Motherhood has made me a completely different person. Pre-baby I would have NEVER “quit” a program. I never backed down in the face of challenges and always succeeded. I was tough, driven and, honestly, a little insane.
Enter Sabine and my priorities have changed drastically. If it weren’t for the fact I’ve sported the same haircut for more than a decade I might not recognize myself when I look in the mirror.
In January I started a program to become a personal trainer. I signed up for the two-part Master’s level program that had a first session running from January through mid June and a second session starting in July and running through September. The first session is part-time and, while challenging to leave my baby two nights and one day a week, is totally doable. The second session, which is the Master’s level course, runs Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and then has internship hours afterwards running late into the night some days.
Old Belle thought this would be just fine. Surely I’d be ok leaving my then one year-old child in the hands of a nanny for 40-50 hours a week. Lots of people start doing it at 3 months. It would be just fine!
New Belle is freaking out about it. I’m lucky that we can live a minimal life and survive, albeit modestly, in this expensive city. While working and making additional money would be very helpful, it is not absolutely necessary. This means that I don’t have to leave my baby full-time like this. It means that I can complete the first session, sit for my certification exams, and start training on a part-time basis in late summer/early fall. Not doing the Master’s session does not mean I can’t and won’t train and it does not mean I can’t complete the master’s hours it in the future when Sabine is older and weaned (she still will only drink milk from the breast).
I am struggling with feeling like I’m quitting, but I know I’m not. I am still moving forward with a new career, I am just putting my child as the priority. This is new stuff for a once very selfish and painfully career driven person. I’m having a hard time telling people that the plan is changing. I am worried that people will think less of me which is RIDICULOUS! I know my role as “mother” will always and forever take the front seat to career. It’s just that this new role still feels really foreign.
So that is where I stand today. I’ll be done with school in mid June and will spend the summer taking my certification exam and doing some continuing education credits to specialize in pre and post-natal. I’ll also spend my summer with my little girl, who is getting bigger and more fun by the day. I just don’t want to miss a moment of it!
How have you adjusted to the “mother” role? Any tips for when I do start working and leave her on a part-time basis with a care-taker? What can make this transition for me easier?