Split-Brain Mommy

Moses was born on a sweltering day in June. Like all  new moms, I was overjoyed and could not believe the treasure I held in my arms. 

The first couple months was a torrent of blissful cuddles, timed nursings,  visits to lactation nurses, logging ounces drank, documenting diaper matter, lugging a car seat around, and counting hours of sleep. As a stay-at-home mom, taking care of baby was 24/7, and the most pressing decision each day  was what to do while my baby was napping. Should I eat, take a shower, close my eyes,  or go to the bathroom? Which one did I need to do most? 

As Moses grew bigger and his naps grew longer,  our schedule was less rushed we had new routines. A walk in the park in the stroller. Tummy time. Teething toys. Trying out solid food. Finally, more down time for me.  But then the split-brain thoughts started coming in:

While driving back from the grocery store with Moses happily kicking his feet in the back seat: “He looks so content.  What kind of job could I do that is part-time? ”

While waiting for Moses to wake up from his nap in the car: “This is great, I can spend so much time with my son. I can’t wait to read to him. But I should go back to work.”

While cooking dinner and watching him cruise around the living room:  “So glad I did not miss his first steps. I really should do the exercises in What Color is your Parachute * and set up some informational interviews.”

While giving Moses a bath and watching him teethe on his bath toys: “He has the cutest smile and just loves taking a bath. I need to find a job. But I don’t want to go back to teaching. How are we going to afford preschool? ”

While watching him put together a puzzle: “My staying home with Moses is best for the family.  What about working at a non-profit? ”

While patting Moses down to sleep at night:  “I need to go back to school and get a well-paying job for once. What should I do? ”

These relentless back and forth thoughts pushed me to action.  By the time Moses was nine-months old,  I  hired a babysitter  two days a week and enrolled in Legal Writing and Research at the local community college.  I was considering law school.

 

Reflections:

It look me about a year to realize that law school was not a panacea for my  needing to do something professional and respectable with my life in addition to being a mom. I completed a Civil Litigation class at another community college and started interviewing for legal assistant positions I found on Craigslist.  My plan was to find a part-time entry-level job in the legal field to get experience before applying to law school. Unfortunately, the consensus  was that (with two Stanford degrees) I was overeducated.  Finally, an attorney friend of mine gave me a job answering phones and filing papers for his boutique law firm. You don’t want to be a lawyer, he told me. After a few months listening to arguing through closed doors, I came to the same conclusion. I wanted a well-paying job, but I did not want to be a lawyer.

 

Author: Patricia Tina Wu

I'm a teacher educator, realtor, mom, and now also a blogger. I've worked in corporate sales and marketing and as an elementary school teacher. Settling into a career has always been difficult for me. I hope that my experiences will help career seekers, young people, and their parents navigate what is sometimes a confusing and difficult area of life. I'm not out of the desert yet, but things are finally starting to make more sense.

2 thoughts on “Split-Brain Mommy”

    1. Hello Tazin! Thank you for reading! I’m back to writing again. Steve and I were flipping through the Bible one evening joking about the Biblical names that could make a child’s life miserable such as Aminadab, Jehosophat, etc. and we came upon Moses and then looked at teach other at the same time like we liked the name. It was surprising to us. Steve’s best friend’s son was born recently and his name is Jethro (Moses’ father in law.) There is a verse that we wanted bless Moses with it is something along the lines of God spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with a friend. That was it, that was our blessing for our child, a close relationship with God. Moses was a humble servant and friend to God. This is what we want for him. So glad I have one trusted blog reader! I lost my momentum so I am trying to catch up now.

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