For the last 13 years that is the word that has defined me. At just 21 years old, I became a mom for the first time and ever since it’s been my life song and I have happily given all that I am to my kids and my husband.
Any mom will tell you that motherhood changes you. It changes you for the better of course, but goodness is it a hard road to navigate. You can feel like a failure and super mom all in the span of an hour. The rewards are endless, but sometimes the hard thing we moms don’t like to say out loud is how much we are struggling.
When I went back to work this past August after being away for 6 years, I thought I was ready to take on the world. I was no newbie to the job and returning to a place so comfortable seemed like the best option for me. My friends were there and everything was familiar. But as the weeks passed by, I found myself struggling. Each day brought on more stress and anxiety and I began and ended every day with tears. It became apparent pretty quickly that I was struggling with some depression and that I needed to seek some counseling. And it was there that I worked to find some answers for what was causing me so much stress. The simple fact of the matter is that I have changed a lot in the last 6 years. I am no longer the woman that I used to be. A lot of that is a good thing, but when it came to trying to balance being a mom to 4 kids, a wife, a friend, a daughter, a co-worker, and just a functioning adult human being I felt like I was drowning. Throw in my health issues and it became too much to handle. I cried more and became more anxious, fearful of all the people I could potentially let down. It took my counselor looking me in the eyes and asking me when I was going to start investing in myself and making ME a priority to realize a change needed to be made.
It is a scary thing to think about as a mom, making yourself a priority. I know for me personally it’s something I haven’t thought about in a very long time. My kids and my husband have been my priority for so long that I have forgotten what it is like to invest in myself. To be honest, I don’t even know what that looks like anymore. The things I used to be passionate about and love are no longer passions of mine. I don’t really remember what makes me happy and just typing that makes me so very sad. I don’t really remember how I got here, to this point where I have completely lost myself in Motherhood, but I know that today is the first day in making some changes for the better.
Operation Making Over Michelle begins NOW.
Today for the first time in 13 years, I have no place to be. Yesterday was my last day at work. For the first time in 13 years I chose myself and I gave my notice a few weeks ago. Everyone was so gracious and kind and supportive, just like I knew they would be.Walking out the doors for the last time was something very surreal. Realizing that when I woke up today and made all the school drop offs, I would have the entire day to do whatever my heart desires.
I may not know just what those desires may be, but I have time. I know first and foremost my health will be my main focus. Then after that, who knows?!
It is a scary and exciting time. Obviously being a mom is still a top priority….my family is my world. But inside that world there is a woman who needs to remember what it’s like to love herself and find her own happiness. The time I spend investing in me will only benefit my family.
So here’s to the first day of a whole new me. While I will always be happy to hold the title of mama, I hope that Happy will be the new word to define my life.
Mamas, what are some ways you invest in yourself? Do you struggle with making yourself a priority?