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On motherhood

Motherhood was not a foregone conclusion for me. People talk a lot about biological clocks and a “natural urge” for adults to become parents, but that never came for me. While I enjoyed spending time with kids (we share a lot of interests!), I’ve never been a “baby person” and I even worried that I’d struggle to bond with my children as a result. Spoiler: It wasn’t a problem, I’ve changed.

So what made me finally decide to have kids?

The big one for me was a desire to share our lives with a couple of our own children.

We’ve been very fortunate in our lives. Both my husband and I joined the path to tech by following our passions, but ultimately we’ve both been able to build very successful careers out of it. We’re experts in our respective fields, we travel the world for work and pleasure, and we live in a beautiful place where we can routinely have luxurious brunches overlooking one of the most beautiful bays in the world. We had it made! But as my late 30s approached, I had to make a choice. Do I want to continue this lifestyle, or do I want to settle down a bit and build a family? I didn’t specifically think I was missing something in life, I was very happy, but I realized that ultimately I didn’t want to keep this all to myself. I wanted to share the experience of life with some little ones.

For me, this meant not losing myself in my kids. My goal is to share my life with them, not change who I am. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve struggled a lot with this in these first few years. I even bristled at the term “mom” when people would use it to define my identity. Plus, small children take up a lot of time, and at times I feel like all of my time is spent either working, sleeping, or caring for little children and our home. My vast collection of hobbies has fallen by the wayside, and that’s been a painful process. Through a busy schedule and sleep deprivation, I keep having to remind myself of the goal: sharing our lives.

So now I’ve now started to weave more of my hobbies back into time I spend with them, and even come up with new ones! Adam and I now do art together. The typewriter I am getting refurbished will be used, in part, to type up poems and songs that Adam and I can decorate together. I’ve resurrected my love for the outdoors by taking the kids to the park every Sunday morning, and building out our back yard so the kids can play while I hunker down and do a bit of writing or reading. I’ve been studying for my amateur radio license, so when I picked up an alphabet poster for the kids, I made sure it included the phonetic alphabet and Morse code for me! I’ve also got creative at work by continuing to weave my niche technical interests into my job, which has been a boon for connecting with other technologists on a personal level. For me, bringing my whole self to my work has really been a benefit to my career.

The pandemic has definitely made some things difficult, but we even have been able to do some outings. We recently rented a suite at a baseball stadium during one of the less expensive games of the season so we could share our love of baseball with the kids. We go to zoos, a big one for me! I’m looking forward to other adventures as the pandemic wanes where I can share my love for trains, and history, and computers with the boys.

Our life is very different than it was four years ago. Every moment of alone time is precious and I find myself being much more careful about how I spend it. I’ve also changed a lot, but I like the person I’ve become. I’m much better at time management, I’ve had to become more patient and am slowly learning to let small things go. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a brunch by the bay, and even work travel has had to change a bit (even before the pandemic), but we’ve found ways to replace some of these experiences. I definitely miss the flexibility of being able to just leave my house on random adventures at any time, but I treasure what we’ve gotten in return. There’s really nothing like sharing new experiences and everything I love with my kids. I wouldn’t have it any other way.