Who am I? I am a mother. I am a wife. But who am I, what do I love to do, who do I love to hang out with, what do I do each week for me? If you are anything like me the answer to every single one of the questions is, I don’t know.
Ever since I became a mother, I have allowed myself to become completely consumed with taking care of the kids, taking care of the house, taking care of everyone and everything except me. I thought that if everyone else was happy and their needs were met that meant life was as it should be. I gladly gave up the career I had gone to college for 6 years to do. Then two summers ago I hit the wall and hit it hard. I slumped into a depression like I had never known. I chalked it up to having a 3-month-old and 2 toddlers. I cannot express to you how lonely, unworthy, and unattractive I felt. Everything within me told me I was a failure as a mother, a failure as a home maker, failure as a wife. Life that summer was so dark. I felt I had no friends and no one to talk to. Now understand, I have an AMAZING husband, and amazing group of friends that I saw weekly for playdates, and yet I still felt this way. In hind sight I am incredibly blessed that these people stuck around despite the funk I was in. I chose to completely ignore the blessings I had.
In august that same year a friend got me into LuLaRoe, which for those of you that don’t know is a clothing brand. I purchased the inventory and sold it online and at events. My entire life I have never been one to sit and do nothing, I have always had two to three jobs at any given time. So, in retrospect I think part of my depression stemmed from not having a ‘purpose’ or a ‘job’ which I had become so accustomed to. This new journey was exactly what I needed. It gave me a source of income; it gave me something to do to feel accomplished while I stayed at home. We couldn’t afford for me to get a job since daycare was ridiculous. I worked this job for just shy of a year before transitioning into launching my own boutique. I poured my heart and soul into this new adventure. I literally spent every ounce of my day hustling and working my business. But ya’ll, I never saw it coming… Yes, I finally felt “whole” by producing an income and being able to put my skills to use. However, I had no idea what it had cost my family. I chose to once again put something else first. And once again that thing was not me.
I needed a spirit check. I needed to reevaluate what the most important thing for me was. I needed to take a pause and a step back in order to see that I still wasn’t happy. I was so stressed out that I was forgetting to eat, I was constantly yelling at the kids for making messes, I was biting my husband’s head off for absolutely nothing, I was still miserable. After listening to a podcast, it hit me like a freight train; I have never put myself first. Now that may sound a bit conceited, but it made so much sense. As mothers, HOW are we supposed to take care of everything and everyone if we are running off of coffee, wine and about to break? If we don’t take the time to be intentional about taking care of ourselves, how can we expect to do all of the things in a life-giving way?
So, for me this translated to, prayer…. LOTS and LOTS of prayer. And as frustrating as it was, all I got back was step back and wait. What does that even mean?!?! So, I took a step back from my boutique, and I waited and I prayed. And I prayed some more. In this time, it was like a light was flipped on. I saw my kids, like really saw them. I saw their kindness, their intelligence, all of the things I had been too busy to see, too busy to slow down and take part in. The dance parties I had missed out on because I was working. The way that they had begun snapping at each other, since that’s how mommy responded when they interrupted me working. It broke me. I couldn’t believe how much I had missed. So now is MY time. My turn to put myself first, so that I can be the best mom I can be for my girls, the best wife I can be for my husband and the best friend I can be to my friends.
My plan… To get up early each morning, get my coffee, put on some Elevation worship and get out my devotional. For me, having time to make God the first part of my day sets the tone. Then I still have time to get ready without kids, put on some mascara, and put actual pants on… For me the smallest things, like getting ready makes me feel good, which makes me have a more positive mindset for my day. Figure out what helps you feel confident and beautiful. Figure out what makes you happy, what gets your soul pumped! Figure it out and make the effort to fit it in at the beginning of your day. I promise, it will change everything.
-A Diligent Mom-