Before You Were a Mom

I used to have a job that saw me wear one too many hats (on only one salary, too, of course) but that seemed perfectly fine to me at the time. Maybe it was some egotistical need to feel...well...needed that kept me powering through double-booked appointments, never-ending voicemails and early morning alarm clocks all in the name of keeping "the man" happy.

Fast forward to motherhood and here I am in nearly the same circumstances...except incredibly not.

My "agenda" doesn't currently know the meaning of appointment times. I run on the clock of a toddler and an infant and a shift-working husband. My voicemails are iPhone reminders that I've set for myself to eat and drink water to keep up my milk supply. My alarm clock is a nursing baby who thankfully doesn't even come close to being as annoying as those blinking red numbers I used to despise so much....even at 3AM.

In the past, I forged through all of these things without a second thought or a blink of an eye. I was active in my community and busy as hell but I was having a lot of fun connecting with people and feeling like I had a purpose.
I know I still have purpose. In fact, I have the most important job in the entire world right now and I AM needed more than I could ever imagine. So why, then, does it still feel like something's missing?

Is it because I'm not getting a paycheck? Is it because MY new-mommy responsibilities are just the same as everybody else's new-mommy responsibilities and no one really gives a crap? Or, is it because whenever I seem to reach out and connect with "like-minded mommies" in an effort to stay involved in my community, it just turns into a bitchfest about random mommy things, comparing and critiquing every other mommy in the battle of the mommy wars, and I end up leaving feeling all the more apathetic and unmotivated to connect to anyone other than those nearest and dearest to me?

Perhaps...and yes, most likely.

So how do I change that? Maybe I gotta take the focus off the "mommy" a little? Maybe I have to draw a line in the sand that says: Mommy...Over Here! JEN...Over There!

Maybe...but how?

How can one truly divide themselves? Do they have to? And would they really, truly want to?

In order to achieve that balance, what's gotta give?

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Thanks to The Joyful Mother for this one. The universe presented it to me at the most perfect time! :)

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All you need is love...

If I could just get out of my head for a minute, I'm sure I could accomplish a whole heck of a lot. Call it "Mommy Burnout" or maybe it's just the time of year but it seems lately that as soon as I actually have a free minute to myself, all I end up doing is thinking and stressing about the million-and-one things I have to do and how I can create a better system for them all instead of just getting up off my butt and doing them.

So after yet another late night for the kiddos, Joleigh woke at 5:30 in the morning...overtired, hungry and just plain cranky. After reasoning enough with her to go back to sleep for a bit (and then nursing little bro back to sleep after he woke from all the commotion), there I was: head uncomfortably on my pillow, mind racing and not a wink of sleep in sight.

"Screw this!" I finally said to myself and got up out of bed to retreat to our living-room-turned-yoga/quiet room (still haven't come up with a proper name for it).

I zeroed in on my yoga mat in the complete darkness of the morning and just sat. "Ok, brain, let's get our shit sorted out right now so I can move on with life! Deal?"

Sitting wasn't really doing it for me so I rested flat on my back and stretched my arms and legs as long as I could. I could feel months worth of sore, tight, nursing shoulders screaming at me as I did this. I would've screamed back if I wasn't worried about waking the babies. I could feel every connection in my hips and pelvis terribly attempting to re-align themselves...probably something that still hasn't actually happened since they passed a 9-pound turkey through them just four short months ago.

"I am in rough shape," I thought to myself.

Okay, so in an attempt to minimize all the extra and unnecessary *things* in my life, I seemed to have done nothing more than take on too many UN-meaningful *projects* in some futile quest to become everything I thought would make me happy.

And by happy, I mean rich.

And by rich, I mean able to contribute some small amount to the bills my husband so happily works so hard to pay.

This all came to me whilst laying on that yoga mat this morning...and while I still haven't actually shut off my brain yet, I at least have real direction...and resolve.

It's already been a year since I left my corporate job to stay home with my daughter and do what really made me happy. What I, for the first time in my life, truly thought was my "calling". To be a doula; to give women support and encouragement to be the fierce mama bears they naturally are; and to be a good mom.

Somehow I lost that along the way...and adding a second child in with my constant search of certificates and designations and, quite frankly, money....I think I lost a bit of my sanity, too.

I know that money does not equal success. But ya gotta eat to live. I'm just thankful that I do have such a supportive husband who loves his job and has been so patient with me while I find my way.

I used to always say, "All you need is love." And I do still believe a certain point. Realistically, yes, we do need more than just love. We do need food and shelter and other basic necessities in order to live but as I sat in the darkness of my no-name room in the wee hours of this morning, this little "sign" that was shining on my wall from my Scentsy burner reminded me that no matter what you do, LOVING what you do and who you are is the most important thing.

So now it's time for me to go back to my Suncor and Leadership Wood Buffalo days, break out my 7 Habits book and "Put First Things First".

Project: Sort My "Big Rocks" is now in effect and I very much look forward to letting go of so many things that are contributing to the madness that is Mommy Burnout.

Until next time...

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