Five years ago we asked Meghan Bradley to chronicle life with baby as a working mom. Looking back, she realizes all her fretting was for nothing – Davis is growing up beautifully.
Davis was only 18 months old when I was invited to write the Mommy Diaries series for ParentsCanada. I was to present the point of view of the mom with a career outside the home while my friend, Tracy, was to talk about being a full-time mom. Looking back at that first article, I was clearly overwhelmed about balancing work with motherhood!
Subsequent articles were about financial worries, housekeeping, being competitive with full-time moms and various developmental concerns about Davis. One article talked about labelling our children and reminded me how neurotic I was where Davis was concerned. At one point, I worried about autism and then moved on to OCD. He has neither. I winced a little when I read the article about separation anxiety because I was a blubbering mess for eight weeks when Davis was first left in daycare. (He was having a terrific time!)
There was the article where I was anxious about Davis’ potty training. Then, our family doctor told me that Davis would get there when he wanted to and not any sooner. She was right. One day, he just decided that he was done with diapers and that was that. Davis does things when Davis wants to and my agenda is irrelevant. That took a while to learn.
Despite endless swimming lessons, Davis wouldn’t learn to swim until he got in the pool with his Aunt Marlene one afternoon. He wouldn’t even try to swim with the private instructor at $75/hour. But all of a sudden, within the hour, he was swimming with Aunt Marlene.
All of these various phases in Davis’ life seemed all-consuming at the time. Now, I can barely remember most of these stages and needed to re-read the older articles of Mommy Diaries. One of those articles was about Momnesia (memory loss after having a baby). That one clearly still applies!
When Davis comes home upset about something that happened at school, I try to console him and let him know that it won’t seem like such a big deal tomorrow. In reflecting on my new mom anxiety over the last five years, I would like to give myself the same advice. Whatever was pressing in Davis’ early years is not on the radar today.
Raising Davis has become easier and easier as time marches on. I love the age that he is right now and I am far more relaxed than I was when he was younger. As Davis got older, I realized that he was going to make it through those earlier obstacles whether I was worrying about it or not. Davis would work through diapers and first days of school at his own pace. He would get over disappointments and flu bugs. He would grow up beautifully whether I was fretting or not.
He is a remarkable little boy. He is smart, sociable, funny, generous, caring and good at all kinds of sports. We got lucky! He has turned out well despite my many goofs along the way.
Davis is about to get his tonsils out. I am worried, but I remind myself that thousands of kids have it done every year and they all live to talk about it (once their throats are healed!)
So, I will take a deep breath as, tomorrow, they wheel him into day surgery. He will be fine. And, by day’s end, another hurdle will have been completed. (Editor’s note: Davis came through the surgery without a hitch. Meghan survived, too.)
One day at a time and, as I told Davis, whatever happens today will not seem like a big deal tomorrow. He and I are learning that lesson together. My sister is dealing with teenage sons and I have a feeling that the neurosis will kick back in when Davis turns 13.
But for now, it’s all good.
Published in March 2011.