March 1, 2017
In March, both of my boys will celebrate their birthdays. The littlest will be one. One whole year that he has been on the planet. One whole year of getting to know each other. One whole year of late nights and early mornings and falling madly in love. Falling in love with him, falling in love with our family as a foursome and falling in love with a redefined version of self.
When I had my first son, I welcomed my return to work and was thrilled to find myself again. I remember on my first day back in the office, I looked at myself in the mirror, smiled and thought to myself, “There you are. Good to see you again. I missed you.”
When I had my second little boy, I welcomed my return to work once again, but this time it was different. Because I was already a mom, the way I defined myself had already shifted. It wasn’t that I felt like myself again, it was that it was simply still me. There was no longer the work me and the mom me — it was all me.
Just me trying to figure out how to get out of the house in the mornings with jackets and breast pumps and presentations. Just me trying to juggle six-month check-ups and Valentine’s Day parties and brainstorms. Just me thinking about work at home and thinking about home at work – but damn well knowing the importance of being present.
There is often talk of work/life balance and how that is a line that no longer exists. That line is blurred. It is all life. That is how I feel about myself. There is no longer a work me and a mom me — it is all me. One whole me.
So on his one-year birthday, it’s wild to look back. Not only on everything amazing that he has accomplished in his one year on the planet, but also on everything I’ve accomplished on his one year on the planet. And trust me, as a mom, that is hard to do.
Quite often you are focused on everything outside of yourself. There isn’t time for self-reflection. You value the joy, time and success of others over your own. Not because you are a martyr, but because you are a mother.
So, my Chase River: We made it. We did it. Thank you for everything you have brought to our lives. Your belly laughs. Your koala hugs. The way you blow kisses from your ear. You have brought us so much love and so much beautiful perspective. You have made our family and our lives complete. Here’s to another dance around the sun.