When I found out I was pregnant, one of the first thoughts I had was I'm too selfish to be a mom! I know, even that thought was pretty selfish, huh? But I vowed to be brutally honest in this blog, so it's true. I had just graduated college a little over a year before and I was still looking for a my dream job. How was I supposed to have it all with a baby? This fear is something I wrestled with throughout my entire pregnancy. And to be honest, I still have this fear to some degree. Every decision I make comes back to 'am I doing this because it really is the best thing for Ella or because I can't fully let go of the dreams I had pre-baby?'
Although I can't imagine having anything come before Ella now, my entire life I had plans to put my career before having a family. I have a degree in political science, so I knew that I would have to work pretty hard to actually become successful in the male-dominated field of government. And I knew I would have to get out of Alabama. I was mentally prepared to take on this task. (I had even found apartments in North Carolina, which is where I wanted to live.) Therefore, I knew I had to become settled with a great career and be financially comfortable before even thinking of starting a family. This was just my mentality. Obviously, that didn't happpen the way I planned. So I have had to adjust accordingly. (Being a stay-at-home mom like I have been for the past four months never even crossed my mind when I saw my future!)
I have had to make myself understand that just because Ella was born, it doesn't mean that all of my old dreams just went away. This is okay. Moms have so much pressure on them to do it all. Be a great mom, have a great career while never missing a recital or baseball game, keep an immaculate house, and still try to have somewhat of a social life. All of this pressure makes us think we are being selfish just for wanting that great career or a night out with the girls. Most of the people I confided my fears told me that my dreams would change when I had a baby. This is true...somewhat. Every time I look into the future now, the first thing I see is Ella. But I still see some of those old dreams trying to pop out too. Again, this is okay! We don't have to change ALL of our plans because we have babies. Our babies just get to tag along now. I still want a great career that will satisfy me professionally. And now I have Ella to take care of everything outside of work. I think it's the best outcome possible, especially since KT is supportive of me still having the career of my dreams.
One great thing that started happening after I graduated college and then especially when I became pregnant was that I started thinking about what I really wanted out of life. Even though I had a baby coming (well actually, especially because I had a baby coming), I knew that my passion and not just a career needed to be something I started really thinking about. I really realized that I wanted a career that was rewarding mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, even if it didn't bring the most money. I finally acknowledged my love of reading and writing. So now in my future I see (in this order): Ella and KT, owning a bookstore, and writing (be that books, reviews, articles, freelance, blogs, whatever). I would be a liar if I said that I don't miss the freedom I had before having a baby because I still have days where I daydream about my "old daydreams", but then I look at Ella and new dreams (coupled with my old dreams) have arisen. And trust me, I still worry I make may a decison out of selfishness sometimes. Let's just hope KT will call me on it!
In the next couple of months KT and I have some big decisions to make about where we want to move and start our lives. Hopefully, my "selfishness" won't get in the way. :)
P.S. For those of you who read yesterdays post and were expecting some pictures of Ella, what can I say? I have a million things to do in a day and it just didn't happen. Or could it be because KT is awesome and let me sleep in until 2 p.m. so nothing got accomplished today??? :) Either way, tomorrow it is!!