By Eren Simpson
Make breakfast. Wash dishes. Empty Diaper Genie. Read books. Pick up toys. Play chase. Feed dogs. Grocery shop. Buy dog food. Order pet meds. Do laundry. Remember to change out laundry. Get kiddo down for a nap. Make lunch. Pick up more toys. Clean up kitchen. Arrange play dates. Go to story time at the library. Pay bills. Balance checkbook. Schedule doctor appointments. Get dog to the groomer. Drop off things to Goodwill. Get kiddo down for second nap. Interview source for story. Make dinner. Clean up after dinner. Bath time. Story time. Bed time.
That’s one day. And it’s a day that millions of other moms are having right now. I’m not special. But I was given an opportunity to write about it for this Women at Work edition.
I’m a new mom. My son is 16 months old, and he’s awesome. He’s sweet, funny, smart, curious, healthy and strong.
I’m lucky to be a stay-at-home mom. After three months of working full-time from home and caring for my son full-time, my husband and I made the life-saving decision for me to quit my job to focus on our family. But because I’ve always had a job, I decided to keep freelance writing and opened a shop on Etsy to keep my resume fresh and my creative outlets alive.
This decision was not only life-saving, but it was also marriage saving. You see, I’m not one of those people who could “have it all” because I’m one of those people who feels like she has to do it all herself or it doesn’t count. I’m a total type-A control freak, and it drove me insane. Part of that turned out to be postpartum depression, which fortunately I sought and received help for, but now that my main job is our family, things are much more stable.
It’s still not perfect. My day starts at 6 a.m., when my son wakes up and it ends an hour or so after his bedtime. Then if I have any work I want to get done, it gets done before I collapse into bed utterly exhausted.
Occasionally, I can get things done during his naps – like housework or interviews – but you see, I’m pregnant again. And let me tell you, the second pregnancy is nothing like the first. I was more tired and nauseated than I have ever been in my entire life for the first 11 weeks.
I was asked by my editor how I juggle being a mom of one, expecting another, and how does this affect my work and relationships. The short answer is I don’t.
The long answer is, it’s a lot of work. My husband and I talk constantly about what we could both do better to make things work more smoothly in our relationship and household, but still my work and creative outlets often have to take the backburner to my son, dinner being served and managing a toddler tantrum.
Being a mom is hard. Whether you stay home or work, you have a million things on your mind at all hours of the day, and you’re always wondering if you’re doing things right, but somehow you still get things done, just maybe not when/how you planned.
Life is messy, relationships are hard, and it gets harder the second you decide to become a parent. There are days when I think about how easy it was before we had a kid. But on those days, I remember that even though those days might have been easier, these days are so much better.
Eren Simpson lives in Matthews.