Tuesday, April 1, 2014

"I want my mom to be happy." - Food for Thought.

Yesterday, my sister-in-law shared this blog post with me.  Go read it.... I'll wait.

It hit me in the gut.  It summed up so much of where I am in my life right now.  This... this paragraph:
"Holy crap, you guys. We’ve got to get our joy back. We think it’s love to allow our roles –mother, wife, volunteer, career woman – to consume us like a fire until we can’t even be seen anymore – but that’s not love. I think our kids want to really see us. They want us to leave a part of ourselves unconsumed so they can see us. I think our kids want to see us come alive sometimes. Our kids never asked for martyrs.  It is not love to allow yourself – your spirit – to be buried and then fade away."

This is me, people.  I've let all of these roles I play every single day take over every fiber of my being.  I'm constantly thinking about who I need to take care of, who I need to please, always doing THE RIGHT THING FOR EVERYBODY BUT ME.  

When the girls were younger, Danny and I each had one night of the week that was ours.  He took writing classes at Second City.  I took classes of various sorts - knitting, hula, tap dancing.  It was fun, and it gave me an outlet, something to do that was just mine.  But as the girls got older and our lives got busier, those things, too, seemed to disappear.  

The problem, though, is that it's a bit of a vicious circle, isn't?  I'm so busy doing things for others that I'm too tired to do things for myself, so I don't do the things to take care of either my physical or mental well-being.  I figure if I can make everyone else happy, then I'll be happy, too, right?  It doesn't work that way, though.  What I'm really doing is not making anybody truly happy.

So I read things like this Momastery post, and I know that I am not alone in feeling weighed down by the expectations and stresses that I PLACE ON MYSELF.... I know the things I take on and that pressure to be perfect is not coming from an external place; I can choose to ignore the perfect party Pinterest pins and the picture perfect version of motherhood that is projected through various media sources.  

I can find those things that feed my soul, those things that have fallen by the wayside over the past few years.  I can reconnect with friends who I've not been a very good friend to lately. 

I can find my joy.

I will find my joy again.  

So thank you, Kris, for sending this my way on a day when I desperately needed it.  Keep 'em coming!


  1. This totally spoke to me. I am in that place. Doing for others, trying to find joy again. So true, all of it!! Thank you for sharing!!

  2. Wow - thanks for sharing this! I've bookmarked that site to revisit. I see she has a Ted talk too! I think so many of us can relate! I give and give and give, except time for me. I know and I say this to others, "You have to take care of yourself first. If Mommy is happy, then everyone else is happy." But I don't live it. That's what we need to do. Thanks for being so open and sharing this tonight! I was meant to read it too! Let's go find our joy!

  3. So come back and join us at Shermer Stories. You told me that night you forgot how much you enjoyed playing a part.

  4. Thanks Mindi for sharing this one...great reminder. May you find your joy again.

  5. Very well said, Mindi. Do what makes you feel alive, even if it is just tap dancing or knitting. Call it a guilty pleasure if you want, but it truly is giving a gift to our children - a happy and joyous mom.

  6. I was definitely convicted when I read that post, Mindi. My youngest has been asking me why I don't quit my teaching job because of the high stress, hours and hours of grading, meetings and paperwork for months now. Right now teaching works for our family's schedule, and hopefully someday soon I'll figure out how to carve time for myself. It is difficult to do as a mom, and I've had to get used to the fact that I can't please everyone all the time. I signed up for a writers bootcamp with CJ Redwine over break, a small step in making time for me and recovering my joy. Please know that you're not alone. ��