To The Mama Who Lost Herself
So you're a mom. You will forever have that title and you will never fully be done "momming" and you probably won't be able to really remember a time when you weren't a mom. Okay maybe you will but some days it seems hard! There's many of you out there that have always wanted to be a mom and maybe even to have many children like my high school best friend. There's some of you that maybe didn't plan on being a mom and well.. shi- I mean life happened. Then there's some of us like me that knew I'd probably be a mom but wasn't necessarily excited about it or biting the bullet.
Well somehow I caught that weird baby fever and was pregnant 4 months into my marriage. Nooooo what about backpacking through Europe?? What about taking a summer trip every year? What about just laying in bed all day having tickle fights like they do in the movies?! Yeah right, baby or not.. that stuff was never happening, ain't nobody got time for that! (Or money.. like us.. we were BA-ROKE!!) so here I was pregnant and thinking why the heck did I rush this? I'm only 20! I'm in no position to keep a small human alive! But sure enough, by the end of it and absolutely when she was born, I was smitten. I was a full blown obsessed, emotional, tired, lovestruck, and scared MOM. And I was totally okay with it.
Well I cut down my job to like 6 hours a week because I liked the "escape" but eventually it just seemed easier and better to stay at home. Another thing I didn't picture myself doing. Great. I was now a SAHM. Didn't sound very "cool" to my 21 year old self but admittedly I did love it 98% of the time and I still do. But then a few years later, a couple moves, another baby on the way, and some work changes, I realized something rather scary was happening or rather had happened. My hair was turning a dark muddy blonde and I'd now have to start coloring it a bit. Totally joking although that did happen too...
The awful realization that came to me was I had lost myself. In a very literal way and in every sense of the term. I wasn't being the mom I wanted to be, I wasn't being the wife I wanted to be and of course I wasn't. How could I when I wasn't even the PERSON I wanted or needed to be. I realized I had no job, no hobbies, no goals, no network of friends, no real reason to get out of bed in the morning besides needing to take care of my child. I felt a weight on me growing heavier each day and didn't have a damn clue what to do about it. All the while my husband was dealing with tons of work stress and we were struggling financiallly. It was basically a big dark shit storm.
I went into a dark place for a few months. Some could label it as being ungrateful and pessimistic. I labeled it as an identity crisis with a small side of depression. I didn't feel like I was "there" and I felt like I was just going through the motions and always teetering on the edge of laying on the floor and sobbing. Which I did numerous times. This was of course made worse when my husband was away on work trips. I felt alone. Trapped. Misunderstood. Empty. Pathetic. And this wasn't his fault, we have always had a wonderful marriage. It wasn't anyone's fault, I don't even think it was fully my fault. It was just my reality at the time. Well I decided this was just not going to do. I opened up and talked about this a little to my best friend and husband and it helped but I still needed to find myself again, somehow. I realized I needed to be selfish again, and in the right way. I gave myself permission to have "me time" and to ask for help. I started to remember the times I was happy and why. I forced myself to rid my mind of all the expectations, comparisons, and doubt that was drowning my thoughts. I started believing in the ways that I was special and beautiful and important. I applauded myself for my wins and forgave myself for my shortcomings.
And lastly, and this is the most important, I found myself a dream. I knew in order to find myself and my purpose again outside of being a wife and mom that I needed to dream. Something real and attainable. Something that would force me to work on myself and work towards something greater. I started a business that would push me out of my comfort zone, out of my house, out of my simple and mundane life that wasn't challenging me. Something that would literally save me from myself. Something that would build me up from succeeding and at the same time teach me to accept failure with gratitude and lightheartedness. I did something that seemed more in the direction of the absolute polar opposite of who I was when really it awakened me to my real self. It's more than just a job or a hobby, it's become a lighthouse for me. Keeping me on the beautiful but unpredictable waters yet always guiding me to where I need to go.
This business has allowed me to dream again and it's not a game that I'll just finish with either a win or a loss. It's a journey, it's my journey that only I can take and learn from. And the interesting thing about self love and self discovery is it doesn't just awaken and bless you. It blesses everyone in your life. When you feel alive and full of purpose, you are happy and you radiate that happiness and that stuff spreads like a wildfire (to those who want it). Honestly the best way to be selfless with others is to be the best version of yourself and offering them your love, happiness, and abundance of gratitude. I'm still discovering more about myself everyday and finding more specks of magic within me that I can't wait to ignite. So to all you mama's who are lost, you find your way out and start dreaming again. You are worth every single piece of hidden and untouched potential within you. Don't fight it. Let it out.