Before I become a parent, I had all these lofty goals. I was going to do it all! Be a career mom and climb the success ladder, make the perfect dinners that my perfect little kids would eat with delight, be a room mom who makes #allthecrafts, always look hot and sexy for my hubby, keep a tidy house at all times, basically be Wonder Woman. I had so much ambition. Having a child sure hit me like a ton of bricks. Epic plan = epic fail.
Kids change everything
Once my son was born, I was overjoyed but also quite depressed. In hindsight, I think I suffered from mild PPD for a while there. I was so eager to go back to work yet when I got there I found myself staring aimlessly. I was relieved but also sad. When I finally got my groove back and my son was easier to handle, we had the brilliant idea to make another baby. I know for some people having another child is easy peasy. Not so for me. It was like going from moderate chaos to mayhem.
Not long after we welcomed our second child, my father started struggling with his muscular dystrophy. He was in and out of the hospital, and my mother could no longer help care for my kids like she once did. My husband was working 70+ hours a week and I was spending an hour in the car morning and evening ferrying kids around before I even got to work. I felt like I was missing out on so much, giving the majority of my energy to the Anytime Fitness we owned at the time. I LOVED it, but I soon realized either my business or my family would suffer. I had to choose family.
We made the tough decision to sell the gym and I would freelance work from home. What a blessing! Yet somehow I felt lost. My first “baby,” my business, was gone. Five years of my life and it was no longer mine. I loved being home with my boys and being available to help my parents but it was also a sad time. My dad was sick, my kids were exhausting me and I couldn’t keep up with all these grand plans I had. My motivation to do anything beyond my daily tasks of the kids was dwindling. I had no passion of my own, and after some time I realized I was not a happy person. Although life felt insurmountable, I knew I needed to take charge of my life. I used to have so much focus and ambition. It took my husband telling me “You seem unhappy and maybe a bit depressed” to really do something. If we don’t, who will?
It’s not you, it’s me
I started focusing on being my best self and reigniting my ambition and passion. My healing touch therapist helped me recall what things I really enjoy, work wise and extracurricular. I began writing more, following my heart with creative work ideas, listening to uplifting podcasts, cutting back on screen time with my phone (tough to do when you make a living in social media), and reading more. It was little changes that made a big difference in feeling like I had that ‘drive’ again. The one I had before children, when I was young and naive. It’s even better now because I’m in my
mid thirties thirties and have more life experience. I’m a real adult now, not the adult I thought I was at 23. I know who I am, what excites me and where I see myself in 10 years. I know that life won’t always work out as planned and that’s ok. I have a roof over my head, food in my fridge and money in my pocket. It’s going to be alright.