My whole career as a stay-at-home mom I never thought myself capable of balancing anything more than taking care of my home and family. I put my whole heart and soul into caring for my children but little heart into caring for myself. I have put my children’s needs above my own.
Of course there is nothing wrong with being unselfish and putting others first. Especially your children. But, you cannot neglect yourself.
School, work, self-care. All of it went right on the shelf when I became a mother. And I’m sure I am not the only one. Motherhood, at the beginning with young children is often chaotic, overwhelming, and just plain exhausting. Suddenly having these precious lives in your care can be a daunting task.
I don’t have any regrets of my decision to stay home exclusively with my children. I believe it is what I needed to do to figure this whole motherhood thing out. But now I am finding myself yearning for something more. More for me.
A desire to change my way of life has snuck into my heart. Ideas and exciting projects have formed and are constantly forming within my head. Having the opportunity to find ways and time to work on my ambitions has become a constant goal.
Not being home with my children 100% of the time doesn’t sound so bad. In fact, I am coming to believe that I will be a better mother if I can get away and do more for me. Focus on some of my dreams and passions.
Too often do women, and I believe more often mothers, put their own desires, needs and passions on hold.
I understand finding the balance can be difficult. We, as mothers and women, need to learn how to reach out beyond ourselves and find the help we need. We cannot parent alone. We need to share the load with our partner or spouse, ask family for assistance, or find a suitable caregiver to give us the time we need. We need to learn to let go and realize the whole world will not crumble if we take some time away to do what we want to do.
It is a constant battle for me to fight the mommy guilt. To let go and know everything will be ok without my presence. But I know it is something I need to do to feel happy. And I cannot neglect my own happiness. Of course I will continue to give everything to my children but I’m also making my dreams and passions a priority as well. I’m starting to open up the opportunities for myself to walk out my door, leave the guilt behind, know my children are in good hands, and rebuild myself into who I invision I can become.