I'm More Than Just a Mom
I’m a mother to four young children, but that’s only a small part of who I am.
Before having kids, in my early twenties, I worked in Advertising. It was high-paced and exciting. You would have thought it would be the perfect career for a 20-something-girl who had little, to no, responsibilities. But after only a few short years, instead of enjoying those carefree days, I found myself in my tiny cubicle daydreaming about a totally different world.
Instead of becoming a powerful woman in the Advertising world, what I really wanted, was to become a mom. And not just any mom, a mom who stayed at home, played on the floor with her kids, and baked cookies all day long (the irony here is not lost on me).
A few short years later, I did just that. I got married, left my career, started having babies, stayed at home, and made cookies. Lots and lots of cookies.
In fact, that was the story of my life for many years. And while in many ways motherhood was everything I had envisioned as I daydreamed in my tiny cubicle only years before, it never quite completed me in the way that I had hoped it would. In fact, I think in some ways, it did just the opposite. It left a part of me longing for something more.
With each new baby, it was as if motherhood was slowly chipping away more and more of who I was, revealing a hole I didn’t know how to fill. It was a terrifying, empty feeling, knowing that I had built my entire life around being a mother, and as it turns out, that that wasn’t enough. While I loved mothering, I didn’t necessarily love the life I had built around being a mother. Changing diapers, singing nursery rhymes and wiping noses didn’t feel like enough. I needed more.
Shortly after, our family moved across the country. A move that I hoped would bring on an opportunity for me to explore more, quickly became complicated as we found out we were expecting our fourth baby. My itching and yearning for something more would have to wait. For now, it was back to diapers, nursery rhymes and wiping noses.
I was devastated. I wanted so badly for that chapter of my life to be over. And while I was blissfully overjoyed with the birth of our fourth child, I was equally overwhelmed with a feeling of being trapped. I was being sucked back into a hole I had already been down – three times.
I had already done this, for eight years, and I needed more. Maybe that’s wrong of me to say. Maybe motherhood should have been enough to make me happy. Maybe it is for most women. Maybe I wasn’t being grateful for the opportunity to be home with my kids. I don’t know. But what I do know from those years, is that I needed more. My kids needed me to be more. It was time for me to make a change.
So with no family around, a move barely under our belt, and a fourth baby added to the mix, I started something new. I took a leap of faith, and started my own blog, at what felt like the worst possible time. And while starting a blog may not sound like a huge undertaking, for me it symbolized so much more.
Here I was, this almost 40 something stay-at-home-mom who didn’t (and still doesn’t) know the first thing about blogging, or writing, or web hosting. I was so intimidated and over my head.
While I had been busy learning about swaddling techniques and researching preschools, it turns out other women were out there learning about technology, finances, and building businesses. They were out there doing amazing things. Building things. Learning things. Running things. For almost a decade I had been living with my head buried in a sea of all things motherhood, while other women were creating a whole new world of opportunities. One that I knew nothing about.
I doubted myself a lot at first, and on many days, still do. The fear, insecurity, and doubt is there, and maybe always will be. But what’s bigger than all of that is the feeling of curiosity, excitement and pride as I push myself, and learn and grow.
I talk with my children at night about becoming anything they want. About believing in themselves, taking risks and following their passion. I tell them that the whole world is out there waiting for you. Just waiting so see what amazing thing you’re going to do next. And then it dawns on me…. maybe it’s waiting for me too.