My name is Teri and I’m the proud mama of a busy, hilarious, brilliant toddler and an awesome, beautiful, snuggly baby. Being a mom is a challenging and beautiful adventure that nothing else in my life prepared me for. Luckily, I have an amazing husband who is there through all the ups and downs, awesome friends who are happy to share their parenting knowledge (or at least laugh with me through the chaos!), and an extended family who is always ready to help. I work as a marketing and communications professional when I’m not at home on maternity leave, and I love sharing my experiences as a mom.
I am the proud, happy and tired mama of two busy little boys. We are still adjusting to life as family of four—our newest little man joined us on September 5, so he is still a couple weeks away from the five-month mark. Factor in that he’s a terrible sleeper, which means my husband and me are not getting as much rest as we’d like these days. And add to the mix our energetic, too-smart-for-his-own-good two-and-a-half-year-old, and being a mama is taking up much of my time, and basically every ounce of my energy these days.
But in those rare quiet moments, when I’m not playing hockey or reading a story or making supper or cleaning up messes, my mind starts to wonder what’s next. Not for our family, but just for me. [Insert shocked gasp here.]
I know, I know. As busy mamas it’s hard for any of us to find time to step out of that role. It’s also not easy to do it without feeling any guilt, as if we’re somehow cheating our children if we’re not around them or thinking about them every second of every day.
In my specific situation, we also spent a great deal of effort and energy struggling with infertility before we did have our boys. So essentially, growing our family has been my primary focus for the past five years or so. That’s a long time! I’ve also had other things going on simultaneously of course—time with some amazing friends, celebrating others’ weddings and babies and milestones, and working full time in an interesting job with creative, insanely talented people.
But when I think about the last time I truly thought about what was the next step for me—not as part of our family, not as a mama, but for me personally—I struggle to pinpoint when that was. So now that I feel like there’s a glimmer of that on the horizon, I’m excited about what that might look like.
There will come a day in the not too distant future (I hope) that our youngest son will go to bed and actually stay there for a stretch of time. And I will have this crazy thing on my hands—free time! Of course, not always. Laundry isn’t going to magically start doing itself, and it’s unlikely that my oldest will stop spilling on the floor literally any time he eats anything. However, sometimes the tidying will be done, or will be able to wait. And I can plan, and dream, and do, and start to find myself again as my own person, with my own passions and interests and goals.
Don’t get me wrong—I love being a mom, and it will always be a top priority in my life. But I know I will be an even better mom, and a better partner for my husband, if I also take the time to find and do the things that bring me happiness, away from those roles. So while I soak in the milestones and special “firsts” my boys are hitting at a record pace right now, I’m also looking forward to setting and hitting some of my own.