Back in December, I wrote this post about taking time for myself in 2013. That's easy to say, but the truth is, there's often that lingering "mama guilt". I'm a stay-at-home-parent and homemaker. My two children are ages four, and 19 months, which means they're still pretty dependent upon me. My day is currently filled with books, ramps for toy cars, and supplies for (endless) craft projects of my 4yo's own design. Oh, and trying to keep the house (somewhat) clean. And preparing 3 meals a day. And the constant errand-running. There's barely time for all that...how do I make time for me without sacrificing something that can't really be sacrificed?
The answer, for me, was not to sacrifice (okay, well, maybe the house-cleaning...shhh!), but to reorganize. At the end of February, we lost my mother-in-law to a 9 month battle with cancer. That kind of thing takes a toll on everyone, and we were physically and emotionally exhausted. While we were out of town for the funeral, I received an offer to grab a dream that I hadn't actually planned on getting to for several more years. The opportunity left me sort of stunned, but I wasn't really in a mental state to process or accept, and so I pushed it aside.
A week went by, and I brought it up to my husband, who encouraged me not to wait for a "better time" because a better time might not come. Yes, we have small children. Yes, we were coming off of a challenging year and in a period of mourning. Yes, it could potentially mean some late night and odd schedules and a new routine on our part, but if it was my dream...
A month, many emails, and a phone call later, I officially signed the paperwork:
And suddenly, just like that, I had a new career writing children's books. Or at least, an agent who believed enough in my manuscripts to help me launch a career writing children's books.
It means I'm now adding hours on to my day, writing after the kids are in bed. It means my to-do list is longer. It means I have to pull together a professional wardrobe for a work-related conference after wearing jeans and t-shirts for the last 4 years.
On the other hand...
It allows me to (at least try to) pursue a career that I'm passionate about. It's new, and fun, and exciting. And despite the craziness of the last few months, I feel better about me. I'm eating better, I lost that last 10lbs of baby weight, and I'm a very happy kind of busy.
Who would have thought, when I wrote that post last December that this is where I would be 7 months later?
Motherhood is an exhausting job. Some days, it can break us down. I'm encouraging you, when those days come along, take a moment to yourself. It is when we are our best selves that we can be better mothers, spouses, and friends.
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. :)