Tag Archives: good enough

The Hunt for a Happy Place

When I was young, I had a vision of what my life was going to look like.

I was going to be wealthy beyond measure. I was going to live in a mansion with servants. I would travel around the world and drive a really nice car. There would be much shopping, and many pairs of shoes. Jewelry, make-up and salon appointments would be a part of my daily life. It was going to be friggin’ awesome.

I met my amazing soon-to-be husband and we planned our fairy-tale wedding and then our life together. We talked about future hopes and dreams, and in my head, my vision was still alive.

We got married and we moved to another city. I didn’t move into a mansion but into a basement suite, in a place where I knew no one. I was not rich and was having to do all the cooking and cleaning myself. I was happily married, but I was not where I thought I should be. Suddenly, my vision was flung off to the side somewhere and reality set in.

I would spend days and sometimes weeks wondering if we’d be able to pay our mortgage. I was shopping in second-hand stores and only buying things that were on sale. The husband was always at work and I was home alone. I was going crazy from the peace and quiet that was now my life and I hated it.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved my husband and I loved being married but I wasn’t prepared for the real world. I was 21 years old, had never lived on my own and had in fact, only lived with my parents. I never attended college and only had “life experience” to put on a resume. I was completely dependant on my husband, and had to rely on him for everything. If I needed to buy milk, or underwear or tampons, I had to ask him for money. I was madly in love, but totally trapped at the same time.

I eventually got a job, made some friends and fell in love with the city that I still call home. But for those particular moments in time, my vision had led me down a path of unrealistic expectations.

I adjusted to my new life, bills were paid, businesses started and failed. Travel and experiences occurred and then I dreamed of having children, and my wild visions went crazy again.

I was going to be a perfect Mom that bought her children only the best of everything. I was going to make their baby food, and teach them everything they needed to know. There was going to be hours spent playing and learning. I would do crafts and make up stories and play board games. They would be angels, and my life would be complete. It was going to be flippin’ fantastic.

And then I had babies. I was madly and deeply in love, but I was tired. With my first child, I had no clue what I was doing. I was fumbling about just trying to keep her alive. I let Barney and Wheel of Fortune teach her the alphabet and all of her colours. We played games and did fun things, but more often than not, I was stuck in “life” and not on her.

I then had a son, with more issues and trials than one could ever prepare for. He struggled to breathe, and learn and survive. Small everyday things challenged him in ways that were unfathomable. He was the cutest little thing, with the biggest smile and sweetest countenance, but man, was he a lot of work.

I never made a single solitary jar of baby food, I nursed them both for about 6 weeks and quit because I hated it. We tried crafts, but they both despised being dirty so that always ended in screaming. I became the Mom that loved her kids beyond measure, but one that purchased every single solitary thing from a store. I guided them and protected them and taught them how incredibly fabulous they were, but we didn’t go on nature walks or did all that much frolicking in the wilderness.

I absolutely hated myself some days and couldn’t believe how incompetent I was in many areas. I had become pretty much opposite to all that I had envisioned. I was SO not June Cleaver or even one of her long distant cousins.  Once again, my vision had set me up for failure.

Looking back now, I do know this, I raised some UNBELIEVEABLY AWESOME children. Someway, somehow, I did the right things in spite of myself, and this crazy dreamer head of mine. 30 children later, I get it. I know what’s important and what doesn’t matter. My vision was wrong, and was in no way “me”. That’s where I got lost…I was trying to create a story that belonged to someone else.

Life is a weird thing sometimes, we paint a picture and then get stuck somewhere outside of it. Don’t do that to yourself. Don’t limit where you and where your path may go. Don’t set a standard that is unattainable. Don’t put unreasonable expectations on yourself or your children or your spouse. Don’t get caught up in the world’s version of perfect life, perfect wife and perfect children. That’s all crap and it doesn’t exist. Do not wait for something else, or another time or place to make you feel complete. Don’t judge yourself based on someone else’s standards.

