maternityleave-smalltownsolace

So I’ve been away from the office (for the most part) for two months now and I have to say it’s been enlightening. Not only has it served as a time for bonding with my little man (and my main man or hubby) it has also given me some much needed perspective.
But it’s not what you might think and it certainly isn’t what I thought I would discover while being away from work.

I needed to be away..

I needed to step away from what I was. I worked so hard to get where I am career wise. I wanted to be a journalist so much but always talked myself out of becoming a writer. “It is too competitive and I’m not good enough to compete.” or “I don’t want to live in a big city and I won’t be able to find a job in a small town.”
But I was able to shut down the voice in my head and work to become a journalist despite everything.
It was because of this, that when I finally landed a job writing for a newspaper in a small town I launched myself into it. I identified with my job. I found my self-worth in my job. I was my job.
When you love your job that’s a good thing…right?
Maybe not.
Now being away from it I realized that without the job I have nothing to talk about, and since my identity was attached to being a journalist when I was no longer a journalist I had no identity. At least that’s the way it felt.

I needed some me time..

At first I got a little depressed realizing being a journalist is the only thing I identified with anymore. My husband and I decided when we found out we were having a baby that I was going to be a stay at home mom. I was nervous about leaving my job but knew staying home with the little one would be so, so worth it.

So, I spent the next few weeks in a bit of a mental slump. In every other way I was on Cloud Nine, spending everyday with my little family. My husband, the farmer, was in a slower time of year for work so he was able to stay at home home with me and baby. It was a great bonding and learning time for all of us.

But, anyone reading this post who have had children are probably thinking, how did you have any ‘me time’ with a newborn and a husband at home. Well, I know it seems a little cray cray but it’s true, this was a time when I had the most me time I have had in awhile.

I stepped away from my crutch of ‘journalist’ and realized we are so much more than what we do.

Here’s what I learned…

  1. We are not and need not be defined by labels. I am not a journalist, a mother, a wife, a friend, a girl, a woman, a nice person. I am Lacey. That’s all we need to know. There are so many things to a person, why do we need to define each other, let alone ourselves, by what we do and what roles we might play in other people’s lives? It’s so limiting.
  2. We should all take time out to think about ourselves. There is nothing selfish about focusing on our own ideas and dreams. It’s okay to have someday dreams or to take a mental vacation.
  3. We should all take time out to work on ourselves. Being on maternity leave, away from my journalist label, I immediately decided that my new routine would definitely involve time to focus on my health. Not to lose the baby weight, not to have an awesome bod, but just to get the endorphin and good vibes flowing.
  4. Being too busy creates a higher level of materialism. I felt I was making the money and I had to spend it. I had to look a certain way to gain respect. I had to act properly to appear professional. So, I ditched my style to conform and because of that I became way more materialistic.
  5. There is an idea that being busy equals success. This isn’t true either. Being busy might make some of us happy and that is just fine. But, not being busy does not mean your a lazy person. It means we have different priorities. I don’t know about you but being able to go for a two-hour walk with my husband and son on a Monday afternoon is a darned good priority and if I was working I would never have been able to do that. And it made us so happy. That is, in my eyes, the most successful I have felt in a long time.
  6. Being a mom and wife is the most wonderful thing in the world and I am enjoying the challenge and reward of it everyday. It’s not always glamorous or cheerful but it is a MAJOR blessing not everyone has. I am so grateful for it all.
  7. Finding myself will not be easy. I realize much of this post is all about me, but hey it’s my journey. I am going to stay on this journey for the rest of my life, too. It’s majorly important to know yourself and be able to share that with others, that’s why God put us all on this Earth together and made us all so unique. We can be a unique blessing to everyone we meet, but not if we don’t take time to reflect and nurture our unique self.

So, I know I have said this before but this blog is going to involve a long road to self discovery. After all I am just a small town girl with big ideas.

2 thoughts on “7 things I Learned While On Maternity Leave

  1. Mandi

    This. I needed to hear this.

    “We are not and need not be defined by labels. I am not a journalist, a mother, a wife, a friend, a girl, a woman, a nice person. I am Lacey. That’s all we need to know. There are so many things to a person, why do we need to define each other, let alone ourselves, by what we do and what roles we might play in other people’s lives? It’s so limiting.”

    As a career woman myself who is expecting her first baby, I just wanted to live in this post for a long while.

    Thank you

  2. Lacey Post author

    Hi Mandi,
    I’m so glad you found your way to my blog! Congrats on expecting your first child! How exciting. I’m also glad you can relate. I feel like we put more pressure on ourselves to live up to our labels and it can be really draining. Just be yourself and make the most of yourself, that’s why we are all made so differently. Thank you so much for your comment!

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