I feel blessed that I am able to stay home with my two boys, but it doesn’t change the fact that I still have the drive to be successful. I don’t ever see myself going back to the corporate world and those 40-50 hrs/week. What I do see is working from home, doing something that supports my passion for my family; doing something that ultimately supports me.
I can’t explain where my drive comes from, but I know it is strong, and it is always present – even if just a tingling in the back of my head every so often. I am truly in love with being home, don’t get me wrong, but I am also truly in love with the idea that I can share my experiences and help others.
I just returned from a fantastic trip to Dallas where I got to attend the eWomen Network Conference (WOW!) and finally meet face-to-face all my wonderful co-authors in the new #1 best-selling book ‘Get Your Woman On! – Embracing Beauty, Grace, and The Power of Women.’ Can I say, double WOW WOW!! These women are amazing (check us out! – GYWO).
These women (along with my incredibly supportive husband and my wonderful friend Kathy – who stayed with my boys so I could be fully present in Dallas) held a sacred, safe place for me to be while I was away from my family. It was the first time I had been apart from Brayden, and the longest I had been away from Zackery. These women became my family, and gave me the love I needed to stay strong and be okay with putting myself first. I cannot thank them enough, and I am so proud to be a part of this extraordinarily inspiring community. xoxo
Now that I am back home, I feel renewed and refreshed (although still completely sleep deprived – that’s for another conversation…). I am ready to start taking action on something for ME. I will always consider my family my priority, but now it’s time to take my own advice and do something to take care of me. I know that if I’m not at my best, I can’t possibly help my family (or anyone else, for that matter) become their best. I know I am a great Mother. I know I am a great Wife. I know I am a great Friend, Sister, Daughter. And I KNOW, I am a great ME.
Today was a pretty good day. Although I got up earlier than I ever really like to (the dilemma of having two young ones in the house and a husband who goes to work – thankfully), I did get to take a nap while Brayden (my younger son) napped. Zackery (my older son) was again at “school” today.
My morning was quite pleasant and calm after Will and Zack left, and Brayden and I sat on the floor playing with soft blocks, a mirror, books, and left-over plastic eggs from Easter. He laughed, I laughed, he smiled, I smiled. It was exactly why I made the decision to be a stay-at-home mom – to be fully present and in the moment.
After our nap, and after I eventually got Brayden to eat his lunch (he’s teething and isn’t eating that well – and who could blame him? I wouldn’t want to eat if my mouth hurt all the time!), I finally got to eat something and get dressed myself. I love staying in my jammies all day, but given the beautiful sunshine and nice warm weather, I convinced myself I should put on some “going out in public” clothes and take Brayden for a walk. Sunscreen applied, we went down into the garage and I buckled him into the stroller – which he loves! It was a short walk, but none-the-less I got outside today!
Afternoon nap went pretty normal – 1 hour 10 min. I can’t complain. Zackery used to only nap for 20 min at a time! Anything over an hour and it’s a huge success for Brayden (and me). While he slept, I did my usual catching up on emails, washing bottles, and putting my feet up for a split second in whatever spare time I have left.
Usually on Thursdays Brayden and I go to the new ‘Just Toddlers’ class through our local Truckee Donner Recreation & Park District. But today, I had a very important opportunity and commitment. I got to connect with several of my fellow Get Your Woman On authors (book launch will be this June… stay tuned!) on a call hosted by Kimber Marie Lim. Brayden was up, so I had the phone on mute while I listened in and again sat on the floor with my little guy. Thank goodness I am a woman proficient in multi-tasking!
My call ending just in time, I buckled Brayden in his car seat and drove the short 5 min to go pick up Zack. He happily ran over to me, giving me a big hug while saying “Mommy!” I love that. It gives me extra energy and strength to pummel through the evening hours before bedtime.
Zack did great at dinner – ate pretty much everything I gave him – and I didn’t have to threaten with any timeouts or taking anything away. Brayden, on the other hand, was filling up my frustration meter. I know he’s teething, and hasn’t really wanted to eat much, but after 45 min and all I got him to eat was 4 little bites that I had to force feed him… I gave up. I got him cleaned up from attempted dinner, set him down once again on the floor, and I frantically prepared his (our) room for bed time (fill up the humidifier, lay out his jammies, turn the night-light on, etc). He really did not like being left there, and Zack was busy playing trains in the other room, so the tears started. Officially upset, and probably hungry and tired, he proceeded to make sure I knew all about his current situation.
With Brayden in his jammies, I asked Zack if he wanted to keep playing trains or to watch a little show while I put his brother to bed. After several minutes of Zack’s typical response of no response (he is a typical 3-1/2 year old), and Brayden continuing to tell me, by the look on his face and the tears in his eyes, that he was tired and just wanted to have his bottle and go to sleep, my frustration meter was now severely overflowing. I sat Zack down on the couch with a Thomas the Tank Engine show and told him I would be out in just a few minutes, after I put Brayden down. Brayden still tearful, I closed the door, sat down with him in the rocking chair, and gave him his bottle. My mind still racing with thoughts of frustration, I glanced down and noticed that Brayden was no longer crying, he was no longer upset – he was looking up at me with his big, beautiful blue eyes, as if to say “thank you, Mommy.”
I have never been one to switch from frustration or anger to joy or happiness just like that – except for tonight. In that one moment, I took a long, deep breath, and just like that I reciprocated Brayden’s loving gaze. I let go of all the prior events of the evening, and just loved him up – snuggling him in my arms and telling him how much I love him. It was a moment of strength for me to be able to change my perspective so quickly. I realized that for my boys, my babies, I would do anything to keep them safe, happy and healthy. No matter how frustrated I get, and no matter what the cause, at the end of the day all that matters is that I open my heart and love my family as much as I can.