A new mom with a precious newborn baby boy with DS recently asked me what it was like to return to work after Everett born and, “How did you find the perfect work/life balance?” I struggled to answer this question because….spoiler alert — there isn’t really a balance or a “perfect solution” to the work/life struggle. If you’re striving for the “perfect solution” to anything, you’re probably setting yourself up for failure, especially as it relates to mommin’. From my experience, in the past when I thought I had achieved “balance” or the “perfect solution” in my work/life sphere, my entire family would come down with the stomach flu (or strep throat, or something else) and I would quickly find myself in a vicious cycle of imbalance, rather than balance. And my “perfect” little solution would get tossed out the window in lieu of primordial survival. It’s true…when it comes to being a busy mom these days, the struggle is real and mommin’ ain’t easy. And a big part of that is figuring out how to manage the many tensions in our lives that yank us in vastly different directions (oftentimes simultaneously), including those that push us towards work obligations and those that pull us back home. And while I’m definitely still a student in this area, over the course of the last couple of years as I’ve cycled in and out of various states of work (e.g. maternity leaves, new jobs, side hustles, etc.) while raising two small children, I’ve learned a few things. I’ve also conducted some research regarding the topics of communication and work/life balance, and along the way I’ve picked up a few survival strategies that have proven to be quite useful as I juggle the many mom-related and work-related responsibilities that fuel my long days/short years. If you find yourself in a situation where you could use some direction in this area, here are my 5 tips for success while seeking to strike a doable balance for you, your family, and your unique circumstances, aka, “the mama mix.” It’s important to note, that these tips are specific, yet general enough to help any mama who finds herself busied by a variety of occupations including the SAHM (stay-at-home-mom). It’s all about the “mix,” so tailor each suggestion to your own set of work and family circumstances.
Archives for February 2017
Have you ever heard this phrase before? — “God only gives special children to special people.” I have. Too many times, actually. That seemed to be a “go to” response when we broke the news of Everett’s diagnosis to friends and family after he was born. And while the statement was well-intended, it always irked me a little. You see, I am in no way “special” because I’m the mother of a child with some unique abilities and concerns. Quite the opposite. I’m just an ordinary person, doing my best to raise my children to the best of my ability while pushing a merry-go-round of personal and professional responsibilities. Some days the merry-go-round spins as planned, but on other days I have to really dig in and run alongside the merry-go-round until it reaches a “doable” speed. On these occasions, I really start to question my endurance, patience, and ability…like so many other mamas out there. Which brings me to the primary theme of this blog post — ability. You see, I don’t believe I inherently have any special abilities and as such, God chose me to raise a “special child.” I tend to gravitate to another statement I’ve seen posted on social media by several other Rockin’ mamas:
God doesn’t give special children to special parents. He takes ordinary, imperfect people, and gifts them with his greatest treasures. And therein, he creates special parents.
Here’s a story that demonstrates this exact quote. It’s a true story, verbatim and uncut (in typical mamability.com fashion) from those tough “early days” I so often write about.
5 Things All New Parents of a Baby with Down syndrome Should Know — Mainly, It’s Going to Be Okay!
I recall a lot…I mean a lot…of irrational fears that I experienced in those crucial moments right after Everett was born and diagnosed. No mother deserves to be slapped in the face with the intense fear and guilt that I experienced in those immediate hours and days. If there is one thing I would like to accomplish with this blog (there are several, actually, but if I had to narrow it down to one…), it would be to ease the unnecessary fears that many new parents experience after learning of their new baby’s Down syndrome diagnosis. Everett received a postnatal diagnosis, but I would imagine those who experience a prenatal diagnosis might grapple with some of the same concerns and fears I address below. So, regardless of whether the diagnosis came before or after your baby’s birth, here are 5 things all new parents of a baby with Down syndrome should know.