Submiteed by Ibinye Osibodu-Onyali
After becoming a mom for the first time, I had very high expectations for myself and my children. I wanted to be the perfect mom who would raise perfect kids. Parents won't be surprised to learn that my expectations quickly produced anxiety and lots of hair pulling. I needed to get real.
So I sat down and created a vision for myself. I actually wrote it down. It included spending quality time with my family and quality time with myself. It included helping others too. The vision helped me find balance in my life, and I'm happy to report that my vision is being realized.
Recently I was able to show my kids where I grew up in Nigeria and we were also able to show them London on the trip. The vacation was amazing! I had time to rejuvenate, eat tons of food, hang out with friends and family, and I was spoiled by my parents 😊.
I am determined to help other busy moms achieve fulfillment in their lives via my work as a therapist and life coach. I know that it's possible to be a working mom who has a happy personal life because I'm doing it!
Submitted by Jessica Duff
As a working parent, few things are as discouraging as not being able to leave work to take your sick child to the doctor!
Recently I ran into this situation while trying to schedule a doctor’s appointment for my 8-month-old son for a possible ear infection. As a busy working mom with two kiddos, finding the time to step away to take my son to the doctor seemed impossible. Then a friend helped me realize that I shouldn't complain or feel bad about the situation. She pointed out the silver lining: I am able to provide medical care for my child because I am a working parent. It really doesn't matter who takes him to the doctor.
My husband and I both have busy work schedules, but we make time for our kids whenever possible. Luckily, we have amazing family in town who can help out at a moment's notice. I have a great family, supportive (and insightful) friends, and a baby on the mend.
Who could ask for more?
Submitted by Tina Schmiedel
After our third child was born, my husband and I were discussing whether or not I should stop working to stay home with our kids. My oldest daughter, who was 11-years-old at the time, joined the conversation to inform me that I wouldn't be happy if I didn't work and that working made me the "best mom".
That comment put a smile on my face, because, of course, she was right.
Submitted by Modern Cynical Dad
"Full-time Mummy/Daddy" is a term that irks both my wife and me because it is usually used in the context of a career choice. The distaste for the term is not aimed at the individual who chooses to use it, nor the choice that person makes. It bothers us because parenting is not, in any way, a career.
Use of the term suggests that those of us who pursue careers (by choice or not) are less committed as parents. Of course, I am not naïve. I don’t really believe that other parents mean to imply that, but sometimes it is interpreted that way.
My wife and I both have full-time careers. She is an Advisor for a well-known optometrist and runs her own business. I am an Area Manager for an equally well-known retailer in the UK.
Submitted by Jon Thorne (The New Papa)
While I was in the expecting stages of becoming The New Papa, a wise father told me that a man could never truly know fear until he has a child. Now, this father was similar to me in that his son was born to him in his mid-40s. What was different was that his son had severe health problems, needing surgery and intensive medical care. At that time, I simply played off the idea that this father had had a rare experience and his ideas of fear came from a unique place. His experience was his own and mine would be totally different. I wouldn't fear anything. Of course, I was totally wrong.
I was very fortunate that my beautiful baby boy was born very healthy. Yet, that idea of truly knowing fear came at me fast and furious, even before my boy was born. During my wife's labor, as she lay on the delivery table waiting for her water to break, a sudden alarm came blasting through our phones. This was followed by a 6.6 magnitude earthquake. Now, I'm from California and am quite experienced with earthquakes. I can usually brush them off pretty instantly. Not this time. My heart sank. I froze in terror. I was waiting for everything to come crashing down, being on the fifth floor of the hospital. All my golden dreams of the picture perfect family turned into a bloody mess of carnage underneath the rubble and dust of a flattened building. Obviously that did not happen. The doctors came in and were quite reassuring, but I still asked if I could have my own epidural. My legs shook the rest of the day, even after the delivery was over and I was at home finally trying to get some sleep. It kept running through my head: such a fragile creature I just created. How the hell could the human race have survived this long?!? It was the first of many sleepless nights.
Even now, after my seasoned fatherhood of 11 months, that fear remains. I'm still waiting for it all to come crashing down. New fears now dominate my thoughts: is he eating enough, did I proof the house enough, is my wife too stressed, am I holding him too much or not enough, what's that new rash on his leg, shouldn't he be walking by now, is he crying all day when I'm at work, what if I lose my job, is my health strong enough to do this, what if I die? The weight of it all is immense. I haven't yet learned how to shake it completely off, but I do have some ideas on how to manage it all.
I feel that in order to manage fear, you have to be able to understand where the fear comes from. For me it's pretty simple, I'm a control freak. I've said it before, I've always had a basic lack of trust in people. This has led me to avoid accepting help from others, the prideful vanity of doing everything on my own and my own way. I've noticed the fearful thoughts are the loudest as I'm on my way to work, from the moment I step out of the house. It's at that point I give up all control and the symphony of worry begins. It generally lasts all day until I return home and pick up my son. It's a horrible way to spend the day. It causes me to make many decisions based on the fear. I can't go out for a coffee after work, I need to get home immediately. I can't buy that new bag for work, all my money needs to be saved for emergencies. I can't complain to my wife about anything because she's already stressed and tired. It's not healthy, and not what my son or wife needs.
Thus, another lesson for The New Papa to learn: you can't control everything all the time. I have to believe in my wife, that she has the power to be an amazing and caring mother. I have to believe in my son, that he has the power within him to grow strong and independent. I have to believe in myself, that I have the power to truly put my thoughts and focus on the areas that I can and should control. I cannot make another decision rooted in fear. Only sorrow and misery will sprout. I want my family to be surrounded by trees of hope!
Another wise friend (really lucky to have so many wise people in my life) once wrote that the lack of peace in most people's lives comes from living in fear of a future that may never even happen. It's time to start living in the joy of a future that will eventually come true!
Submitted by Patrick Hickey, Jr
The other day I was thinking about the fact that my dad had 12-year-old twin boys at my age. My parents spent their 20s working to provide for our family and raising my brother and me, while I spent my 20s going to college and establishing my career. Now in my early thirties, Josie Ann, my first child, is only five months old. My parents taught me so many valuable lessons, and I hope that I am able to teach my daughter a lot of them too. As my wife and I raise our little girl, we want to try to give her as many opportunities as we can while instilling some strong values. We want her to know that ...
Submitted by Kelsey Sprowell
I had a lot of fear about going back to work after my daughter was born. My own mom, whom I admire, didn't work after I was born.
That fear completely evaporated after about six months! My initial fear was probably common; I just couldn't imagine that anyone else could possibly love my daughter and take care of her the way I do. But I noticed right away that she came home from "school" smelling like her teachers, so I knew she was being held all day, and that was reassuring. Also, she never cried when I dropped her off, which helped. And every time we got to school, all of the teachers addressed her (not me) - "Hi Olivia!"
I was also nervous about missing out. I didn't want to miss her first steps, for instance. But what I've found is that the work week is really short, and I don't miss much. I don't ever get annoyed or fed up with her because we're just not together long enough to get on each other's nerves.
I love my job, and the people I work with, so before Olivia was born (and after), I couldn't imagine staying home, even though my mom had done that. I get so much fulfillment from working and being a mom.