Jayce is ONE!

I have a one year old…how is that even possible? When I sit back and reflect on this past year so many emotions flood to the surface. Joy, happiness, guilt, gratitude and fatigue…just to name a few. I can honestly say I can’t imagine life without Jayce in it, I also find it hard to remember the person I was before Jayce came into my life. I know that women existed, and the memories of her are clear, however, the moment I held Jayce in my arms for the first time I was forever changed. My heart grew bigger than I thought possible, I loved this tiny human more than I can put into words, and I became a Mama for the first time.

For as long as I can remember, my life has revolved around my career. Straight out of University, I landed my first “real” job in Medicine Hat. That job was a stepping stone into the career I now have, and I can honestly say I love my job. Like LOVE my job. I’m so lucky to have a career that I love waking up to. It challenges me, motivates me, and I feel like I’m making a difference every single day. Taking a leave of absence from that job wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. Of course (without question) having the opportunity to stay home and take care of Jayce was an easy decision to make. But I often doubted myself throughout the way. Mom guilt is for real, and I know all the other Mama’s out there can agree with me. Being a first time Mom I wanted to do everything perfectly. I wanted Jayce to hit all his milestones at exactly the “right” time. I wanted to ensure when he started solids that he was only eating nutritious, homemade foods created by me. I missed out on every single social event to ensure that I stuck to his sleep routine and daily schedule. On top of that, I wanted to win the “Mom/Wife Of The Year Award” (if there ever was such a thing). I wanted to ensure that the house was clean every day, laundry was done, and supper was prepared. Ugh…raising a newborn is hard work! The added pressure to try to maintain and accomplish literally everything else was a reality that wasn’t achievable. I swear it took me an entire year to realize this. To truly allow myself some grace. The fact that I kept two babies alive and happy at the end of the day should have been enough of an accomplishment in itself.

It wasn’t until recently that I started thinking about what life will be like once I return to work. Until this point I didn’t have time to miss my job since I was engulfed in the day-to-day activities of raising two babes. But now that Jayce is one, my time at home full-time is slowly coming to an end. I will be returning to work in 5 months (just after Everly turns one). Whenever someone asks me the question “Will you return to work?, I answer “Yes!”, quickly followed by “Yes, but I found a super amazing day home and the social interaction will be good for the kids” or, “Yes, but Drew will be taking a parental leave once I return to work so they don’t have to go into childcare until Jayce is 2 and Evie is 19 months”, or “Yes, but I have a flexible job so if I needed to be home or they had an appointment I wouldn’t have to miss it”. Why as Mom’s do we do this to ourselves? I have often heard this past year that they are only little once, and you can work for the rest of your life, etc. This is absolutely true – 100%, however, me going back to work when they are toddlers in no way makes me a bad Mom. In fact, I think it makes me a pretty great Mom. It’s important to me that both Jayce and Everly see that not only Dad has a career, but so does Mom. That my job as a Mom (although so important) is not the only job I have. I never want Everly to question the value of her own aspirations and abilities.

I would like to add that I have loved every second of being at home with my babies. Being a Mom will be the most important job I ever have, but it won’t be my only one. And I’m also pretty confident that going back to my paid job will feel a heck of a lot easier some days then being a stay-at-home Mom. I salute the Mama’s who choose to stay home full-time with their babes for as long as they choose to! It’s not easy work.

All that aside, I still can’t believe an entire year has passed by. It really is true when people say the days are long, but the years are short. There have been many trying times this past year, but sooooo many amazing ones. I still wake up every single day excited to see those smiles waiting for me in their nurseries. I also feel like I’m still learning something new about myself every single day. I’m thankful for the “Mom friends” in my life that have been there to listen or lend advice when I send a text like, “Is diarrhea a sign of teething?” LOL. My good friend Shaeline describes adoption perfectly. It’s messy. It comes with heartache and joy. It comes with loss, grief and redemption. It comes with questions and so much love. It’s both sides all the time, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Happy 1st Birthday my sweet Jayce. My love for you goes so deep. Thank you for choosing me to be your Mama.

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