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A Life In Transition

Blog

The Ups, Downs and Sideways of Working Motherhood

A Life In Transition

Alex Steinman

The other day I heard the term "in transition" referencing people in-between jobs. It was meant negatively, as in someone who doesn't have their shit together. Oprah would probably say that transition is the time right before you live your best life. I tend to believe Oprah, so let's skip the negativity and go with that. The anticipation and expectation of what's on the other side can be daunting and debilitating.

My darling friend Dani of Lovely Letter Design Co. popped by to catch up after a trip to Disney with her toddler. Given that crowds, long lines and the hot sun on her #gingerbaby don't scare her, you can tell she's a pretty badass and fearless mama. She's currently going through her own transition, searching for a full-time job. Even this amazing SAHM, who owns her own business and runs the shit out of life gets imposter syndrome when thinking about her next move and what she might not know or understand when she gets there.

In labor, transition is a stage your body goes through right before you potato cannon the baby out. It's the worst, most painful part of labor. The "in-between" also refers to that time right before you're due date. You're so uncomfortable that you would do anything to get the baby out, but you're also terrified because you realize you haven't read any books about how to actually keep a child alive, and you're pretty sure your 6th grade babysitting skills are not going to save you.

The truth is, life is all about tiny decisions and indecisions that shift the course of your own history. You are constantly transitioning from one moment to the next, and each time you make a leap, at least some of your shit will not be together.

Working parents experience transition in every aspect of their lives, adjusting work, sleep and activity schedules. Our kids are ever-evolving creatures, and the minute you think you have them figured out, they shit the bed (true story). Routines, once mastered, are out the window as you transition from two, to one, to no naps a day. You're not only adapting to your own aging, but the growth of your nuggets and the transitioning emotions that puts you through.

I've always been a soul searcher, finding new things that add joy to my life and releasing those that no longer lift me up. This rings truer now as a working parent with limited time. It forces me to prioritize in the best way. If I'm not going to be with my kids, I might as well be doing something that makes me half as happy as they make me.

This blog and business is a true testament to my constant state of movement. I typically write after everyone has gone to bed, but recently #QueenZee has turned #Gingerbaby's post-bedtime bliss into party time. I also can't get through one glass of wine in my jammies without falling asleep. I thought each drink would build up some tolerance after ten months of pregnant sobriety. Wrong. I've increased my coffee intake during the day, which I think is turning Z into a night owl. The vicious cycle is my own doing, but I'm not willing to give up wine, coffee or my children (most days).

It's taken me forever to write this post in several coffee shops as I rock the baby in the carseat with one hand and type with the other. I never considered myself ambidextrous, but that skill comes with the transition to a mom of two.

The point is, transitioning can't be a negative thing if we're always going through it. Sometimes it can be terrifying, like transitioning back to work or into a family of four. All of it makes you who you are, and if you hate it, your next transition is likely right around the corner.

If you've ever listened to Beyonce's entire anthology, you understand the Queen's metamorphosis from girl group to single slayer. She has all the support, money and hairstylists in the world, and she's still figuring out who she is. Cut yourself some slack, release a surprise album and embrace your transition.

P.S. You might also enjoy Bye Bye Baby and To All Strong Mamas.