Changes can be scary. Sometimes you wish things would never change, but they sometimes have to in order to grow & improve.
Things change all around me, every day. Things I felt like would never change, have. Relationships, business plans, my personal self as women, as a mother, have all changed over the years. When it happens, in the moment, you may not even notice it. But looking back, you may notice that that have. That’s usually the way it goes- at least from my perspective.
Relationships have definitely changed. The person I used to call my best friend, is now a complete stranger to me. We aren’t just a “phone call away” anymore. We ended our ties a few years ago due to immaturity and miscommunication. The typical reasoning for why most childhood friendships and I feel like. I got engaged & was graduating from college. She was in another stage of her life and didn’t want to grow with me & support me. It’s understandable. Not everyone is always going to be happy for you, including those closest to you. It sucks when things like that happen. I figured her and I would be lifelong friends- sisters. I figured we would buy homes next to each other and raise our kids together, maybe her imaginary daughter and my son would get married so we would officially be “family”. But that was naive. I think over the years I have finally accepted that things wouldn’t be mended. I’m not personally thrilled about that, but it’s out of my control. You can only lead a horse to water; you can’t make them drink. I suppose it’s the same feeling as any other break up, with a partner you may have been engaged to, or a divorce from. Maybe even comparable to the pain of a departed one. Is it all the same really? I mean from my own personal life- any ex-boyfriend or ex-friendship I’ve ever had, ended with “no further contact”. Even the ones that ended amicably. It’s just expected I think. I also think because of all the loss I have endured in my lifetime from one way or another, has really made me who I am in some ways.
How I react or how I think into the future. Even in my marriage, I feel jaded in some ways over certain topics of conversation because my initial thought is “this will just end eventually”. – Or I should say, what “used to be my way of thinking”. We are working on that haha. I have to “trust” that my marriage is something stronger than my once closest relationships- that inevitably ended. So it’s tough. But again, something I’m working on!
In the business world, things change more rapidly- and much more obviously. Things like numbers can’t lie. I feel like with social media, or my website clicks, things of that nature- it’s pretty cut & dry. I know what to expect based on what efforts I make & so on. I know if I spend so many hours a week trying to target my responsive audience, what return I can expect from it- vs when I put in minimal efforts. Which guys- as “full throttle” as I am, I’m still human. There are days where I’m just not feelin’ it. There are days where I have to force myself to make a post or reply to a message. Not because I don’t enjoy all of this (because I do), but because I’m just as lazy as anyone else haha. As much as I hate admitting that I’m “lazy” I totally can be. But I know what my goals are & what I want to accomplish, what it will take from me to make those things happen. So I hold myself responsible and make sure I push myself. This alone is a huge change for me. I’m used to being a stay at home mom. I’m used to my schedule rotating around my sons wants and needs. It took me a good month to really create & commit to a schedule made for myself as an entrepreneur & as a mom. I feel like I have a consistent schedule down now that definitely works for both my son & I, but that was a crazy change & challenge for both of us in the beginning.
There have been changes made to myself as a human- a woman, a mother & as an entrepreneur, over the years. I would say the most major change for me to accept years ago, was just being a wife & a mother- from being single & childless. Going from being selfish to being a reliable, responsible adult.
When I was first a mother & a wife, I was only 22yrs old. I was terrified haha. I wasn’t sure if I was “ready” to be a wife/ let alone a mother. But life happens, and sometimes it’s “do or die”. We decided to “do”. I remember going out to lunch with a girlfriend of mine, and she brought another one of her friends with us (who was also a young mom). My son was a year or so at that time, her child was 6mo old. While we were at lunch, the fellow mom friend I hardly knew, “asked” or “told” me; “well you’re a stay at home mom, so how is that? Don’t you miss working? Or at least having your own identity?” Now – I don’t think she said that with any intent on coming off rude- but this pissed me off. I immediately got defensive, and said “what? Why would I have NO identity just because I’m a full-time mom?” After a bit of a heated discussion, we just ended the topic. But her remark never left me. It lingered on and made me insecure. Before her remark; I saw myself as super women. I had sacrificed my career, so my husband could pursue his. We didn’t want to send our son to childcare, so I stepped up by holding down the fort- on no sleep, & so on. I felt like I was a badass wife & mom, and that THAT was my identity. Was that not ENOUGH? I mean, give me a break right?
It wasn’t until I watched a Dr. Phil episode that I really saw things in a different light. The topic was about a mom & a daughter having issues. The daughter had children, but the mom was raising them. Long story short, Dr.Phil made a statement that really stuck with me. He said “children become what they see, or marry who they see. If they see you- as their mother, not working, they will become that way. Or if they are a boy- marry women like their mother. If they never saw their mother working, or contributing, they are more likely to pick women with natural insecurities, so they as a man can control her. Even if their father was never controlling, boys tend to become more dominating over women when they see their mom at home & their dad being the provider”. Which offended me- as a stay at home mom, as women, as a spouse. But then it made me think.. if my son only ever sees me being a stay at home mom, maybe he will view a “women” as someone who JUST does this, and not see women for EVERYTHING they really are or are capable of being? Does my family think I’m “insecure” because I don’t have a career? I always knew about “monkey see, monkey do”, but I never thought about it in regards to one’s career, or what gendered parent played which role in the household. My husband was always the bread winner, and Ev always knew that daddy goes to work. I wanted him to realize- mommy is more than a house wife or a maid. I did sacrifice my career, I do have a college degree & I am stronger than he will ever know- based on the life I lived, that hopefully, he won’t have to ever go through. So I feel like from just the last few years, I have changed a lot as a women, mother, wife, leader & entrepreneur.
Just the other day, my son was walking around with his toy camera saying “I want to be a photographer like mommy” & I literally cried- because I was so proud. If he never saw mommy following her dreams & passions, but only just folding laundry all day or vacuuming- he wouldn’t have anything to aspire to. No kid grows up thinking “I want to fold laundry like mom”. So I’m a proud parent. I feel like being a stay at home mom is amazing, and a privilege I’m so proud of being. My son will appreciate this one day. But I’m also proud that he is seeing me both as a mom & also a leader in the family who contributes in more ways than keeping house.
If there’s another stay at home moms out there, who maybe feel disconnected, or discouraged- don’t. You DO have identities apart from being “just moms”. It’s still possible to get back what you lost, career wise or education wise. You CAN do it, you ARE enough & your child will be happy for it. Any positive changes you make within yourself, don’t go unnoticed by your child.
It’s not easy, you will have to make changes, but it’s so worth it, especially when you see the proof is in the pudding.
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