The Single Purple Mitten and How it Changed My Life
Let me tell you about a single purple mitten and how it changed my life. Before having my little one, I was a successful interior designer. I worked for a well-known firm, had a comfortable position, and was able to design interiors that some only dream of. But that all changed when I decided to leave it all, move to Italy and start a family.
It was all great, for a short amount of time until I realized - motherhood wasn't a challenge for me. Although I am a loving, caring person, giving up my career was always a struggle for me. I felt I needed something more than the same old baby routine of eat, sleep, poop. It just wasn't challenging enough and I felt like I wasn't contributing anything to the world.
We decided to move home and I went back to work. Every morning was the same struggle to get out the door. It was a mad dash to get baby ready, myself ready (and somewhat presentable), into the car (after clearing the mounds of snow off of it), and get to the babysitter for 7:30. Then I had an hours commute in front of me, in rush hour traffic. I worked until my eyes drooped down my face then did the hour commute home again to only rush to get her fed, bathed, and into bed.
The Turning Point
One day, my boss's mother died. I'm not very good with death because I really haven't experienced it with someone close to me. But what I did know was the significance of what death meant to a mother and a daughter. One of my co-workers said, "she'll be back to work tomorrow". I was taken aback by this comment, because I know that I would need more than a day to get over such a death. She was back the next day.
At the wake, there was another funeral taking place downstairs from ours. It was for a 29 year-old mother who died in a car crash. 29. Mother. Car Crash. I am a 29 year-old mother, who commutes to and from work every day, in winter snow and rush hour traffic. This thought upset me more than anything that day.
When we returned from the wake, I went into my purse to get something and at the bottom was a single purple mitten. I pulled it out and looked at it. I then looked around at my office. What did this all mean? I had one mitten and my baby had the other. It just didn't make sense for 2 mittens to be apart. It defeated the purpose.
I sat down at my computer and typed out my resignation letter. I left it on my superiors desk and walked out, never to return.
Perhaps I was overreacting. But I can live with that. I can live with not having a career, an abundance of money, and all the perks that go with the job. But what I couldn't live with is the regret and the chance that she wouldn't have her mother there with her every step of the way, because she's always at work or the alternative. I can't live without my baby and she can't live without me. We're 2 purple mittens, meant to be together.
Where We Are Now
I made the decision to stay at home and have fun with her. I want to give her all of the energy and time that I can muster. I'm now staying at home as a online media manager and writer, which works around our time and schedule.
The only thing that I find challenging about motherhood is motherhood itself. The struggle between it and the rest of the world. Remembering that I chose to be a mother and this is something that I want to do. There are a lot of people in the world who don't understand that, but they don't have to.
And if I forget all of this again, I'll always have a little purple mitten to remind me.
An Inspirational Video
Fun Motherhood Reads
10 Myths About Motherhood
1. You'll love being a mother
Some women completely thrive on being mothers. Their child's every wish is their command and they succeed with grace and elegance. While others (myself included) stumble through their day and hope that the one shred of sanity they have left stays in tact for another day. Parts of motherhood are down right annoying, while others are incredibly rewarding. When I creep into her bedroom at night and cover her back over, smelling her baby scent in the air, it all seems worthwhile.
2. You'll always love spending time with your kids
I took a parenting course (yes, they do have these for people who think they can learn it all), and I learned that you don't have to give yourself to your children 100% of the time. You need me time. You don't have to pretend to love spending time with your kids all day every day. You need some alone time. It's normal. It doesn't make you a bad mother.
3. There is a right and a wrong answer for everything
There are a lot of instances in motherhood where you have to think quick. You have to weigh all the options and deal with all the situations that come your way. Sometimes you'll be right, sometimes you'll be wrong. No one is going to judge you. You're only human. You'll learn from your mistakes just as your little ones will.
4. I will never let my child do that
If you child wants to do something, they'll do it. Sometimes it's a case of properly disciplining them, but some traits are just naturally engrained in our children. They also go through phases, like the terrible two's. I always said "I will never let my child scream in public". Aha, nice try on my part, but no cigar. She's screamed in public many times. Many, many times. It happens, but that doesn't make me a bad mother.
5. Other moms are your allies
Some parents are over-competitive by nature. Perhaps you want your child to be the next Beethoven or Andre Agassi. But another mother has the same idea as you. Watch out. Motherhood is super competitive and there always seems to be one in the pack who wants to be number one. Choose your playdates wisely.
6. You can take care of the baby all by yourself
When I was flying home from Italy, I was all alone. A very helpful mother on board with me helped with my little one. She turned to me and said "it takes a whole village to raise a child". That comment stuck with me. Although you may think that you can do it all alone, reality is that you may need help from time to time. Whether it's to take a shower or run to the corner store, you'll need a helping hand along the way.
7. Mothers have a natural bond with their children, more than fathers do
I know a lot of mothers who don't feel as close to their children as much as the fathers do. And why is this a bad thing? Isn't it better for them to feel part of the equation than left out altogether? I would have loved for my father to be closer with me, because as they say "like father like daughter". They're just as part of us as our mothers are, so move over for a little while and take a load off.
8. Your life will change completely
Although this is correct to a certain degree, it isn't 100% accurate. I still like to go out with my friends, go to parties, and have fun. It might not be as easy to drop everything in whim as it was before baby, but with the right amount of planning, I'm able to do a lot of the things I used to do. I can't go on a bender for 24 hours, but who wants to do that any more? No thanks.
9. Good mothers always keep their home and children immaculate
I have this idea - there is a difference between messy and dirty. Sometimes (or most of the time) my little one's hair is messy. But it's not dirty. Just pull a comb through it and voila! I'm a good mother again! Having a messy home is not just cause for calling social services. Children will make a mess. That's what being a kid is all about. Sing the "tidy-up" song, get them to help out with the mess, and all will be right in the world.
10. Why can't I be perfect like other mothers?
Guess what? There aren't any perfect mothers. To my knowledge. Anywhere. There is no bible for motherhood and every child and family is different. All mothers have good days and bad days. Some may deal with stress better than others, but this in no way shape or form makes them perfect mothers. We can only do as best as we can and nurture our children within our means.
Be a work-at-home mom, too
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