One of my favorite high-school teachers reached out and asked if I would write a little something about what it is like to be a mom in today’s world. Below is what I sent. Warning: if you did not go to NDP (a private, all-girls school) and are not from Baltimore, parts of this might read like an unfamiliar foreign language. J
Becoming a mom and beginning the journey of motherhood is like joining the most elite, special and universal club in the universe. Before I had my first son, I thought I had accomplished some pretty impressive feats — cough cough… a Senior Sweep Silver Cup win as gym meet captain 😉 — but the moment my doctor (who I should note is another NDP alum and mom of three!) placed Nolan in my arms, I realized there was NO greater achievement than creating, carrying and bringing another life into the world. It only took a few weeks for me to understand why my mom frequently told me that she would always love me, no matter what I said or did. Of course the nights and days were long, and I was absolutely terrified that I was going to somehow fall short or mess up, but with each struggle and hardship, I gained more confidence and became more comfortable with my new role as someone’s mom. And once you become a mom, you look at your own mom in a completely new light. For me, I was 27, married, owned a house, had a full-time job and on some days felt like an ADULT and MOM in every sense of the word. And then we would have a tough stretch of sickness and little sleep and bad weather and hard days at work and in the blink of an eye I had reverted right back to that place of needing my mom and feeling like a dependent, unprepared, overwhelmed DAUGHTER. No one really told me how you feel almost stuck between the roles of parent and child – and that it is totally normal and acceptable to feel that way! When Nolan was almost two, we found out what we thought would be our second child would actually be our second and third childREN – TWINS! As I write this, I have three under three! It is as wild and crazy as it sounds, but in the best way possible!
I also work full-time as a residential real estate agent. Most people assumed that I would stop working once I had Max and Maeve because “how will you afford childcare for three!?” and “now I am sure your hands will be too full to keep working!”, but I knew that if everything went as planned and we had a healthy labor and delivery, I would go back to work after a few months of maternity leave. I said earlier that motherhood is universal, and it truly is an experience that creates a bond between women of different ages, religions, nationalities, backgrounds, etc etc etc, but every mother is unique in what makes her the best version of herself. Every mother structures her life differently, and there is NO right or wrong way to do that. For me, while the initial transition back to work after maternity leave causes a lot of nervous anticipation and anxiety, once I get into the swing of our new routine, I start to feel more “normal” again. I feel my best when I maintain a general balance between mom duties and work duties. I will say that having children was a major reason that I decided to change career paths from teaching high school English in Baltimore City to buying and selling real estate. I originally loved the idea of working 8-3 pm and having summers off, until I realized that I was getting in much earlier, doing work after school almost every night and weekend, and popping out to run an errand or missing a day because Nolan was sick or had an event at pre-school was much harder than I anticipated. I feel very grateful to now have a job that gives me the flexibility to make my own schedule and plan around important moments with my kids that I don’t want to miss! This is what works for me, for now!
And finally, I would say motherhood is unpredictable. I am not even three years in, and the landscape of my life today compared to what I thought it would be in the months leading up to Nolan’s birth is significantly different. Just like anything else worthwhile, you take it a day at a time, come from a place of gratitude and soak up the amazingness!