HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! (In typical “mom” fashion, I’m late, I know.)As I have been on a mini hiatus for the last few months, and trying to find an avenue to “re-launch” myself into the world of blogging, I figured what better time than around Mother’s day, to jump back into the swing of things. Today’s post is about all of the things that encompass motherhood. Exhaustion, perseverance, decision making, forgiveness, and confidence. I want to share a little bit about how all of these little aspects have tied into my 6 month hiatus from the blog – from the perspective of a mom and life in general.
In October, we discovered that we were expecting our second baby. It was sheer excitement until 6 weeks when I started spotting. Although I had anticipated using a midwife this pregnancy, I saw an OB-GYN to make sure both myself and baby were healthy. In the most un-compassionate, non-tactful way possible, he told me to expect a miscarriage, and left me feeling helpless, and devastated. I left his office 100% certain that if my pregnancy carried on, I would receive all of my care through a midwife. At 7 weeks, the morning sickness started – and lasted until – it hasn’t ended (although much fewer and further between). Here, I thought by week 14, I would be feeling fine, but Nooooo – I continue to have violent episodes of sickness every week or two. My daughter was teething and not sleeping, I was getting migraines that had me in tears, and I was far more irritable than my first pregnancy.All of this was happening while trying to grow my own private practice physical therapy business, and continuing to work part time for a clinic that was 50 minutes in the opposite direction of where I needed to be spending my time. To say I was spent is an understatement.
This brings me to perseverance. Every single day for the last 6-7 months, I have had to consciously CHOOSE to get out of bed and take care of my toddler, to show up to work and see clients and smile, to drive an hour to another clinic to see more clients and smile, and come home and take care of my household and family. I have had to pull myself up by the bootstraps on many days, and remind myself that “this too shall pass”, although when your head is in a toilet, its hard to feel that way. I have had to CHOOSE positivity over wallowing in feelings of self-pity and pessimistic thoughts. IT HAS BEEN HARD – and I have failed on more than one occasion. There were a few days where I just CRIED and felt sorry for myself and fed my fiance the “woe is me” line – and then I pulled myself together, apologized for acting “hormonal” and moved forward.I share this to remind you, that us moms are very resilient creatures. We endure SO MUCH. We could have the WORLD on our shoulders, and we walk around like we’re only holding our coffee cup. So, kudos to all of the “get it done” moms out there, persevering through much more trying times, and probably maintaining a more sane, calm and collected attitude than me. YOU ARE THE REAL MVPs!
As my pregnancy has successfully progressed, so has my need to make a few tough decisions. At 7 months pregnant, I took a leap of faith and ventured ENTIRELY out on my own. I left the part time clinic work I was part of, and decided to devote myself completely to growing MY business. In all honesty, it shouldn’t have taken me as long as it did, but I was terrified of the unknown and the instability. Both my fiance and I are entrepreneurs, working for ourselves. Neither of us have “security” when it comes to a salary job with great benefits. If I was 22 and single, with no kids, I probably would have been more eager to jump, but when you have a family to support, your mentality on big decisions changes.As moms, we stress so much about finances, putting food on the table, making sure our kids aren’t overloaded on sugar and processed foods, finding the best school system (and then having to change jobs or move to be able to put them in said school). Every big decision we make, accounts for how it will affect not just ourselves, but our FAMILY. It is an enormous responsibility, and yet, we usually do it without ever thinking about it. It is hardwired into our nature.
I think this trait is one that we tend to be best at when it has to do with forgiving others, but need to work on when it’s about forgiving ourselves.They always tell you that you are your own worst critic, and it couldn’t be more accurate. We are always criticizing ourselves for EVERYTHING – our blemishes, our cellulite, our stretch marks, the bags under our eyes, and our weight. We self-critique about all of the things that we should have gotten done that we didnt (the laundry, the dishes, mopping and that list of things we didnt pick up from the store, and that gym session that we missed for the 4th time this week). When the nanny, or the husband forgets something at the store, or forgets to put the washer on “delicate” cycle, its “no big deal” (well, maybe the hubs doesnt get off so easily ;)), but when we do it, we beat ourselves up.As women, and mothers, and humans, we need to learn to forgive ourselves. We have to remember that it is 100% OK to fall short, as long as we are always striving to do better. Not that we shouldn’t hold ourselves accountable, but we also need to be gentle with ourselves. We are only ONE person, often times carrying the responsibility of TEN.
Lastly, I want to touch on confidence. I have always been fairly self-confident – never overly so, and not cocky, but comfortable in my skin, comfortable with my skills and abilities to handle life and challenges and make sound decisions. Motherhood has made me question that. From my body changing, to my goals changing, to trying to figure out if entrepreneurial life was for me, I have questioned every aspect of who I am. But in doing so, I have also had self-revelations, and by reflecting and spending some time “soul-searching”, I have developed more confidence in my ability to be wear multiple hats and make it fashionable 😉 (i.e. super-mom, career woman, entrepreneur, wife, and simply ME).On this beautiful week following Mother’s Day , I hope that you all remember how amazing you are. I hope that you feel encouraged, and appreciated, and respected, and in a moment of reflection, remind YOURSELF how you have persevered through whatever life has thrown at you on this journey – as a woman, a mother, a wife, a friend, or in your career. Remember that exhaustion seems everlasting as a mom, but perseverance (and an occasional night of “good” sleep) can carry us through. Remember to forgive yourself when you find that you are falling short, especially by your own standards, and keep in mind, life is all about balance! xo,Dr. A