ourselves of our fear and embarrassment and tell our stories, these incidents wouldn’t be so rampant. If more perpetrators feared exposure and legal ramifications, perhaps they’d be less likely to commit these heinous acts. Either way, we owe it to ourselves to be free of any shame, fear, or embarrassment that we may feel.

What has happened to so very many of us was not our fault. We didn’t ask for it and we didn’t have it coming. We were victims of criminals who consciously chose to violate our bodies, minds, and souls. We owe it to ourselves to speak our truths and take back our control. And, to all of the women who have already bravely shared their stories, my hat is off to you. Let’s hope in continuing to do so, #metoo never trends when our young daughters reach young womanhood.


He Has A Dad

19 December 2017 at 05:20

I wasn’t naive, I knew the separation and eventual divorce would be difficult. I knew the hurt, anger, sadness, shock, denial, and disappointment of our failures would get the best of us, at least during the early stages. From Day One, I was right. You were awful, I was awful, some less than supportive family and friends were awful, the seemingly endless court dates were awful, and the most awful of all was explaining to our son that, while we still cared about each other and loved him deeply, we would no longer be living together in our house. Instead, we told him, he would live with me in our house and visit with you at your new house. Little did I know that as time passed, I would find myself learning to live without you entirely, and teaching our son how to live the same way; void of you entirely. 

I never imagined a life for either of us without you in it. I believed you would always be there for our child; our only child, your firstborn son. I was confident that you and I would learn to effectively co-parent and enjoy watching our son grow together. I imagined us, together, watching him as he found his desk on his very first day of kindergarten. I imagined us proudly listening to him as he excitedly read aloud for the first time. I never imagined you’d miss all of his milestones once we divorced. But, sadly for you, you have. 

To your detriment, you have lost both priceless and impressionable years and memories with him. You don’t know anything about him. Things like his favorite book, his favorite movie, his favorite subject in school, his favorite sports, foods, and color are all mysteries to you. As are his hopes, dreams, fears, and anxieties.

He has a Dad. In fact, he has a great Dad who shows up for everything and knows all there is to know about him. He loves his Dad and his Dad loves him. He’s a happy, smart, funny, intelligent, rambunctious, well-liked, and beautiful little boy. He is the most compassionate, loyal, loving person, with the biggest heart, that I have ever had the privilege of knowing and loving. His hugs are magical. Its as if your entire body, heart, and soul are warmed from the inside when he wraps his little arms around you in only the way he can.

Despite his innocence, he has had to learn to live with your abandonment. Your absence, which you have consciously chosen to inflict upon our child, has caused a void that I fear may be forever beyond the compass of your understanding. 



What Happens to Mom When the Kids Grow Up?

13 December 2017 at 03:45

“In the end, I am the only one who can give my children a happy mother who loves life” – Janene Wolsey Baadsgaard

While many women dread milestone birthdays and the inevitable aging that comes with another passing year, I am not usually one of these women. Admittedly, my twenties were quite difficult for me. Though I was Blessed with a healthy, happy, and beautiful son in my early twenties, the majority of my twenties were plagued with crisis after crisis including a devastating miscarriage, death of beloved loved ones, a divorce, and major health problems. So when my milestone thirtieth birthday rolled around bringing with it the promise of a fresh, new, and limitless decade, I welcomed it with open arms. I’m happy to report that so far, my thirties have been the best years of my life. I found love again, I’m more comfortable in my own skin, I’m learning to accept myself as I am, and, perhaps most importantly, I’m learning to accept that I am enough as I am.

Yesterday was my thirty-fourth-birthday and for the first time, I felt the pangs of anxiety, worry, and even dread that women often refer to. As my birthday drew nearer and nearer, these feelings continued to intensify. Confused by these unfamiliar and uncharacteristic feelings, I began looking deep into myself to figure out where these feelings were originating from, and more importantly, why now and never before?

After weeks of soul searching, journaling, and many conversations with my uber-patient husband, what I learned surprised me. It wasn’t my birthday or growing a year older that was instigating apprehension in me. Rather, it was the realization that as I continue to grow older, so does my son. I realized that soon my role as a full-time-stay-at-home-mom may very well come to an end. This realization shook me to my very core. Since having my son, I have dedicated my entire life to him. I have fully embraced and loved being home with him. From the early days of late night and early morning breastfeeding sessions, to reading Good Night Moon countless times before tucking my toddler snugly into bed, to our afternoons at the kitchen table completing his homework together, to helping him create the perfect Science Fair Project, and even to chauffeuring to and from extracurricular activity to extracurricular activity, I’ve loved every minute of it; the good, bad, and the ugly. My epiphany that soon my son won’t need me as much as he once did (and for the time being, still does) left me feeling lost, scared, and sad.

I realized that I no longer know myself outside of my role as “mom.” I have intertwined my identity so completely with being a mom that the days of me being an extremely bright and successful academic scholar seem like a lifetime ago. I worried about what would happen to me when I was no longer needed at the kitchen table to help with homework or Science Fair Projects? I worried about how I will fill both my afternoons and weekends when my son can drive himself to and from his engagements; no longer requiring my chauffeur services? With all this worry torturing both my spirit and mind, I never explored what I could do to remedy my fears. I never even considered invoking my once relentless inner strength and determination to combat my worries and focus on myself, even for a minute. 

And then I did. I dug deep into my soul and came to a few major realizations.

I realized that while being my son’s mother has been, and continues to be, the single greatest joy of my life, I need to be whole. It is not, nor has it ever been, my son’s responsibility to ensure my happiness nor to help make me feel whole or successful. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my happiness, wholeness, and success are entirely my responsibility, and I know that I am more than capable of achieving happiness, wholeness, and success as not only a mother, but an educated, thoughtful, and compassionate woman.

I wish I could report that I have formulated a complete and perfect plan for transitioning from my role as a full-time-stay-at-home-mom to that of not only a mom but a wife, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, and a friend. Though I haven’t yet, I have no doubt that I will.

Seriously considering returning to the world of academia and completing both my Master’s Degree and Ph.D., I recently spoke with The Director of Graduate Studies at a university local to me. I must admit, I haven’t been so excited by a conversation in a very, very long time. As I spoke with The Director of Graduate Studies I started recognizing feelings I once knew; feelings of inspiration, and intrigue, and promise. 

And it felt good. It felt really good.



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