I always have snacks with me. Need some goldfish, graham crackers, or applesauce? Check. I have them in my car, in my purse, and in various places around my house and work office. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been on a work trip or stuck in a long meeting and I have pulled a snack out of my purse. Lifesaving! Mama needs to eat, too.
I can function off very little sleep. There was a time when I could not have gotten out of bed with less than 10 hours of sleep. No more! Nights spent sleeping in 3 hour blocks or for less than 6 hours total are the norm. Now, I’m not saying that it’s the best or healthiest way to be. But, I know that I can get less than an ideal amount of sleep AND rock an early morning meeting AND carry on intelligent conversations while making important decisions all. day. long. BRING IT, sleep deprivation!
I have fine-tuned my negotiation skills. Pre-toddler I would typically get flustered or frustrated if I tried to negotiating with someone. Or just give up trying it all together. But having a strong willed two year old has forced me to step up my game. What's that, baby girl? Don't want to go to bed? That's ok, you can read this book in your bed for a few minutes. Oh look at that, you are ASLEEP after 5 minutes. I win. Screaming about taking a shower? Look! There are bubbles in the tub! Let's see how many of them you can pop! Yup, and now you are taking a bath! Oh, don't want to put on your shoes? How about we play a super, fun distracting game in which you have to hurry up and put sandals on before the imaginary fish tickle your feet? HA! You are now wearing shoes, sister! I know, I know it's a bit deceitful but (most) of the times it works. And when it doesn't I just have to live with a sleep deprived, unbathed child with no shoes. But only temporary until I come up with a new strategy.
I find that I'm unapologetic and more outspoken than I've ever been. And with a reason and a purpose. Being a mom means that you are the #1 advocate for some who cannot advocate for themselves. You become their voice. That means if you have a question for the pediatrician, you ask it. If you don't like how things are going at day care, you bring it up with the director or teacher. You make it your top priority to put everything about your baby first and foremost, which often times means stepping out of your comfort zone. And for someone who is non-confrontational, that's a big deal.
But most of all, being a mom has forced me to make the most of my time and balance the fun with the work. Before Emily, work consumed my life and I liked it that way. I love what I do and am incredibly fortunate to work somewhere I am afforded a nice work/life balance. So, I make the most of it. Yes, there are long days with lots of work travel. But when I have a break from those days, I make sure to spend it with my sweet girl at the zoo, coloring and watching Mickey Mouse, or playing at the park. Spending that special time with her is so important to me because, when it's all said and done, everything I am and everything I have become is for her and because of her. And she deserves the best of me.