Important Things in Life: Motherhood Monday
A few weeks ago I shared about my journey with mom-burnout. How I couldn’t describe what it was I was experiencing until someone put a name to it, and how I was desperate to make changes. Well, it’s been a few weeks and honestly, changing your life is hard. I’ve had so many false starts and stops on this journey to being a more present mom and more life-filled woman. Wirth all these false starts, I’ve been working on reminding myself what the important things in life are. When I see myself slipping into old patterns, reaching for my phone because I’m bored or hoping something on it will make me feel good during a hard day, choosing to sit in front of the TV and zone out in the evening instead of choosing a life-giving activity, I try to hit the reset button.
I’ll be honest, it took about a week. I had one week of feeling light as a feather and like I had it figured out. My phone was a no-no, I cut down from three to two cups of coffee a day and I wasn’t seeking out chocolate to get me through. I was present with my kids, able to sit with them and play, read stories and be silly. And then the following Saturday hit. We didn’t have much planned so spent most of the day at home. And it took me until mid-morning to start reaching for my phone in the quiet moments, rather than engaging with my children. By mid-week I was saying “mhmm” to things even though I had no clue what Paisley was talking about. Soon, once again I was starting to see my children as an interruption from my “me-time” when I was scrolling Facebook.
Fortunately, I would notice this. I noticed irritation toward the kids and that I wasn’t feeling as light as try to remind myself that they were the important things in life. But quickly I’d let my mind fill with to-do lists and responsibilities and find myself back on my phone.
It wasn’t until last weekend, on day 4 or 5 of Seth’s cold, that I was truly reminded that what was on my phone, whether it be social or for business, wasn’t important. I picked Seth up out of his high chair and noticed his breathing was rapid and accompanied by wheezing. I immediately took him to the ER. Maybe I was overreacting, but I’ve seen friends’ children with RSV and I wasn’t going to take a chance.
It was funny how in that moment, and the hours that followed, all my stress and irritation and general grumpiness that I generally notice when I spend too much time on social media disappeared. I never once reached for my phone while we waited to see a doctor. I never once stressed about something else. In that moment, it was clear that Seth was the only thing that mattered.
Of course, every mother would feel this way. And it should come as no great shock or “aha!” moment. But the truth is, it wasn’t until afterward when I reflected on it that I realized the power of putting what’s truly important first.
To ease all your minds, he was fine. The doctor said it should clear up in a few days and gave me a few things to watch for in case it worsened.
All the ickiness and self-doubt I feel when I prioritize my business or my social media above my kids and my family are because they aren’t supposed to go first. While my business brings life as an art form and allows me a creative outlet, the actual business side isn’t really a picnic for me. When my family takes it’s proper place as first in my day, first for my attention and energy, those feelings aren’t there. Life doesn’t feel so heavy or difficult.
I definitely have a ways to go. But it’s a journey and fortunately for me, there’s room for grace and false starts. Every morning is a new day and a new opportunity to prioritize the important things.
Being a mama of little ones is hard. Between Mom-guilt and the unattainable idea that moms should be able to do everything for everyone, get very little time to herself and feel fulfilled by it, we need all the support we can get! You aren't in this alone. We're here to walk through the ups and downs of motherhood together in a judgment-free, supportive way.