This post is a little more specific than some of the others. And it’s also a lot more personal. In fact, I can feel the knot rising in my throat as I think about putting these thoughts out into the world where anyone can read them.
We all have parts of our life that we aren’t sure anyone else will relate to. This is one of mine. And while I would love to keep hiding it deep within the confines of my mind, the Lord has prompted me to share it. And I desire His will more than my comfort.
This post is not for everyone. It’s not for the person who feels like every person should be completely fulfilled just by being a mom. It’s not for the person who feels like every woman needs to fit a certain mold. If that’s you, I encourage you to read on only if you keep an open mind and remember that God has created each of us with different passions, skills, and desires. I pray that if you do decide to read on, that it will help you better understand the women who don’t think like you.
You see I have spent years feeling like I had to be this woman who was content and satisfied just by being a mom. I stayed home and made my career second to my job as a mom, because I felt the need to. And I probably unintentionally guilted other women into feeling that they needed to do the same. But the truth is, I have never felt fully content or satisfied just by being a mom. I was created with the desire to be a boss. I thrive on building companies, inspiring people, and dreaming big. It’s just who I am.
Do I love my daughters with all my heart? Absolutely. Do I feel incredibly blessed to have the freedom to be home with them? You better believe it. But do I also wonder what things would look like if I wasn’t trying to juggle mom duties at the same time? More than you know.
That may sound so twisted and strange to some of you. So let me explain. I absolutely love what I do. I love that I get to be my own boss and that I get to help other women reach their health goals and feel better about themselves. I know without any doubt that it is where I am meant to be. That it is what God designed me to do. But every day that my girls are home with me, I feel drained and spastic.
I feel fulfilled when I am working. I feel drained when I’m “momming”.
I know that so many people reading this will not understand. They will be tempted to judge me for feeling this way. And I’m okay with that. Because those of you who feel that way, you are probably right where you are meant to be. God designed you to be the most amazing, kick*ss mom on the planet! (Yes, I said that… get over it!) But you aren’t the only people on this planet and not everyone feels the same way as you. Maybe your story is the opposite. Maybe you feel drained when you go to work and fully alive when you are home with your children. That’s okay too. Embrace your feelings instead of trying to hide them. It’s okay to want to go to work. It’s okay to want to stay home. And it’s okay to create a stellar company while also being a mom.
I am currently writing this from the bathtub, with a migraine. Because it’s been a long morning with my children (and it’s only 12:30pm). So while Steel naps, I am choosing to take some time to do what fills me up, work. I could have chosen to play a card game with Miah because she’s been asking all morning. I could have chosen to do another load of laundry, because we are seriously close to running out of clean underwear. I could have chosen to dust my house so that people don’t start to mistake it for a haunted house. But I know myself well enough to know what I need to refuel and get through the day.
You don’t have to understand it to relate to it. You probably have your own thing that you need to get through the day. Maybe your thing that fuels you is quality time with your kids. If so, then take every opportunity to do that. Maybe your thing that fuels you is going for a run or getting some other form of physical exercise in. If so, then do more of that. Maybe, like me, your greatest need to take care of yourself is to sit in a bathtub where no one can bother you and spend an hour writing a blog and replying to messages from women who are desperate for something different. Whatever it is, don’t feel guilty for making the time to do it.
For a long time, I have battled with the lie that if I take time for myself, to do what brings me joy, that I am selfishly putting myself above my children. I let that cripple me for a long time. I chose to stifle parts of me and not allow them to bloom because I wasn’t nourishing them. You see, just like a plant, we must have proper nutrients to bloom. That means we must take care of ourselves in ALL areas. And in order to take care of ourselves, we must allow our brains to think about us. To purposely put everyone and everything else on pause, and make sure our own needs are met.
This is true for our physical health. In order to be healthy, active moms who are able to get out and play ball with our kids, to chase them around and sit down on the floor beside them, we must take the time to do what is needed for our own health. That means we need to purposely take the time to choose good foods. It’s also true for our spiritual health. If we want to be strong spiritual women who lead our children toward Christ, we must be headed toward Him as well. This means taking the time to spend time with him each day. And this is also true for our emotional health. If we want to be calm, relaxed women and mothers who exude joy, we must fill ourselves up with things that bring us joy.
So you take that bath. Or read that book. Or go for that run. Or take that job. Or whatever it is that brings you joy. Because we are ultimately more happy, healthy and whole when we do.
Whether you work at home or in an office, whether you work for yourself or for a boss; you have to take care of yourself. And part of taking care of yourself, is taking time to do the things that bring you joy. The things that are a part of what God created you for. And you can do it without guilt. Because no one has the right to judge what you need.
I can be a better mom, when I have time to do what makes me happy. If I try to be the woman I feel pressured by society to be, the one who adores being a mom above all else, the one who spends every free minute soaking up precious moments with my children, I end up feeling drained and exhausted. And I end up yelling and screaming way more often. I need a different kind of balance. When I can spend at least a small amount of time to myself, soaking up the goodness of the Lord and finding ways to share that with others, I am more relaxed and able to enjoy those precious moments with my girls. When I am fully embracing who God made me and living out the calling He’s given to me, I am able to be a better mom, a better wife, and a better friend. And the same is true for you.
So do yourself a favor today and let go of every expectation you feel you need to uphold. Be whole and happy and healthy. Be who you were meant to be. Because that is the only way you can become the best mom, wife, boss, employee, or friend that you can be.