It’s week 1.
It’s a pretty big deal. I have been waiting for this. I have been patient. I have prepared and daydreamed and planned. It’s go time!
Ok, so that sounds SUPER dramatic but big life changes ARE dramatic.... so it’s fitting. And I am EXCITED!!!
I am also terrified... I’ll tell you why...
My son went back to school this week. It’s the first time he’s been anywhere but home full time, really. And while it is sad and I definitely have the mom feels about it, I am also really looking forward to what the future has in store!
For 6 years I have been a stay at home mom. And I LOVED spending that time with my son. Honestly, he’s one of the most unique, creative, hilarious, loving little beings I know. In that 6 years, I helped shape him. I helped in teaching him so many things and, in turn, he taught me things as well.
The truth is, I never saw myself as a stay at home mom. I barely saw myself as a mom at all. I wasn’t one of those little girls who dreamed of being married or having babies. That just seemed like such a far away thing that it seemed almost absurd when it came time to consider the possibility of those things happening. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change any of it. I love my husband, I love my son, and I love being the wife and mom. But when it came time to step into the stay at home mom role, it was something I did because it’s what worked for our family at the time. I did it out of love for both my son and husband.... but it did not come naturally to me like it seemed to with some moms.
Being a military family and being bumped around the country means it’s rare to have family close by to help. My husband was on the trajectory to becoming a pilot with the Canadian Air Force which was an extremely long and difficult road so a lot of the parenting and household responsibilities fell on me. My husband is every bit as much a parent as me (my husband and son have a wonderful bond and relationship) but the reality of our situation was that while he was at school/work/training, I was holding it down at home. Which meant that I had less of myself to give to other areas and had to shelf a few things for a while.
One of those things was art. I didn’t entirely shelf it - anyone who is an artist will tell you that’s next to impossible as it’s essentially part of our DNA. But I did have to slow it way down and scale back on how much of myself I was able to lend to it. To say it was a personal struggle is quite an understatement. It was like pressing the brakes to the floor when you’re going full speed. And I think that’s something a lot of new moms experience but don’t publicly express because our society tends to shun anyone who doesn’t love every aspect of motherhood. I struggled with the shift from being my own person and having the time I needed to do the things I wanted to losing quite a bit of autonomy because every ounce of me was needed by this tiny human. It was startling and it took a minute to adjust. I loved the time I had with him and recognized it was an experience that I’d never be able to get back. But, simultaneously, I can’t hide my excitement at gaining this little piece of myself back.
This week is my first full week back at it. It is equal parts thrilling and terrifying! Getting back to my art full time is something I’ve dreamt of and I’ve made plans and laid the ground work to prepare myself for when the time came again. But it is ALL. ON. ME. And THAT is extremely daunting to think about! It’s exciting to have the freedom but I am the one who has to come up with the plans for that day, that week, that month, that year. I have to keep myself organized and motivated. I have to maintain a healthy balance between work and home life while working from the basement of my home. I am ultimately responsible for every success and every failure. Add to that that there is no limit or ceiling to how big this could become, that I’m essentially standing on a rock in the middle of an ocean of possibilities and opportunities and it’s all on me to steer the ship and keep it afloat while hoisting all of the possibilities and opportunities, within reach, aboard.... my anxiety doesn’t like this AT ALL! Lol! I have to continuously fight my own self doubts and fears. It’s scary. It feels a little lonely despite having SO much support. But I’m ready to dive head first into this choose-your-own-adventure. I’m ready to see what’s next and what kinds of things I can make happen. I’m excited for myself, I’m excited to show this to my son, and I’m excited to fill this new role for our family!
Last night, after I had completed my first day of this new adventure, I was talking to my husband and I felt tears start to prick my eyes. I was (and am) so scared of the unknown —This could ALL go horribly wrong, you know. Do I REALLY have what it takes to make this happen? What if I fail? — But there was also this immense sense of pride. I had been waiting so long for this opportunity. So I blazed into my first day and, if you will, kicked it’s ass! I woke up that morning, made the plans, and followed them through. I did that. Me. I am DOING this!
I am excited!
I am ready!
I am terrified!
But watch me go!!!
(Look mom, no hands!!)