I was happy. I married the man who I thought was the man of my dreams. We had our perfect little girl and a house, dogs included. We hosted grill-outs and bonfires and took our weekly Sunday trips to Target when the new ads came out. The two of us were even talking about trying for another child. Until…
I wasn’t happy anymore.
Marriage isn’t always all it’s portrayed to be. We were just going through the motions. I made grocery lists and made sure it included what I needed to pack my husband’s lunch each morning. I cleaned to make sure he could come home after work and just relax. I took our daughter to daycare, made sure she was bathed each night and tucked safely in bed. I scheduled doctor visits, vet checkups, playdates. But what I didn’t fit in my calendar was time to be me; more than a mom, more than a wife.
I had lost myself, and somewhere in the midst of that, I had lost my marriage.
We weren’t a team; we weren’t even partners on the same team anymore. It wasn’t even the big blowing-up at each other fights; those had ended months before. It was more than just a lack of communication. It was a total disconnect.
I love being a mom, and I love my daughter more than I can eloquently express. But I also love all of the things that make me who I am, and I am done feeling guilty for wanting to be more than just a mom.
So it ended, my seemingly perfect life, my put-together family. An outsider might say I hit rock bottom, with a home that’s no longer mine, a divorce in the making, a daughter learning that her parents are no longer together.
But I was far from rock bottom. I was free.
It was time to invest in myself.
I made my health a priority again. I found a gym that I actually enjoyed going to. And while the benefits of losing weight and feeling more energetic were obviously welcomed, my mental health began to improve too.
I took up old hobbies and interests; things I now know I never had to give up in the first place. I joined a slow-pitch softball league and benefited from light-hearted adult interaction. My hope for becoming a Big for Big Brothers Big Sisters became a reality when I finally volunteered and found my match. I even started writing for this very mom’s blog, which gave my mind an outlet for my love of writing.
I gained my confidence back.
Not just in how I felt about how I looked. I was truly confident in myself and who I was again. I didn’t second-guess my decisions or stop to think I wasn’t good enough. With my head held high; I knew that I was capable.
I started fresh.
With that, I made the decision to continue bettering myself. So I changed my career, which included a move to be closer to my new job.
I became a better mom.
While it might sound silly; through the process of restoring myself back to me, I was a better mom. With less stress and weight on my shoulders, I was able to breathe and just live in each moment with my daughter. Be both physically and mentally present with her.
I can see why it may be hard to understand for some, but I am certain this path I took for myself is one my daughter can learn from. It is okay to want more. It is okay to want to be a good wife and an even greater mom, while yet being an amazing you. I want her to know the importance of staying true to yourself, believing in your worth, and the courage to never stop making yourself a priority.
So I am more than just a mom.
It may have taken me a while to come to terms with it, but that’s okay. I get to enjoy being a mom, but I also now get to guilt-free enjoy being me too.
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