Old Me vs New Me: Trying to Keep Up the Good Work

Jennifer Johnson

Posted By: Jennifer Johnson

I didn't grow up around breastfeeding moms. In fact, I grew up making formula bottles for my little sisters.

As I drove home from work this week I thought about my goals in life. My dream job, and where I hope to be several years from now.

Growing up I always wanted to work my way up the news ladder, and one day report for CNN. I had studied and worked towards that my entire life, and that wasn't going to change once I had a baby.

Fast forward past baby fever and pregnancy. When I had my daughter, my maternal instincts kicked in. I didn't want to leave her side. I plotted ways to work toward working from home and that was all I wanted. Breastfeeding brought us even closer and I envied women who could spend all day at home with their babies, never having to mess with pumping breaks, forgotten bottles or lack of space to express her milk.

It was hard. It was hard (and still is) leaving my adorable daughter every day. My heart breaks every day when I hand her to her daddy, grab my things, and leave. She looks at my with her wide tear-filled brown eyes, and cries as I walk out the door. The mother inside of me wants to quit right then and there and stay with her, but the ambitious side of me wants to show her women can do anything.

The longer I've been back at work, and the more I see my daughter grow into a little girl, the more I feel myself turning back into me. I can feel the ambitious, fierce career woman side of me returning, and feel absolutely amazing for having been able to breastfeed my baby without any supplements for seven months. I'm totally confident we'll make it to a year. I don't personally know anyone else in my competitive, deadline-driven, unpredictable profession who has done the same. This is a huge testament to me that I can be a fabulous mom, providing for my daughter, and still satisfy my desire to be a career woman.

Women are remarkable. We truly do it all. Surpassing my own expectations of myself has proved this to me.

As a wife, I'm still working on finding that emotional balance with my husband. He spends more time with my daughter than I do right now but when I'm home she's all over me. It takes a good portion of the night for me to reconnect with her and get her ready for bed. After her exhausting routine, and wrapping up freelance work, there's not much energy left to be a good wife. I'm still trying to find that part of me that has been swallowed up and lost somewhere in motherdom.

As I continue to grow into my new role as a mother, I'm reshaping my previous tasks to include this one. My future goals aren't quite as ambitious as they used to be, but they also aren't where they were when I was a brand new mom anxious to return to work.

I'm making my goals as I go at the moment, but right now, my plan is to try to keep up the good work.

12:00pm on Tuesday March 1
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