I have always known that I wanted to be a stay at home mom. Ever since I was little when people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up I would close my eyes and smile, knowing "a mom" was the answer I wanted to shout out loud. However, after college I began teaching elementary school, in a private school. The kids were amazing and the parents were beyond supportive. I left my house each morning a little earlier than the last just to get to work and make sure I had a collection of exciting lessons that would stimulate their brains while keeping their bodies engaged. I lived for my students, of whom I certainly took a vested interest in, and loved watching them grow up right before my eyes.
So when I got pregnant with A, who was born in February, I had some seriously conflicting emotions. Although I was overjoyed to become a mom, I felt like I was leaving "my kids" in the middle of a school year. I talked endlessly to my headmistress about my options and tried to work out a way to still be a classroom teacher.
Then I had A, and everything seemed to peel away slowly, like a million leaves hiding a tiny magical lagoon. I was in love, with every piece of myself, to this tiny little 6 pound 6 oz girl the doctor had just handed me. I didn't know a thing about her, yet I knew I would do anything to keep her safe. I didn't have a clue how to care for her, but I knew we would figure it out together. As our family of three left the hospital a day and a half later I knew I was finished in the classroom. Although I loved my students, I knew I could not leave this little girl who needed me as much as I needed her, while I taught, loved, and cared for 21 other girls.
As I called my boss and told her I would be remaining at home indefinitely, I could hear her nodding in the background, like she knew all along my heart would be pulled in a different direction after we laid eyes on our baby.
So now, a year and a half later, I still would not trade one single second of time with my little, big girl. I love waking up in the morning and being in no rush to get her fed and get out the door, or taking all the time we want at the playground because it is okay if nap time runs later than expected. I can honestly say she has made me appreciate life more, and slow down a little bit more each day. Sure, I am not a perfect mother. I still get frustrated when I tell her not to do something and she looks at me, smiles, and does it anyway; and sometimes I am so exhausted by bedtime that I wish I could blink my eyes and have a sleeping child. But then she snuggles in just so when we are reading books, or looks up at me and hugs me, and my heart melts all over again for this little girl, and I kick myself for ever wanting these moments to go by quicker.
So, if I could wish for one thing for myself it would be for more patients, to always have a little more in store for A when I feel like I am at my ropes end, because I know when I walk out of her room each night and quietly shut her door, I always want just one more minute to snuggle with her, or one more smile before she falls fast asleep and I have to wait till morning.