Who’s On First, What’s on Second?May 1, 2019
Being a mom is challenging because you are never just a mom. Prior to having children, you had a life, passions, goals and relationships. When the children are young, you make many sacrifices because they need you. You know their stage of dependence on you is a short one even if it feels really long. So you think in the future, when the kids are older, I will….
Over time, it gets harder to manage your time effectively because your children also have lives, passions, goals and relationships. They want to have a friend over, take gymnastics classes after school and sign up for soccer.
You are working hard to achieve your career goals, you are careful to set some time aside to go out with your partner or stay in together when the children are out. You visit with your parents on the weekend and make plans with friends whenever you can. Your friends have their own ecosystems of career, family, partner so trying to find a compatible time to connect takes some effort.
You are at the centre of a Ferris wheel trying to keep everyone in their seats. And then, there’s self-care. You hear about the importance of having time alone, taking a hot bath, cooking healthy meals, and getting some fresh air and exercise. You wonder where to squeeze that in. You know it’s important and you feel guilty when you neglect your health but there isn’t always time.
Why am I writing about this today? For the longest time, my career life was on hold. I was trying to build my business but I was far more invested in caring for my children and so my business was floundering. Now, my daughters are older and my business has taken off. I receive regular calls from people looking for a workshop or a speaker and they “heard” about me and are looking to hire me. It feels so good to have built a reputation and be in demand. I recently received an award for business innovation. That feels amazing, a reward for the many years that I have worked hard, feeling invisible in my community. The book that I have been working on for nearly three years has now been published. The following week is filled with radio interviews and book signings, it’s all good.
However, my eldest daughter has been more and more depressed. I have taken her in for professional support and I worry that it will escalate. The thought of my daughter joining the statistics of suicide frightens me. Loving someone who doesn’t love herself, trying to convince her that she is important and that she matters is excruciating. It is even harder when you try to explain her words and behaviours to your youngest child who is witnessing everything. Why doesn’t she come out and play with me anymore? I have never felt so many conflicting feelings. Pride and joy over my business. Fear and worry for my eldest daughter. Guilt because my youngest daughter has a front-row seat to the whole thing. Sadness that my partner can’t help because he has his own struggles. That’s a whole lot of emotions.
I wanted to share this with you because I know I’m not alone. Anyone following me on social media right now would imagine I must be on top of the world. However, you can only be at the top of the world when you have your loved ones up there with you. I am on top of the world in business and in the tranches with my daughter. That is motherhood, complex, multi-faceted and always evolving.