before hero, i had worked very hard for a very long time to build my life and my sense of self into something that i was proud of. i had earned a master's degree in a field i adored and was lucky enough to have a great job working in that field as an art therapist with adolescents. i also taught as an adjunct professor at a local university and found teaching to be incredibly rewarding. it sounds silly but i often felt impressed with and proud of myself when i was working and when i thought about all i had accomplished by my mid-twenties.
then hero came into our lives and things changed. i felt a level of love, happiness, and excitement that i never knew before. my relationship with chas deepened and my appreciation for his love and goodness grew even stronger. we were a family of three now and my life suddenly felt so much more complete and meaningful than before.
and then came the reality of being a stay-at-home mom: staying home all day. for the past two months, or so, i've really been struggling with this. being an art therapist and teaching a class full of college students during the day had suddenly been replaced with a trip to the grocery store and an occasional afternoon play date with mom friends (thank goodness for these friends!). i found myself in a whole new and different life and, to be honest, i'm still trying to figure it out. i often felt jealous of chas. it seemed like he got to the live the best of both worlds: going to work every day where he got to be creative, challenged, and interact with like-minded professionals and then come home and get to be a dad for the evening.
of course i love being a mom and am so grateful for the chance i have to stay home all day with my daughter but that doesn't mean there aren't some challenges. in the process of stepping into this new world of stay-at-home mom-ness, i felt like i was losing myself. that person i had worked so hard to become had all but disappeared and i wasn't sure who i really was anymore outside of the title "mom." i'm still not sure but i think i'm getting closer to finding out.
then, last night, i stumbled upon a blog of a talented photographer named, rachel thurston. i started reading some of her recent posts and found that, in just a few short sentences, she said pretty much exactly how i have been feeling AND answered a lot of questions i had been grappling with as well!
in this post she says,
in this post she says,
i felt so much validation and clarity after reading this.
first, i LOVE the idea that spending time working and being a great mom are NOT mutually exclusive. instead, for me, being able to work- and thus, being able to be more of who i am- can make me a better mom because i'm being true to my whole self. i just really love that truth.
secondly, for years and years i've struggled with feeling content. i've written plenty of blog posts about wanting to be better at being content with life and more grateful. at the same time, however, i DO feel like i'm a grateful person and that i DO see and appreciate all the blessings i have. so it's always felt a little confusing to me as to why i feel grateful but then continue to struggle with grabbing hold of that ever-elusive "contentedness."
maybe i'm a total dummy but i had never thought of a creative person never feeling content- simply because they're creative. it was like a breath of fresh air in being allowed to accept that part of myself and even acknowledge my discontent as being a good thing! after all, it was my discontent and creative drive that started our little film production company, kelly arts: films. in fact, i can probably trace almost any creative accomplishment in my life to this same struggle with feeling fully content. only, now i don't see it as a struggle, but as...a talent? yes. a talent.
i have great hopes that, in time, i will find a balance between being the great mom that i am and being the great creative, working woman that i am as well.
here's to constantly moving forward!