If you had asked me two years ago if I wanted another kid, I would have told you what I still tell everyone, my husband and I are candidates for ONE child. Yet here we are. New mom of an almost 3-year-old (help!) and an almost 2-month-old. And I have to be honest, much to my surprise, I am doing it, and doing it, well — well, not too bad, that is!
When I was younger, I got a late start. I wasn’t trying to get married or have kids. I was solely focused on ME — my career (which is pretty cool, marketing manager of a major sports drink brand), my “hobby job” moonlighting as a fitness instructor (a tough one, too) and really, truly living my best life (before that was even a thing).
My husband was the same way. We just didn’t think about it. Then one day, I decided I really wanted a family and would stop at nothing to have it. We moved from South Florida back to Jacksonville, selected the best school zones, and snuggled into suburbia life. Which brings us to the present.
Here is the thing. I still have that same career-driven mentality. I am passionately obsessed with my job, passionately obsessed with teaching fitness, and now to factor in passionately being the best mom I can be. I am busy in my own head, like so many of us. Between the newborn needs and the toddler needs, staying up-to-date on work so I am not too far behind post-maternity leave — well, it’s safe to say I now understand more than ever all the Instagram memes about “mommyhood” being the hardest gig around because, wow, it is! And as I navigate it, I often selfishly feel sad that I am losing myself in caring about everyone and everything else. (Real talk, ladies!)
But is it selfish? Wait a second, it’s not. In fact, I spend most of my days of maternity leave just trying to make sure I get in some exercise, and that alone has made me feel good about myself. And I am not ashamed to admit that. I am not less of a mom because I want to get MY body back. I’m a happier mom because of it. And my God, ya’ll, if you want the Botox, get the dang Botox! Do what you have to, to make yourself feel good again.
Another thing, am I a bad mom because I actually secretly can’t wait to go back to work? Some might think so. I learned early on with my first kid that it is a taboo statement to make. But not for me, not in my reality. My career makes me happy. It makes me feel I have a different purpose outside of this “new normal” and with that, I thrive. I actually think I am a better mom because of this. To each their own. The biggest thing I am learning in this sisterhood of parenting is whatever you have to do to live your happiest self, that’s what you should do! And if working, or fitness, and being away from the home makes me better, then I am going to do just that. As a new mom of two, I can honestly cheer you all on for what you do every day and hope that you, too, have things that bring you back to your true self, and in the end, we should all celebrate that!
Just do YOU, boo!
About the Author
Andrea Smith is a fitness instructor and full-time working mom of two with a passion for building brands, teaching spinning and spending time with her family. She prides herself on always being an open book, delivering “real talk” and motivating everyone she encounters.