Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Time Passes with lots and lots of joy

We all know time goes by so quickly. One minute we have a screaming newborn and the next we have a jabbering toddler who is drinking milk from a real cup!!! The constant growth of our little girl aside I realized last week that I have been back at work full time for just over a year now, 13 months to be exact. For some reason this milestone really struck me.

When I went back to work I thought it was the hardest thing EVER. Sure it was hard to leave Margot, but what was really hard was juggling it all. I went back to work at my 40-50 hours a week from the beginning. Starting with week one I returned to lots of 7am meetings, 5pm networking events and city council meetings from 7pm-10pm. But this isn't designed to be a post about how hard being a working Mom is. On the contrary. Sure Margot and I had a challenging adjustment at times. Two weeks after returning I had my first day where I practically didn't see her at all. Pumping sucked and sucked and then it sucked some more. For the first 6 weeks I was back at work Margot woke up every single freaking hour to nurse all night long! I was a walking zombie for the first few months. But we got through it. Each week it got a little bit easier. We got better at juggling our time, we changed our expectations of how we ran the house, we streamlined dinners and we started to find balances.

I don't like the term work-life balance. I think it creates a misconception that there is a perfect balance out there that we should all be able to achieve. I think we just do what we need to do. This can be a challenging time in our lives. For us, and for many of our friends, we are young and new to our careers. We are still trying to pay off loans and build up our financial stability and we are trying to be the best parents, spouses and friends we can be.

Chris and I have an admittedly crazy life. And I know that many people think we work too much and take on too much. To some extent that's true. I have found a lot of joy in being a working Mom. I love my job and I love working. I enjoying getting dressed up every morning and being out in the community working with interesting people and on interesting issues. I love the crazy rush of an issue campaign, the energy, the ideas, the off hours meetings over beer and of course, the win! I also love the time Margot and I have together. Because I'm away from her all day I feel like our time together is so precious. When we are together it's all about playing, reading, snuggling and enjoying our time. And I love our reunions each day, the head tilt smile from her, the REAL hug and the jabbering all the way home.

I think, for me, working makes me a happier person and that makes me a better wife and mother. The truth is that I dreaded returning to work after Margot was born but I was so wrong. Returning to work has turned out to be a wonderful thing for me and I'm so grateful to have that part of my life and to have my funny Margot.

Margot and I a few weeks ago before Church. She is wearing a wool dress coat and matching bonnet that was mine as a baby.

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