Prior to Oakley-- and even while I was pregnant-- I was performing. When I say performing, I mean literally dancing and singing 4 nights a week. I had originally planned to take only 6 months off for my maternity leave. Well, six months turned into 12. I was ok with the idea of staying home for the first few months- I mean Duh- I had just had a baby and I was breastfeeding. It was expected that I would be staying home with my child during that time. However, as time passed I grew less ok with the idea. Especially because I was getting the "What do you do?" question asked and I wasn't satisfied with my answer. I was also getting asked "Have you gone back to work yet?" And I was like WTF!!!!! I'm just at home taking care of an infant and making sure my husband goes to work with clean clothes and a a full tummy. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT FROM ME???
It wasn't the actual questions that bothered me as much as my answer of "staying at home with the baby" did. A brief history: I started working at 14 and never really stopped. There were a couple of months in between but a year break was UNHEARD OF! I learned early that with earning your own money comes independence. With independence comes this invisible pair of big girl panties (pretty lace ones). With your pretty-lace, big girl panties comes CONFIDENCE. But here I was with lopsided- breastfeeding titties, regular Hanes panties and an allowance from my husband. I felt guilty for not fully enjoying my bonding time but I also felt like the Alex that I knew and loved was fading away. Had I traded Miss Everything for Mrs. Homemaker?
Hell no I didn't trade her in. I put her on vacation while transitioning into my new role(s). Even though my ego and even Darryl at times made the position feel less adequate than previous occupations, being a mom and a wife are two of the hardest jobs I've ever experienced. While rewarding, neither of these roles come with training or manuals.
I have recently started back auditioning and I've even booked a couple of small roles. If you know the entertainment industry then you're familiar with the term "Hurry up and wait." Days on set are long and time consuming. And though I feel super blessed to be there doing a part of my craft, I feel so excited to get home to Oakley.. and Darryl too. LOL
Express to your partner the length of time you want to spend with your new little bundle. Get into the nitty gritty of finances and expectations of duties each of you will be responsible for. I think laying it all out on the table will help each person feel that their contribution equally matters
Pay NO ATTENTION To the Questions!
I have found that people who were asking me had one of two motives.
1) They were trying to carry on conversation and that was the only thing they could think of.
2) They were jealous and nosy because they couldn't stay off that long with their baby. Either way it goes screw it. Enjoy the time with your little one.