You’ll be a natural. Your little ones are so lucky. It must be non-stop entertainment for the kids at your house. You were meant for this. You were born to be a Mom.
Words from well-wishing friends, acquaintances and strangers before, during and after both of my pregnancies. Words filled with good intention. Words that cut me to my core as I waded into parenthood and struggled through days of self-doubt, insecurity and loneliness. Could I do this? Could I possibly nurture, support and teach these two little humans while desperately clinging to a career that was both a part of me, and something that clearly defined who I was to the people around me?
The early days were rough.
I remember holding my little wisp of a newborn daughter as my husband walked out the door to return to work after ten glorious days celebrating our new family of three and this little miracle we had brought into the world. I remember closing the door, staring down at our baby girl and feeling that first twinge of panic. I desperately wanted the baby and the career and the flexibility and energy of my previous life – all bundled up into a perfect Pinterest allusion of motherhood.
I wanted it all.
What I got was far from perfect. I returned to the stage when my firstborn was 13 days old. 13 days. I can’t recall specific details about that show or any of the performances over the following months. I was going through the motions of my old life onstage, but behind-the-scenes my world revolved around regimented feeding schedules, breast pumps, herbal supplements, prescription drugs and that ever-growing panic as I struggled with milk supply and learning the ropes of caring for a newborn. My naïve expectation of seamlessly adding a baby into my old life was spiraling out of reach faster then my little one could slurp back those precious drops of liquid.
But life kept going.
My outlook changed. I adjusted priorities, stepped up my multi-tasking game and allowed more time for everything. I had another baby. I learned from my previous experiences and gave myself permission to slow down. I made a conscious effort to enjoy the small things and embrace the fleeting moments of my wee ones’ babyhood. Compromises were made as I to took my foot off the gas pedal on some creative projects. As my babies grew and life gained some semblance of balance, I began to travel again for work. Today I sometimes have the luxury of taking my children with me, and I sometimes have the luxury of leaving them at home and enjoying a full night’s rest. I learned to deflect the guilt that seems to ebb it’s way into all my parenting decisions. And I celebrate my choice to continue to build my career alongside raising two great kids.
I can have it all.
Being a children’s entertainer does not give me a free pass to being a great mom. Motherhood is hard. The closest thing to a green room at home is the bathroom, and I know without a doubt that my little “fans” will still find me. There is no intermission. It is a 24/7 commitment of the body, mind, and heart. Being a mom can be beautiful and playful, but being a mom is not a song and dance. Motherhood requires more strength and resilience then I have ever put forth in my life.
Being a mom is the role of a lifetime.
My kids are now well beyond the baby stages at 2 and 4. I survive. They thrive. And life continues to be a juggling act with no end to that in sight. Most days are filled with laughter and some days are filled with tantrums and turmoil and those panicky feelings still occasionally tug at me. Writing this has taken me ten times longer than it might have in my life before kids. Snacks needed to be prepared. A snuggle break was requested. Sibling mediation demanded. And a stuffy toy required rescuing from the top of a bookshelf…I didn’t even ask how it got there.
My time is shared, split, stretched. And I wouldn’t change it for anything.
Lorraine is mom to a busy toddler and precocious preschooler. She currently lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband, kids and dog. Growing up on Vancouver Island, Lorraine has always shared a love of the natural world alongside a passion for working with children. Lorraine is also one half of the award-winning, Canadian children’s music duo, Bobs & LoLo. Dedicated to connecting children to the natural world with music, movement and make-believe, Bobs & LoLo aim to inspire their young audiences to care about themselves, their neighbours and the planet. Find Lorraine on Twitter and Bobs & LoLo on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
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