I typically keep things pretty light and airy on the blog. Even personal posts tend to be more on the positive side because often, when I think of sharing more serious topics I hear that silly voice that says “Nobody wants to read that Christal, don’t bother”. But I’m choosing to ignore that voice because I believe I have this platform, this blog, that thousands of amazing people read daily (which still astounds me), for a reason. Not only to share tasty recipes and inspire you all to live a little healthier but to also share parts of my life journey, especially now that I’m navigating motherhood.
So here goes…
The other night I could not fall asleep. I laid awake in bed staring at the ceiling praying and trying to talk myself down from having a full blown panic attack. Since having Hemsley I’ve wrestled with my role in life, my identity, and what my priorities need to be. I’ve always been a driven individual, fuelled by my intense entrepreneurial mind, and I’ve found myself (often to my detriment) obsessed with progress and accomplishment. I used to attach my self-worth to my work and career and I’ve learned to know better after going through some major refining over the past few years. Yet, I find myself still struggling to make the shift in my mind from working woman/entrepreneur/career-driven/#boss to…mother.
I do believe that both can co-exist in harmony, but right now, especially while Hemsley is so young, I’ve got to be her mama, first and foremost. I know this. I really do. Yet I’ve been trying to keep up both roles, which causes me to resent one or the other at times, and it’s most definitely what’s cranked up my anxiety levels to an uncomfortable high recently.
We live in a world where motherhood is just another thing on the to-do list. If a woman isn’t raising her kids, building her business or working a 40-hour week, and keeping the house clean and tidy at the same time, she’s not measuring up.
I look at other business owners, bloggers, and moms who seem to be “doing it all” and here I am feeling like I can barely keep my head above water, not to mention “baby brain” which makes me forget things on a daily basis. I know I shouldn’t be comparing, that’s the fastest thing that steals our joy, but it’s especially hard in the industry I’m in.
So there I was laying in bed, throat dry, mind running in circles trying to remember the million-and-one things I have to do for work and around the house, while at the same time feeling sleep-deprived from a baby who’s been “leaping” for the past month, wondering if I’m just going to blink and she’ll already be a toddler and I’ll have spent the entire first year of her life staring more at my phone, computer screen, and day-timer thinking about growth and success than soaking up precious moments and her sweet, little face.
That’s not what I want, not one tiny bit.
I began to pray asking God to first, give me peace and calm my heavy heart, and secondly, to take my worries and lead me forward showing me what I need to let go of, and how. What projects, commitments and especially, mindsets, do I need to ditch to be able to fully accept and embrace this role as mother and not be indefinitely overwhelmed and anxious? Thankfully, I eventually drifted off to sleep.
Interestingly enough this past week I had also read a parenting daily devotional that hit the nail on the head. I won’t share the whole thing, but the parts that really stuck.
(Side note: These daily devotionals are just that, devotionals, in accordance with my Christian faith. If you don’t share the same faith as me I believe you can still relate to the general message that this author is sharing regarding the important role of motherhood so please don’t excuse the entire message because of the references to God, it’s a good one!)
“Let me conclude my contribution to this book by sharing a final thought for women, especially those of you who are full-time moms. You may well have questions about your identity in a culture that devalues motherhood. This was an issue that troubled me when my children were young. I remember saying to my husband, “I know who you are, but tell me again who I am.”
Jim very patiently talked me through those times by reminding me that God had given me the primary responsibility for the care of our two children and our home. “When that brief time is over,” he said, “God will have new challenges for you to accept. You’ll see.” With that, I felt affirmed in my commitment to my family and cherished the experience of raising our kids. I gave priority to them during the brief window when their need was greatest, and am thankful today for what the Lord accomplished with that effort. I would not change a single day if I had life to live over.
If you are raising small children, either as a full-time mom or as an “employed mother,” I hope you are not seduced by the popular culture that tells you that you’re wasting your time. It is a lie. There is no greater responsibility in living than bringing new little human beings into the world and ultimately introducing them to Jesus Christ. This era will pass in the blink of an eye, yielding to yet another stage of life.
You have the rest of your years to give priority to your other talents in service of the Lord. An entirely new identity will await you in the next phase. But while your boys and girls are small, give them the best you have. You will never regret it! – Shirley M Dobson
Maybe this post hasn’t struck a chord for many of you but I hope there’s at least a few mama’s (or mama’s in the making) reading this who can relate. Maybe you too have been feeling uncomfortably stretched between trying to wholeheartedly accept the role of raising your little ones and at the same time dedicating yourself to your career, success, and progress, not knowing how to ‘turn off’ the latter.
I took that devotional to heart. It may be a challenging transition for me but my hope moving forward is to remember that this is an incredibly important role I have been given as Hemsley’s mama and that there is a season for everything. When the time is right, God will show me which areas of my career and business need that nose-to-the-grindstone dedicated hard work, but in the meantime my daily work is staring right back at me with those big puppy-dog eyes.
While I plan to continue with my usual once a week blog post, I also plan to step back from the general “hustle” and let things “just be” until I feel led differently. I’m choosing to not focus so much on growth, progress, and building my business and blog at the same pace as I was before Hemsley.
Frankly, I am no longer going to buy into ‘the lie’.
What about you mama?
Have an amazing Sunday!
Until next week,
Christal // NITK