I walked into the house, looked around and immediately started yelling at Joe. I was pissed! How come I couldn’t go to my office (my she-shed in my backyard) for just one hour without coming back to the house looking like a total shit show? How the hell was I supposed to get anything done with my own business if I couldn’t leave for just an hour or two? These are the things I yelled at my husband. He was at a total loss. He didn’t know where this was coming from. We had been in Shelter in Place for a week and half and I hadn’t had a break down, yet. I hadn’t cried, I hadn’t been upset, I had just powered through. I instantly took on the new role of being the home-school teacher and the stay at home mom. A role, that I had never wanted. I had JUST quit teaching because I knew I wanted something different in my life. I knew I wanted to help other women find themselves and know that there IS more to this life than just going through the motions.
I didn’t realize until a few days later why I had been so upset with my husband. I didn’t realize why I resented the fact that he was able to work his job when I was suddenly putting my dreams on hold. When shelter in place started, I immediately thought “well, Joe makes the money right now, and with the market dropping, we need him to continue to make the money, so I’ll be the home-school teacher and I’ll embrace it with joy”. And that’s when I lost myself. Again! Why, as women, do we do this to ourselves? Why do we put our dreams and our wants on the back burner in order to make everyone else feel good? Do the kids need someone to teach them while they are home? Yes? Does Joe need time to work his job, so we continue to get a paycheck? Yes. But that doesn’t mean my dreams are put on hold or that I need to lose my identity at the same time. And that doesn’t mean that everything I’ve learned over the last two years, about how to live into my dreams, needs to be thrown out the window. And the thing is, Joe never expected these things of me. I put these expectations on myself. Why? How? Because, in our society we are taught that it isn’t lady like to continue to work on your own dreams while your kids are home and needing you. It’s considered selfish to not want to be the home-school teacher. Maybe this sounds harsh. Maybe it sounds jarring. I agree. It is. And I’m not saying to just ignore this situation and the pain that it may be causing your children at this time. Right now, our whole family needs to be a family unit and be there for each other in our greatest time of need. However, what I am saying is that we, as moms, can’t ignore our needs as well. We need to take time to grieve. We need to take time to adjust to the new normal. We also need to figure out how to not throw our dreams away during this time and how to still be true to ourselves. We need to figure out how to realize that chasing our dreams, even during a pandemic, is not considered selfish.
For the first week of quarantine, I embraced it all. I used all my tools and motivation to stay happy and full of joy. I think I was still in the first stage of grief at this point “denial”. By the second week, I wasn’t as consistent, I was more “hit and miss”. What do I mean by that? One day I felt great and then the next day I felt exhausted and just wanted to lay in bed and watch Hallmark Christmas movies. I was grieving; but I didn’t know it. I was grieving the loss of my dream and the routines that I had established. I was grieving the fact that everything around us was changing and it was hard. And I couldn’t talk about it because that isn’t lady like. We aren’t supposed to grieve. We are supposed to be strong and not actually admit that we don’t always have our shit together. What if, during these hard times, especially in these hard times, being the “good mom” and the “good wife” actually means living INTO your dreams and taking time for ourselves? What if it means stepping up and being your true self? What if that looked different for every mom and wife? What if that means some of us are truly amazing at home schooling our kids? Or that some of us are rock stars at making the schedules and art projects for our children? But what if it also meant that some of us aren’t rock stars in that arena but are amazing at being entrepreneurs? Or are awesome at running a business? Or have a skill at bringing people together in hard times? What if being a “good mom”, meant that we teach our children how to be true to themselves by watching us be true to ourselves?
How do we do this? How do we create time to chase our dreams when we might be lacking in time or space? This has been my biggest challenge and something that I have had to play around with. I can’t tell you what type of schedule will work for you, that is something you are going to need to tweak. For me, it means that when Joe is finished with work, I go to our room and work on my projects. Sometimes that looks like actual work and sometimes that looks like meditation or just reading a good book. I also take more time on the weekends to escape to my office to really focus on things that make me happy or bring me joy. I try to use this time to connect with my friends (zoom happy hours) or to just be in a quiet environment without any type of connection to news or social media. I spend a lot of time working on keeping my inner peace. These are the ways that I have been able to stay connected with myself and my dreams. Your schedule may look a little different, but I do urge you to find a way to stay connected to your true self. I hope, as women, we are able to find a way to create a safe, nurturing environment for our family, as well as creating a safe, nurturing environment for ourselves.
I'm an average girl who has discovered her passion for self-development after warrioring (yes, it's a word) through 6 miscarriages. I took that passion and applied it to helping others find their passions through High Performance Coaching. Boy mom to two "energetic boys" and navigating the art of being a step mom to a teenage girl, all while working daily on maintaining an authentic relationship with the best husband around. Sometimes mindful. Sometimes a runner. Always a little crazy!