Alright. You know those days where you don’t feel like playing mom? Where you just don’t want – can’t – hear another whiny request or gather yet another snack for your paint covered child? When you’d just like to sit them in front of a marathon of Curious George and scour the internet for that perfect pair of cowboy boots to wear to your brother’s wedding?
And then, at the end of one of these days, your kids are more awful than ever and you know it’s because you’ve sucked all day and you’re left feeling crappier than you did when the day began? Now you just feel guilty and lame.
Well, I’m embarking upon a JOURNEY to bring these days to an end. Because, after all, on the days where I’m engaged and actually get on the floor and play without distraction (mental or otherwise), we ALL feel better. I still get moments here and there to cut away because I’ve given them the love and attention they need and nobody ends the day all sucky (yes, sucky). But it’s not that simple.
I know that not everyone can relate. Some women are just plain GREAT at playing mom. Naturally great. It just suits them and their days are filled with creative art projects and fresh baked muffins. I’M JUST NOT ONE OF THEM. I’m not a real natural mom. There you go, I admit it. I’m not. Playing make-believe is a chore and I’d rather organize my entire house than make a googly eyed dog out of plates and pipe cleaners.
For this reason, I often find myself actually envious that my husband gets to go to work. Yes, gets to go to work, like it’s a fucking vacation or something. Which, I realize, it’s very much not (except that he actually does enjoy what he does). My point is just that – that’s where I’m at mentally regarding the whole at-home-mom thing.
With that said, I regularly have moments where I’m washed over with gratitude that I’m able to go on mid-day bike rides with these two awesome little creatures and can hang out in my pajamas until noon if I want. Some days, I feel as good as I do when we’re on the road traveling – during which, these issues are non-existent. I feel whole and satisfied. But our current life can’t sustain non-stop travel, nor do I think that endless travel is my answer (or at least the entire answer). At any rate, life as I currently know it, feels halfway (perhaps three-quarters) right.
There is something missing. Almost always. I don’t quite feel whole. I can define myself as quite a few things, but not any one of them feels complete. Part of it is the fact that I haven’t been able to figure out what I’m meant to do with my life (other than aiding in the survival of two humans) – and, for me, that feels like a big piece of the puzzle. Feeling a bit lost largely defined my early 20’s and becoming a mother at the ripe old age of 25 did little to solve those issues – if anything, I’m a whole new form of lost (in the question about what I want to do when I grow up). But the other part is just within ME. A career isn’t going to find me eternal happiness – the only place I can find that is in myself.
SO, I’m going on a journey. Being a 20 something in this lost place felt okay, but my third decade is nearly over and action needs to be taken.
For now, I’m gonna call it The Happy Mommy Project.
This project is two-fold:
1) Focus on some serious self-reflective work, letting go of decades old fears – forgiving self-doubt and move forward with my intuition/heart/spirit guiding me.
2) Just do something. Anything. Pick a career pursuit and run with it. It doesn’t have to be the perfect choice and can evolve over time. The important part is just that forward steps are taken.
With one foot in front of the other and a heart full of gratitude, I embark upon this project. I’m not exactly sure what it’ll look like or how much I’ll write about it, but I’m hoping to check in regularly and share my process.
I’m also interested to see if anyone else out there feels like I do and wants to join me? If you get what I’m saying, drop me an email, I support you.
A happy family does a happy mommy make. A happy mommy means no more doldrums (or at least far fewer) – no more feeling shitty about how you handled your mommy duties that day because when you’re happy, you’re more balanced and more equipped to handle the two thousand hats every mother must wear.
Self Help, Mommy Style.