There is a wind, in the air, and it is making me a little uncomfortable.
As I dropped my 8 year old off tonight, to go swimming with his friends (without a single parent!); my heart skipped a beat. My children are growing faster than I can keep up. It wasn't long ago I was wishing for these moments, when I could sleep through the night, not be touched constantly by sticky hands, and wiping snot off my shoulders. But now, now it is here and I am in the midst of emotions I didn't even know I had. Where are my babies? The sweet smelling, soft skinned, peaceful looking little boys I once held in my arms.
As I ventured down this path, six months ago, I never envisioned I would be where I am today. I thought I would get into doula-ing, help a few women out a year, and be happy with that. Boy, was I wrong. I dove in deep, and haven't come back up for air yet. In the midst of all the Bebo Mia course work, I took on a very part time job that as of late has become much more than I had originally signed up for. Guilt, often, seeps in when I am so busy with Maternal Oak and work I don't even get to tuck my own children in to their beds. I am shuffling babysitters, after school cares and meals to make this busy life work; for all of us. Too boot, I also started a Mother to Mother play/information group, Shuswap Moms, that I host at the local Shuswap Children's Association. Talk about filling your plate. It's been hard on everyone but we seem to have found a groove - and now I am scared. I like this groove. I almost love it. I love the happiness I am able to bring to my clients with Maternal Oak and at the gym. I love having adult conversation, every day, instead of wiping bums and kissing boo boos. We had always said we wanted to have 4 children, but, this life right now is fulfilling so many wants and needs in my own heart and soul I can't possibly imagine giving this all up, at least not tonight. In this moment, I am fully content - and that scares me...because baby cuddles. (and no, being a doula does not always fulfill that undying uterus twitch we all get!)
I don't miss my kids like I thought I would. And I am okay with that.
I love them dearly, but I love me as well. I love that I am capable of being something more, than just a 'mom'. I can contribute to my community, society, our family, and all of the clients and their families I take on with my doula business. For years I saw myself as nothing more than a SAHM (stay at home mom). I liked it, but did not love it. I was happy, but not truly happy. Ryan (my husband) and I always laughed about how much I would love to switch him places, and me be primary working parent. Because, lets face it, he's a better parent than me and I am totally okay with admitting that. He has a way with the boys, that I just do not have. At all. Must be a male thing.
Working mom, part time working mom, or SAHM - you do you. What is right for one woman and her family will not work for the next. But myself, I like work. Hell - I love it. I love feeling useful. I love feeling like I am actually pushing my brain, skills and knowledge and putting them all to work. I love that I can help others. I love the feeling of seeing the hard earned money in my bank account and treating myself, without guilt, to that Iced Venti Triple Carmel Macchiato and mani/pedi.
Will we have a fourth baby? Who is to tell. Will I miss this time in my life? Absolutely. But isn't there always something about the different stages of motherhood we are going to miss? I thought I was destined to have 4 children, stay at home, and raise babies. God, am I ever glad I decided to put myself first, when I signed up for all of this. Because, let's face it, as mothers we rarely will do such a thing. For me to put my children and their needs and wants first, though, sometimes that means we need to succumb to our own burning passions to be the best us. In turn, being the best parent you can be, even if you don't get to tuck your kids in to bed every night.
Kayla is a mom to three sons, wife, and doula. She works within the Shuswap/Okanagan Region providing mothers and their families with a whealth of knowledge and support in all things fertility, pregnancy, birth and beyond.