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A little over a year ago, I gave birth to the most beautiful little girl I had ever laid eyes on. However, she did not come at the best time. At the time, I was working full-time and completing graduate school full-time as well. And, to participate in graduation a month after her anticipated due date, it was imperative that I successfully pass my final two classes.

To anyone who is responsible for the well-being of another human being, it might be obvious that assuming a new role can bring about a lot of change. And, that she did.

My job offered maternity leave, so I was blessed with ten weeks to bond with and care for my baby. However, it was still important to me that I finish school. Finding balance was hard, but it was something that I could not negotiate my way out of. I wanted to graduate, but she needed me. Over the next 10 weeks, she taught me that I needed her more.

 

The Start Of An Amazing Relationship

After graduation, I was excited about the next six weeks that I could spend focusing on her. Every time she cried, I wanted to figure out what was wrong. If I could get her to smile, I really thought that I had accomplished something. When she would fall asleep, I would just stare at her. And, if I was holding her, I would take selfies and hashtag #milkwasted. It was not long before I felt like I knew her and that she knew me. It was beautiful, and it was the start of an amazing relationship.

Those ten weeks flew by and it was time for me to return to work. It was harder emotionally for me to return to work than it was for me to be in labour. I did not want to leave my baby. Every minute felt like an hour and the day slowly passed by. I could not focus on work at all, because all I could do was think about her. And it didn’t get easier as the days passed. I missed her first crawl and her first steps. And, I am sure I missed a lot more. That year, I decided that no amount of money would separate me from the opportunity to raise my daughter. I turned in my resignation nine months after I had given birth to my daughter.

At first, it was great! I was home with my daughter and life was amazing. God had blessed me with a beautiful opportunity and I was honoured to be a part of it. But while my intention for change was good, I don’t think I was prepared to accept the consequences for such an action. Since then, we were living on one income, we started to feel that change in our lifestyle. I felt guilty because I was not bringing money in like I was. I could not shop or eat out like I used to. It took a while to adjust. Actually, it’s been six months and I am still adjusting. However, I have learned two things about myself through the process.

 

I Enjoy Working

I can wake up at 10 AM or 12 PM if I want to every day. Well, not really because my toddler pretty much dictates that and it is not that late most days. But, even though that is an option, I try to wake up by 7 AM to work on my blog and respond to readers who interact with me on social media. Much like my 9-5 job, I have a busy short day planned for getting things done. And, some days I carry over tasks. However, every day there is something for me to do. I’ve even picked up a part-time teaching position at a local university and I make my own hours. I like knowing that I am helping my family financially. It’s nice to be in a different setting. Besides, sometimes I really need a break from hearing “mommy” two dozen times every second.

 

I Am Happy

This is what happiness looks like. I don’t think I have been happy with myself in a long time. I am happy that I am free to be me. I don’t have to ask for permission for time off to take my daughter to her daily dance classes or to her health well-visits. I can take a nap in the middle of the day if I want to. I am now able to focus on me, so that hopefully in return I can be a better wife, mom, and friend. I can watch my daughter grow up and it means the world to me.

So, I got what I wanted, but it came at a price. I am hoping that I will become a more patient and balanced person. I am planning to use this time to really focus on living a life of faith and showing my love to the world.  I couldn’t have imagined risking it all for one person until I met my daughter. It’s crazy, I know. Sometimes, the smallest little fingers can bring about the biggest change.

 

Amandela is a happily married stay at home mom from South Carolina.

She writes about parenting and married life on her blog, Meet the Harris Family. She enjoys travelling, reading, crafts with her daughter, and baking vegan sweets.

You can learn more about Amandela and her family on her blog!