If I knew who I was, I likely wouldn’t need this blog 🙂
When Scott and I first talked about having kids, I was working a cushy government job, and he was working retail. While he did have vague plans to go back to school, we figured when kids entered the picture, we’d split mat/parental leave 50-50. Then, if we were in a position (which we very well could have been) for one of us to stay home after that first year, it would be him. Perhaps he’d freelance. Perhaps he’d work from home. Kids were years away, so we had time to deal with the details. Having always been the major breadwinner to that point, there was no existential crisis brewing in adding “mommy” to my list of job titles.
After severe job cuts in the public sector, and Scott’s immediate success in breaking into the IT industry, our roles reversed. Once Scott finished school, he started making marginally more than me (5 cents an hour), then substantially more than me. I also transitioned into a position in a post-secondary institution with an amazing maternity / parental package that made the most financial sense for me to take the full year off. While I felt that existential crisis brewing, I figured “it’ll be a while before we have kids, and we can figure out the details then”.
But life moved faster than expected and while we had definitely made the decision that we were ready to start a family, when it happened it still felt rushed, especially with the “who does this make me” dilemma rearing it’s ugly head. Even with just days away from birthing our child, the one thing that kept me up at night was “will I lose me?”
Without a doubt, the number one priority for the year stretching out before me is to give our child all the affection and attention and energy s/he deserves. But I also know it’s important that as this child grows and develops personalities, opinions and interests, it’s important that I help to model a strong sense of self. Having barely figured out who I was prior to getting pregnant, using this year to “opt out” of looking after me in favour of solely looking after the kid would likely set a trend that I don’t wish to continue. Instead, I’m going to make a conscious effort to look after me, too.
This blog is my bumbling journey to do just that!