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My Midlife, End-of-Maternity Leave Crisis

My Midlife, End-of-Maternity Leave Crisis

Morning and welcome back to Warm Beer, Cold Coffee. As many of you know I have been on maternity leave basically since July 2020. I will be going back to teaching at the end of August 2021 and I am having all sorts of feels about it. My brain has been racing a lot lately with different thoughts, and I wanted to share a bit of insight into this crazy busy life I lead. Hmm… so here we go.

I am the type of person that likes to do it all. I thrive in being busy and being involved with many different communities and various hobbies and tasks. I am a DIYer in everything I do – life, crafts, cooking, building, blogging, instagraming, exercising. I work hard to learn knew things and to learn how to do them well. I live for human connection and need to communicate with people regularly. I love making people happy and really getting to know them on a deep level. I want and almost need to do it all to feel good about myself. This might seem crazy to some, but it’s how I feel rewarded and fulfilled.

I’ve had more than a year off with Andee, and don’t get me wrong, motherhood is a huuuggggeee learning curve and takes up so much time. But I have been able to explore other sides of myself while at home with Andee, sides I didn’t even know existed. It’s like a whole new me has formed since becoming a mother, and I’m having to really learn and listen to who that new person is.

The truth is that I am terrified to go back to teaching. And not because I don’t love it. I literally think that I was born to teach. Or at least I think that is one of the many hats I was born to wear. I have nothing but positive things to say about my teaching job. I love the kids, the parents, the teachers, the admin. I love the math I get to teach and that I can basically start any new program I want with the kids. I get to be creative day in and day out, which is massively satisfying to me.

 

 

But the problem is that I like to do it all with teaching as well. Can you sense a theme here? I don’t know how to do it on a smaller level. I don’t want to do it on a smaller level. I am scared to go back and knowing that my limitations are so very different now that I’m a mom, and I’m worried that I will no longer be satisfied with the job I once loved so much. I feel terrible about myself when I can’t give my all to something, and I know that going back to teaching after having a baby will require me to do less. I just don’t know how to be a part of something I love so much, but only be able to give it half of my efforts and attention.

Plus, I feel like I will then only be giving Andee, Keenan and myself half of my efforts and attention. Well, maybe I should rephrase that – I feel like I will give whatever I have left to Andee and Keenan and have nothing left to give myself once I go back. This is the most terrifying thing of all to me because I have learned how important it is for me and my mental health to take care of myself regularly. I know I won’t be able to do this in the same way once school starts back, and I don’t know if I am ready to give that up.

And since becoming a mom I have started back up with exercising and cooking. I’ve started a blog and really diving into fundraising for breast cancer. I’ve also started working with an incredible beauty company that has given me a whole new prospective on what I can do with my life. These are all things I do not want to give up when going back to teaching. I am learning so much about what matters most to me since giving birth, and I’ve come to realize just how much I should matter to myself.

I love being a part of many different circles, and I think that’s why I enjoy dabbling in so many different areas. I have communities with teaching, blogging, instagraming, moming, exercising, weaving, cooking, beauty and more. One thing that has been so difficult with becoming a mom, and especially with becoming a mom during a pandemic, is the isolation from these communities that came about. I’ve had to really work hard to find a new way to fit into these communities again while in this new stage of life. It’s been hard, but it’s something I am really passionate about. I feel like I am finally getting a grasp on this idea just in time for it to all change again.

 

 

And it’s weird to me – I never thought I would have a blog or that I would post so much of my life on social media. Granted, I’m an open book and not shy about sharing my journey through life. I just never that I would do it in the way that I do now. But again, I’ve discovered new communities and circles of friends, both near and far, that mean a lot to me; it fulfills me.

And then like literally out of no where the beauty company I work for just kind of fell into my lap. I was at a point were I was feeling so disconnected from some circles of people and isolated by motherhood, like no one understood me or actually saw me. And then one day I got a message from a cute girl on Instagram who took genuine interest in me. I was very skeptical at first, but honestly I am so glad I said yes to joining the company. I am now exposed to an entire new community of badass women who strive to be their best selves each and every day. Like literally, I wake up to an inspirational message in a group chat every. single. morning. And this has been so, so good for me. Meeting women who are encouraging regardless of what stage of life you are in, who believe in constant personal development, who support you, who celebrate your successes with you, who check in with you regularly means the absolute world to me.

But it’s also what has kind of left me in this midlife, end-of-maternity leave crisis where I want to explore what’s next for me with this company. I don’t know where this next year will lead me, but I know I have to be kind to myself and listen to what my heart truly wants and needs. And right now it is screaming for me to fully dive in deep with this group of women.

Plus the amount of confidence I have gained just from taking care of my hair and skin is unbelievable. Being a mom is exhausting – you are the manager of the house, the manager of another human (though I try to let her manage herself as much as possible), all while trying to maintain your relationship with our partner. Then you have to somehow figure out how to take care of yourself and feel good about yourself. I have noticed the power of the little things, like skin care and hair care, and how it really makes a difference for my wellbeing.

 

 

I know this is a lot of rambling, but I really do want to share where my head is at. It’s not easy to navigate this journey and I feel like sharing my thoughts is important. I don’t know what the next step is for me here, but I am working hard each day to really listen to what I need. And at the end of the day, if I am happy then I can pour more into those around me, which is my ultimate goal. So please send a little pray or a whisper to the universe for me and that I make the right decision moving forward.

As always, thank you for reading, and especially for reading when I’m rambling. I hope y’all have a happy day and a lovely weekend ahead of you. <3

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