Sometimes I feel as though I am making a choice between my children and my life. I feel pulled in two very different directions that makes me feel as if I take care of one I’m neglecting the other. I’m trying to find balance in life, but it is so hard.
Before I became a mom it was easy to set aside time to take care of me. Part of the reason was I could leave my job behind and go home. And I also felt a great sense of purpose in the job I did each day. When I went home I was ready to take a break and just sit and enjoy life.
Leaving the military behind
Then I left the Air Force to become a stay at home mom and life forever changed. I think life changes for everyone when they become a parent. For me, I lost my identity of Air Force Officer and Civil Engineer and traded it in for stay at home mom. Many of the things I had worked so hard for. Things I was so proud of. They were gone. Maybe not actually gone, forgotten might be a better way to explain it.
And yes, I was proud that I had given birth to a healthy baby boy. But what credit did I really have a part to play in that? I had attempted and failed at a natural birth and all the books I read that I thought would prepare me to be a great mom only left me feeling inadequate and not enough.
Mom life leads to fulfillment?
I had always thought becoming a mom would bring so much joy and fulfillment to my life. People had warned me that being a parent would be hard. But they would always say things like it is worth it or some other cheesy truth that made me feel like I would be fine. I mean, I had deployed to Afghanistan and not only survived, but thrived. Deployment is hard. And when I really look back at it, I’m glad I went through parts of my deployment. It made me a stronger person and I learned a lot about myself.
Deployment prepared me for motherhood…
But there were also parts of my deployment that were hard and unnecessary. Times where people were mean to each other and hurt me and my friends.
Maybe motherhood is more like a deployment than I think. There are parts of motherhood that are hard, but when you look back you think, “It was hard, but I’m glad I went through that.” But other parts of motherhood were hard and you don’t really feel like they added anything to your life except stress and frustration. Just like a deployment.
It makes sense that both motherhood and deployment have so many comparisons because they are both parts of life. And in each life experience, there are highs and lows. Good parts and bad parts. Parts that help you grow. And parts that maybe happened, but didn’t add value to your life.
Finding balance in life
And our job is to navigate these hard things and find a balance in life. Balance to take care of ourselves and our passion. While also taking care of our life responsibilities. I have had such a hard time finding this balance. I feel like I am either working too much in one area and not enough in another.
What can we do to find that balance in life? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
As I continue through this motherhood blogging journey I realize that I need to take time for myself and my passion. I still can be a good mom and have a business on the side. So maybe it is less about balance and more about giving myself grace.