My Ode to Working Moms

I’m writing this after not blogging for a long time.

Like many things in my life, I feel like blogging, although it’s an outlet I thoroughly enjoy, is not always on the top of my list, and I often feel guilty about that.

But I’m writing this as a note to new working moms: you’re doing a good job.

Whether you realize is or not, doing the best you can do IS good enough. 

I constantly feel torn between my work life and my family life, and I am lucky and honored to work at a not-for-profit organization that gets me and values me. 

A friend of mine, who is also a new working mom, shared this video on her Facebook page, and after working late and not seeing my baby tonight and being tired and knowing I’ll be working late again tomorrow, it made me cry: 

http://www.whattoexpect.com/wom/baby/working-moms-this-emotional-ad-shows-youre-doing-better-than-you-think 

It made me cry because I know what this woman feels like. Because I know that doubt well. Because I know how affirming positive feedback is. Because I want to remember this video when someone I manage has a baby, so give them this experience. Kudos to Chicco for creating this video.

Because being a new working mom is gratifying and terrifying and relieving. Because we are trying the best we can, and that’s good and important. And just because I work and “don’t have the privilege” to stay at home with my sweet daughter, that’s ok, and, for me, that’s good. Because I can be a good colleague and employee and manager and friend…and a good mom. At least, that’s the balance I aspire to achieve.

I’m not writing this to fish for compliments or anything like that. But more to say, I know it’s hard, but do your best and that’s wonderful. And surround yourself with people who will support you and love you and make you better.

Xo

Happy May 9th!

Seems crazy for Mother’s Day to pass by without saying anything! These days being a mom is my favorite topic. Hehe. However, I was a little busy yesterday mothering and traveling. My apologies for my tardiness. So, anyway, here goes.

Mother’s Day has always been a wonderful day to celebrate because, I may me biased, but I swear my mom is the best. She raised us full-time, and only now can I appreciate what that really means. Honestly, I don’t know if I could do it, and with such grace. She was born to be a mom. It comes natural to her, and I feel extremely lucky to be her daughter. And if being an amazing mom isn’t good enough, she’s the greatest grandma around! My parents even took Ellie last weekend so I could go to Palm Springs with my girlfriends (more on that later!). What a gift! 

My mom may have learned a thing of two from my grandma, the matriarch of our family at the ripe old age of 95. But don’t let that fool you: she hosts our annual Kalish girls holiday party, loves Skipbo and Bingo, lets us come and hang out at her pool, and cooks us food when we come to visit. I am so blessed to have her in my life, and I learn so much from her every time I talk to her. She’s tough, smart, and so sweet, and I’m so glad Ellie gets to spend time with her, too.

My sister became a mom five years ago, and has since had three of the most animated children I’ve ever met. Again, she’s a natural at it (did this gene skip me?), and until my little girl, I don’t think any little ones have filled my heart with such joy as hers. They love to sing and dance, play games and make believe, and I love when little Charles calls Ellie, “Baby”, even though he’s just a baby himself. And it’s equally fun to watch my big sis care for these sweet nuggets.

Then I got married, almost five years ago, and gained two more mothers and more grandmothers. Strong women with so much heart, all hard-working with a passion for life and to live it to the fullest. Role models for me and little Ellie, for sure.

And now, there’s me. The past three Mother’s Days have been transformative: hoping to be a mother, gleefully pregnant with a healthy baby (boy or girl, only time would tell!), and now mother to one of the most complex humans on the planet. Oh, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! She makes you work hard for a glimpse of her million-dollar smile, but when you see it, it radiates. Watching her laugh, her concentrate, her confusion, her excitement, her sadness, her sense of humor, her wonder…there is nothing in the world like it. 

I’m a huge fan of Nancy Tillman’s children’s books, especially On the Night You Were Born

Heaven blew every trumpet 
and played every horn
on the wonderful, marvelous
night you were born.

Thanks for giving me the joyful roller coaster of motherhood, Ellie Belly. I’m so blessed to be your mommy, and to be surrounded by so much love and support.

She’s Arrived! Meet the Newest Second City Gal 

It’s been a little more than eight weeks since I’ve posted, but I swear I have a good excuse. Nate and I welcomed the sweetest little girl into the world on Friday, June 26. She is healthy, happy, has a head of vibrant red hair with beautiful blue eyes like her daddy and a feisty personality like me. She already smiles, makes funny faces, and loves cuddles. She has stolen our hearts, and I am head over heels for her. She’s the newest Second City Gal: Ellie.

Now, it has been quite a roller coaster, and let me tell you: the highs are high and the lows are very low. No one can really prepare you for how stressful, anxiety-filled, life-altering (should I continue) those first few weeks are. You are mentally and physically exhausted. I cried when I was happy. I cried when I was sad. I cried when I didn’t know if I was happy or sad. I felt guilty for wanting to go to work because that would be easier than the mystery of motherhood (25 hours of labor–yes, 25–would be easier). I felt fragile, like I could break at any moment, and I did…a lot…yet I had to keep it together for this tiny human that I’ve been excited about for the past 10 months. I felt scared that I wasn’t as joyful as I thought I could or should be. 

One thing I did know was that I felt (and still feel) extremely grateful for everyone who texted, called, emailed, visited, sent a card, made food, brought/sent a card or gift, held her, and gave me the support I needed (still need). There’s nothing more special than sharing this experience with others.

People kept telling me it would get better. I stared at them blankly thinking, “When?” But it has. I’m definitely not out of the woods yet. I still feel vulnerable, but my confidence has grown. I’m starting to know Ellie more: what she needs and what she wants. It’s truly like getting to know a stranger who relies on you to survive. She is a good baby, and I feel blessed for that. 

I miss her when I’m not with her…her smile, her smell. I love the way our pup George protects his sis and kisses her toes. (I call us the three musketeers now because we are always together.) I look forward to the many adventures we will have as a family now. A family…it feels unreal to say. 

I daydream about what she’ll be like in five years, 10 years, 20 years. What she’ll look like. I hope she is a smart girl, a sweet girl. I hope she laughs a lot, and knows that she can come to me with anything and everything. I hope that she finds love in her life. I hope she has a good support system of friends. I hope she doesn’t grow up too fast. I hope she doesn’t stress too much. I hope she feels safe. 

I hope she knows I will do anything for her: I just want her to be happy. And know I will love her always. 

Love you, Ellie. You are everything. 

 xo. Mommy