HOW TO BE A MOM
In 2017 I worked full time as a virtual assistant. I already had my lil guy, and in September of the same year we were expecting our second. It was then that I decided to close up shop and focus on what I was calling my "season of motherhood."
Things didn’t go as expected …
When I closed my business, I honestly thought that being a stay at home mom would be my life and that I would embrace it 100% and that would be it. I consider it a blessing to even have being an SAHM an option.
Last year, 2018, was hard. There were so many life changes that I knew were going to happen, but I didn't realize just how much everything would affect me. Having a baby, moving halfway across the country (Wisconsin to Washington DC), finding new friends, adjusting to two kids, dealing with changes in my body and mood and the activities and tasks I was doing day to day.
It was a lot, and I didn't handle all of it super well or very gracefully all the time. I feel for every mom going through physically and emotionally difficult times. Gosh, it's crazy hard.
Towards the end of last year, I started to realize that I needed to find a hobby / interest / occupation that I could do that got me thinking, learning, and working on something just for me, no kids involved.
At first I felt guilty for wanting to do something san kids, but in order to be the best mom I could be, I had to work on being the best ME first.
I decided that working on my nutrition and physical health would be a big area for me to focus on. I've taken it very seriously and made a promise to myself to care of my mental and physical self like my life depended on it, because (ahem) it does.
That's been going great. I'm feeling good, moving, and eating consistently healthier than I probably ever have.
But something kept on weighing on my heart. I kept feeling like I wanted to go back to work in some capacity. I pushed that away cause I didn't know if it was in line with my "season of motherhood," but I couldn't shake the feeling.
After a while of overthinking and overstressing, I decided that I was going to let myself start getting ready to work again, and I had a lot of questions to answer:
Who would I want to work for?
What kind of trade-offs was I willing to make with working and my time with my kids?
How do I want to feel about my work?
What boundaries do I need?
Can I actually make this happen?
I had learned a lot about how working affects family relationships, and I wanted this new iteration to have a lot of improvements from before.
Ultimately, I'm giving myself space and time to figure it out as I go.
It's taken days to answer some of these questions, for others it's taken months, and new questions and challenges come up all the time. I’m also working with a coach to help me dig into limiting beliefs and get advice and help.
I'm loving this journey right now. It feels freeing to be working on my health and other projects that are just for me. It's actually helping me enjoy motherhood and my relationship with my kids more.
I feel happier, more confident, and more of a go-getter. I'm a work in progress, and I'm becoming a woman and mom that I love love love.
Okay Bev, that's really great that you're getting all healthy again and I'm glad you're making motherhood and work happen the way you want. But like, so what?
Well, for me, this all fits into a bigger conversation ....HOW TO BE A MOM.
I had a lot of preconceptions of what being a mom was supposed to look like. I fell for the proverbial guilt trip moms are supposedly supposed to have if they decide to work. Or give in to the awkwardness when a mom says she stays at home.
I thought there were supposed to be negative feelings associated with either of these PERFECTLY fine decisions for women.
I was letting outside influences tell me my "shoulds."
It gets really confusing and annoying when you listen to other people telling you what they think you should do with your life as a woman and as a mom.
But girl, you are allowed to be the kind of mom you want to be.
Let me repeat for the momma's in the back ...you are allowed to be the kind of mom you want to be.
You want to be a stay at home mom? Yes, girl!
You want to work full-time? Yes, girl!
You want to go back to school? Yes, girl!
You want to start your own business? Yes, girl!
You want to start that hobby? Yes, girl!
You want to start working out and eating healthy? Yes, girl!
You want to start volunteering? Yes, girl!
You want to .......? YES, GIRL!
You have permission.
Permission to start work, stop work, go back to work, never work again, love being a stay at home mom, not love it, want a blend of the two.
You have permission to make motherhood look and feel the way YOU want it to.
Because when you're working on becoming the best you, your role as a mother is going to flourish. You're going to more fully be able to nurture the incredibly special relationship you have with your kids.
I'll say one final thing. In order to be the best you, it's going to take effort, intention, and an activity of some kind that more than likely doesn't involve your kids. I’d highly recommend that it doesn’t. No matter what kind of mom your gonna be, you need to find the thing(s) that make you happy and keep you sane.
Whether that's journaling, working out, knitting, book club, writing a blog, spending time with friends, going on a girls trip, whatever. Find out what keeps you feeling personally fulfilled and do those things. You have to love yourself. You have to be your own woman and take care of her and love her with your whole heart.