After obtaining a Master’s degree, I moved many hundreds of miles away to become a full-time working mother. At the time, my son was just 3 months old and my daughter was in middle school. I thought that I could be Supermom and do it all. I mean, throughout college I was winning awards, presenting at conferences, working more than 40 hours a week and taking 5 graduate courses some semesters. So, why couldn’t I have a baby, work full time, never sleep, guide a teenager, take another graduate class, chair several committees, participate in volunteer work, write a novel, breastfeed for at least 2 years, and manage to clean the house, exercise regularly, shop for dinner and eat healthy meals?!
Although I should have guessed that things wouldn’t be as easy with a baby, somehow time and hope make you forget how difficult it is.
After months of coming home too mentally and physically exhausted to do more than stare at things and mumble silly utterances — not only because my son decided he was NEVER going to sleep through the night — I decided that I was near crazy and many things needed to change immediately.
Well, “immediately” took about 1 year because I stubbornly grasped onto the naive thought that I could make it work. But after continuously feeling, as Bilbo wisely said, “…thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread”, I took a long vacation. It was only then that I fully realized what I had been missing: My family.
We didn’t really need the stuff that my income allowed us. And my children certainly didn’t need a mom so wrapped up with work and projects that she couldn’t spend more than an hour or two an evening with her loved ones. After attempting to be Supermom for nearly two years, I was burnt out and not much of a mom at all. So, I opted to make a few drastic decisions; I let go of my titles and projects, altered my career ambitions, and walked out of the deep, dark cave and into the sunlight. I’m working a part-time position, getting healthy again, making my family my first priority, and being a real Supermom in the way that works best for me and my family.