Sunday, May 02, 2010

Finding Me Again

My last post sparked another post, funny how that works. It seems that some of you can relate to my ramblings about finding myself on the other side of the mommy trenches. In fact, someone asked how I have gone about that.

I don't really think I did it consciously.

I realized that couldn't be the mother of small children forever. I think we all to often don't visualize beyond the early years of motherhood when we dream of becoming a mother. Once that phase passes, we wonder what we are supposed to do with ourselves. We lose what has defined us for so long, dare I say, even before we actually became mothers.

I always knew I wanted to be a mother. I was 4 years old and pretending with my dolls. Of course, being me, I was realistic about it, fully thinking that the only thing that might stop me is not finding my one and only. At age 19 I did find him and he, too, wanted children. It was no longer if, it was when.


And then I blinked and my baby was starting kindergarten. I remember feeling a bit lost and torn about the approaching first day of school. My days as a stay at home mom to little boys were over.

I wallowed in that for a bit and then like I always do, I moved on. The truth is, yes, that part of my life is over but my life is no where near over. In fact, when I sit down and think about it for 5.2 seconds, it is full, full of blessings.

Family time with boys that no longer need their butts wiped but instead can have intelligent, funny and deep conversations with me. We can play the adult version of Monopoly. Easily. There is much less screaming and crying and more laughing and joking (I know, I should be over the crying part but it takes time, you know).

Now that Jack and Kamden are almost 9 and 6 (gasp!), I have much more time for me. I get the impression that some mothers consider me time incredibly selfish. I never have but perhaps that is because I am a bit on the selfish side. Or realistic. I prefer to think it is the latter. Without me time, I get grouchy, resentful and down right awful to live with. I have never believed in being resentful, instead I make things happen. I prioritize. I make me as important as laundry, cleaning and work afterall I am a many things, mother being one of them.

This is how I found me again.

I watched other moms who worked from home. I took a risk, tried it out and made it happen.

I watched other moms who were fit and active and I wanted it too, so I made it happen.

I watched others take amazing photos and post them on their blogs. I was inspired. I picked up my camera and played. It's become a hobby that I love. There is no pressure, only joy because I can pick it up and drop it as wish. My aspirations are only to capture the memories for me and my family.

I watched (and still do) other moms and people be good friends. I am still working on being a better friend, mother, wife, daughter and sister. It's a life long journey. But again, it won't happen unless I make it happen.

Table arrangement

I have always been a big believer in the fact that I am in charge. I am captaining this here ship and it goes where I choose. Naturally there are storms and waves that rock the path but that just gives me different choices and opportunities. I have to roll with it.

I think that I began to find me again when Kamden was only a baby and I made the decision to work from home and it's been a process and a journey since. That decision and each decision I have made since has been made with my heart.

When I was a kid and the song by Whitney Houston, "The Greatest Love of All" was popular, I remember my mom saying to me that she wished someone had told her to love herself when she was a kid. I have never forgotten those words and have tried to live by them. My philosophy is that if I don't love something about myself then I change it. Granted this is easier said than done but I have come to learn that never trying is the biggest disservice I could ever do myself or my family.

My dudes

I am, and always will be, so many things, one of which is Mommy to these two incredible beings.


Cheryl said...

you are a fantastic friend...I cherish you!
life is such a journey, I love how you are really present...we should all be like that.
I can only imagine how great the years will be with our boys growing into young adults. Sit back and admire your boys....they are wonderful

3LittleMonkeys said...

Beautiful post! I can't imagine what life will be when my kids are all in school. It's hard to imagine a diaper-free world at the moment. So I guess I should just treasure these moments and live for today. Thank you.

Angella said...

Great post, Kami. When the kids were babies, a lot of me faded away. I'm glad to have those pieces back. :)

Lori: Teacher Turned Mommy said...

great post. I know that for me at least I plan on going back to work once my boys are older. I look forward to the days where diaper changes and bedtime fights are not a part of life. You deserve to find yourself and be yourself... every mother does

Karen MEG said...

Kami, every word of this post touched me, every colour in every picture. You write so beautifully, and I get it, I totally get it.

And I can attest to the fact that yes, if you do go back full time work, out of the home, after the kids are older (even though my baby will be 6 this year ... ack, my first baby is 10!) you DO find a part of yourself that you may have hidden (not lost, never lost).

The kids do grow, so, so fast ... and I'm making a point of it to embrace every moment just as you are, because they will always be my "small children" whether they're 3 or 30.

Loved this, my friend.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this post! I'm at a similar place in my life to you. My boys are similar ages to yours (5 and almost 8) and I FINALLY feel like I am "Hannah" again, and not just "Ethan and Tyler's Mum". It's HARD work when the kids are little, and you totally lose yourself. It's awesome to rediscover that now. You enjoy every minute of it!! xx

Ed said...

One of the things they don't tell you in the baby books is that kids grow up!

Tough lessons you seem to be handling with ease.

teeni said...

You are all kinds of awesome. Wish my mom had seen this when I was a kid. Also, I've always felt that it takes a conscious decision to be the kind of person you want to be, the type of person who has qualities you admire in others. That's what it sounded like to me when you wrote that you saw other moms and other women with qualities you admired so you adopted them for your own. I wish you had been an inspiration speaker for me when I was a kid. :)

Elaine A. said...

Now that I KNOW our family is complete I am looking forward to things being more about me and less about the "baby" (not just K, but any of them!). And not in a selfish way, just in a "they don't need me as much" way. Does that make sense? You know, like where you are right now. Someday. For now I cherish the last baby days... :)

Debbie said...

What a great post Kami, thank you!

Jen Wilson said...

I've always considered "me time" INTEGRAL to the whole motherhood thing. "Me time" makes me a better mother. It really does.

I love having you as a friend!

Stacie's Madness said...


Misty said...

I think, as mothers, we all have to learn to love each other, at what ever stage of motherhood we are.

I think someone thinking you are selfish for having more time (that you have earned) to dedicate to yourself is wrong. I thing a mother who is not done with raising toddler and under children that is judged because she is still chasing that dream is wrong. We all decide when and how to move forward.

You are a lovely woman, at your own stage, even if ours is different.

And my kids (gasp) are getting older, too - - Hannah will be TEN!!! Yikes!

kanishk said...

I should just treasure these moments and Thank you.
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A Crafty Mom said...

I think me time is so key to happiness. This post is so inspiring, I love it. My three are still young, so I am still sometimes feeling pretty drained, but I know there is hope for me in the future :)

Thanks for reminding me!!

Beautiful post. I'm so happy for you.