Good Moms

I‘m going back to work in two weeks.  For a while, I felt guilty because–quite honestly–I can’t wait. I love what I do, and I love having two or three days a week where I’m out of the house.  It leaves me refreshed and ready for whatever’s next.   Working part time is a good thing for me and my family.

Yet there are a lot of people who would make me continue to feel guilty about that.  They say that a Good Mom does not work outside of the home; that a Good Mom stays home if she is financially able to(and I am) and raises her children, cooks dinner, and does various other sundry things.  These people exist, and unfortunately, I seem to read a lot of their blogs.
I finally stopped feeling guilty about this the last three months.  I’ve been off work since April, and my husband and I realized, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it has not been a healthy thing for our family.

And yet, I am a Good Mom.

Because Good Moms do what is best for their family; whether it is work full time, part time, or stay at home.  Good Moms know that this is going to be different for each family, and they stop listening to other people and make their choices based on their own circumstances.

Good Moms sometimes feed their kids spaghettios and hot dogs. 

Good Moms sometimes yell at their children when the children dump an entire gallon of milk onto the floor because they did not wait to ask Mommy for a drink.

Good Moms sometimes don’t bother to put pajamas on the two-year-old just because he’s fallen asleep on the couch and they don’t want to risk waking him up.

Good Moms sometimes let the kids watch television simply because it is the only time they aren’t talking to her.

Good Moms have been known to lock themselves in the bathroom just to escape their own children for a few minutes.

Good Moms are not above telling their children it is later than it actually is just to get the kids into bed an hour early.

And Good Moms know that it’s okay.  That there are a thousand ways to be a good mom, and no way to be a perfect one.  That we will all fail a hundred times a day at being a mom, but that our kids will turn out okay despite our failings. They know that the choices others make don’t have to be their choices, and that every family needs different things. And good moms aren’t afraid to make the choices that are right for their family, even when those choices are unpopular.

Olivia Katherine Grace

ImageThis is Olivia Katherine Grace. Born May 30th at 9:30 am, weighing in at 8 pounds, 9 ounces and 21 inches long. She has the cutest face that begs to be kissed a million times a day, and the most delicious little feet.  She likes nursing, a lot, and snuggling on Daddy’s chest.  She doesn’t like her crib, and she isn’t sure yet what she thinks of her brother, who keeps trying to feed her playdough.

She started out as Olivia Grace, the name her Daddy picked.  Mommy wanted Katherine, had always wanted a Katherine, and had agreed to Olivia with the understanding that the next daughter would be Katie.  And then by the time we went to name her, to fill out the paperwork, we knew there would not be any more daughters.  We knew by then we were holding the only little girl we were going to have, and that if I wanted a Katherine, she was it.

So we gave her two middle names.  We kept Grace because it was grace and grace alone that Olivia and I were okay.  Had I gone into labor at home, like the doctor kept expecting and saying I was going to and not understanding why I hadn’t, there would not be an Olivia and a Mommy.  Instead, I went into labor just hours before my scheduled c-section, and was already at the hospital waiting to be prepped for surgery when the contractions ripped my uterus apart. 

And Olivia Katherine Grace was able to be born within minutes, and all was well. 

Someday, I expect to look at a baby, or hear a pregnancy announcement, and wish for those ghost children I will never have.  The ones I had planned on, hoped for, dreamt of–the ones that will never be.  Right now, I’m too busy kissing tiny feet and dancing in the kitchen with my son.  We are too busy enjoying each other and being thankful for what is, instead of dwelling on what can’t be.

But sometimes, I think about never feeling another child flutter inside.  I think about never breathing in another newborn baby smell, or choosing a name, or finding out the gender.  I hate pregnancy, but I love the babies, and sometimes I think about never having another one.  I think that no matter how many children a woman has, or how old she is, when that realization finally comes that there are no more babies, there is always a moment of sadness.

Yet I have Joshua, and I have Olivia, and I believe–wholeheartedly–that they are my greatest gifts, and it is enough.