In the eight years that I spent home with kids full-time, I didn't realize that I was missing anything.
When I left my job for maternity leave, I fully intended to return almost full-time in a special arrangement I had spent months perfecting. I would work a set number of hours from home each week and spend two full days in the office or in the field meeting with clients.
What I hadn't planned for was the overwhelming desire I felt in those early weeks of my daughter's life to spend every moment of every day with her.
Without planning to, I made motherhood my full-time career during those years as we welcomed our second, and then our third, daughter into our family. My work during those years was feeding, changing, bathing, keeping house, reading, playing, cooking, laundering, and training. When we later decided to home-school our children, I added curriculum planning and teaching to my daily plans.
It wasn't until I started doing some freelance writing that I realized what had been missing during those years.
What I did before was re-creating. Every day, I work
ed to re-create a sense of order and peace in our home by completing the same tasks, again and again. It wasn't drudgery. There is joy in the every day, especially with three beautiful lives unfolding before my eyes. But apart from dinner (devoured in minutes) and memories, I wasn't creating anything.
Finding a creative outlet gave me a new spark for life. I even started waking up at 4:30 in the morning, just so I could have more time to write.
If I could go back 9 years, to my first summer of motherhood, I would make room in my life for creativity. Between play dates and vacuuming, I would tell myself that even though I might not think so, finding meaningful work would add a lot to my life, energizing me for motherhood in a way nothing else could.
Photo credit iStockphoto
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