I take pride in writing about real-life experiences, emotions and thoughts. I haven’t written in a while because I have spent time trying to balance ALL THE THINGS that needed attention. I spent a lot of time thinking about topics, and often would backpedal because they were too open and honest. I am just too real of a person to write only about rainbows and sunshine without discussing the storm that caused the rainbow to appear.
It is through the storms of life that you grow the most.
I knew when I was pregnant with our first child, over two years ago, that my life would be different. However, it really wasn’t until I was in the thick of it that I fully understood what it meant. I owe a lot of the clarity I gained to my two year old. From meltdowns and defiance to joy and fun. This is the true meaning of a mother’s love. Not the fairy tale or fake social media posts on #momlife but the real joy and real frustrations that come with it, and the unconditional love that engulfs it.
As my daughter has grown so much over these two years I definitely have grown as well. I am thankful for her helping me to look deeper inside myself and have a strong desire to model the behavior that I want her to see. Do I get it perfect everyday? Nope. I at least can recognize when I need to make a change and I actively work on it.
With being a high achiever, I realize that I can cause myself undue stress and this is coupled with trying to balance being a wife, mom and having a career outside the home. I will run myself tired trying to do so much or just even the thought of my to do list and I am overwhelmed. I am learning to remove some things off that long list and focus on what is truly important to me. In doing so, some people may not be pleased i.e. the co-worker that schedules a 5;00p meeting on a Friday or the friend that calls at an ungodly hour.
However, I am no longer willing to sacrifice my health, wellbeing and sanity in this stage of my life. I am also valuing and prioritizing my self care time more than when I took it for granted while being exhausted. Mamas trust me sometimes your body will make you slow down and that is when you know it has gone too far.
I always believed that women can have it all, and still do!, but I’m realizing that having it all comes at high cost. We all have to count the cost, be clear and honest about what is truly important in our lives.
I recently read an article from Indra Nooyi, former CEO of PepsiCo that was related to my thoughts. She told a story about how her mother told her one day that when she comes in the house to leave her crown at the door. She is the wife and mother when she is home and no one else can take her place. Nooyi admits “it’s rarely possible to be the kind of mother, wife, employee, and person you want to be – all at the same time. Often, you need to make a choice, and that’s especially true if you want to be CEO. There’s no way around it.”
What she is speaking of here is the classic work-life balance struggle for most women. You want to be successful at work but yet are struggling to be home to cook dinner or spend meaningful time while you are present with family. We have to know when to turn off our phones & computers and say enough for today! I know it’s easier said than done because I still don’t do this well every day. However, self-awareness is the first step to making any real changes.
The one thing we all have in common is that we are all trying to survive motherhood and life. I am trying to be more gracious and aware of the needs of fellow Moms. Let’s all try to help another Mom in need. It can be as simple as relieving her for one hour just so she can have a power nap before doing it all again. For most Northwest Arkansas transplant Moms like me, it is even harder without having family nearby.
Lastly, I urge you to sit down this week with paper and write down what is important to you. Then compare it to what you think about and how you spend your time. Your thoughts and how you spend your time will reveal what is really taking first place in your life. If you realize that you are misaligned know that it is okay. Now that you are aware it’s up to you to do something about it. We need to be thriving and not suffering in silence!