Instead, Breathe. Enjoy the moments that you’re in, no matter how big the struggle may seem. If you can’t provide the “best” of everything, let it go. Who decided what the best stuff was anyways? If you need to run away or cry sometimes, that’s okay. If you feel like today was a complete failure, remember that there is always tomorrow. If you find yourself standing there wondering where it all went wrong, start again. Listen to your heart and find your way out to something better.

Paint yourself a new picture of “perfect” and trust in that. For me, that means happy faces running amuck and becoming people of character. They have the best of nothing, but have everything at the same time. It’s hissy fits and belly laughs. It’s unmatched socks and extra TV time. It’s unbalanced meals, unbrushed hair and a sink full of dirty laundry. It’s a husband and wife that love each other more today than they did yesterday. It is leaving this world a better place.

Let it go, and just be the best YOU that you can be. I hope you find your happy place.

charliebrown

Just a Mom.

I was 20 years old when I met my future husband. I had never lived by myself or with friends, and in fact, still lived with my parents. I’d never attended college or been anywhere farther east than Saskatchewan. I was a daughter and a sister, and most certainly not even considering becoming a mother.  Almost exactly one year later, I married my best friend. I was now a wife.

We moved to a new city, 5 hours away from everything I knew. I had no friends, no job and no idea what I was going to “be when I grew up”. I can remember the quietness of my new house and it made me insane. I had left a household of 8 people and had become a family of 2. I had to leave the TV on all the time just so I could have background noise and didn’t have to talk to myself. I was young and in love, a little unsure of myself and kinda lost, but I was happy. And then I was a Mom.

I fell madly in love with this little person. She filled my days with joy, smiles and giggles. She made my nights sleepless and seemingly never-ending. She made me happy and I was so proud to call her mine. As she grew and my life changed, something inside of me was awakening. I was surrounded by children, some mine, and some that were loaned to me to parent. I was still happily married to a very good man. I had a very good life, but something was missing.

I can remember sitting there and thinking about all of the things that I hadn’t done in my life. I hadn’t lived on my own. I’d never gone to school. I’d never gone off to see the world and experience fun and exciting things. I had never just been “me”, as in me, myself and I. I had become someone else. I was Just. A. Mom.

For some reason that terrified me. Was that all I was ever going to be? Would that be the only thing people remembered me for? Why wasn’t that good enough? Why did I “need” to be more than that? Suddenly I was questioning everything about myself and all that I knew, and then, I woke up.

Yes, I am a Mother, but I most certainly am not “Just a Mom”.

I am responsible for helping little people become all that they think they can be, and then a little bit more. I am quite possibly raising a future world leader. I am teaching my children about equality and respect and grace. I am showing them that nobody is better than anyone else. I am giving them the confidence to stand up for themselves and the people around them. I am lifting them up when the world beats them down. I am rescuing children from horrible circumstances and giving them a brighter future. I am making promises to love them and support them in whatever they choose to do or wherever they choose to go. I am preparing them for the hard decisions that they will have to make. I am giving them my words when they don’t have their own. I am molding and shaping the gifts that God gave me. I am changing the world.

I have the hardest, scariest, toughest, most exciting, fun and fulfilling job ever. I get no pay, no vacation or sick days. I have many awesome days and just as many horrible ones. I witness life changing moments. I am unconditonally loved even when I don’t always deserve it. I get to laugh and cry and tell stupid jokes.  I have been blessed with something that many women will never get the joy of experiencing. Who am I to question the value of what I do? I am a very blessed woman and a darn good Mom.

So, to all the “Just a Moms”, the Mom’s to be and the Mom’s that want nothing more than just have the opportunity to try. Never, ever doubt your worth. Never, ever question your role and the importance that it carries. Never look back and question “what if”? You are exactly where you’re supposed to be, cherish it and enjoy the ride. Happy Mothers Day to all of you!