We all hit these walls in our lives where we just want to stop. We need a break. A vacation. A change of pace. As a stay at home mom to two boys, 5 and 2, I’m tired. I’m a bit lonely (because who doesn’t want deeper conversation than most 2 year olds can provide?) and I’m ready for a bit of a change of pace. I want to find that spark that will help me keep going.
Where am I?
I’m just finishing up my third year as a full time mom. I’ve tried working some side hustles along the way and while some worked, overall they didn’t provide me the income I needed to justify the mental and physical energy they were draining from me.
So, I let them go.
That’s ok. I am allowed to drop the things that do more harm than good. Here’s a little secret – you are allowed to also drop the things that drain you more than they help you and your family. Now, I get that you can’t just up and quit your job because it doesn’t bring you joy. That’s foolish and irresponsible. But, if the areas you are spending your energy are draining you, and it won’t hurt you or your family to drop them, then go for it. If you can conserve energy so that you can be a better spouse, parent, sibling, friend, whatever – I say do it!
We have families and friends who need us to be present. My husband and my kids NEED me to be present. Not dead to the world and lost in my own disinterested and exhausted state of momzombie.
Do I browse Facebook and Pinterest on my phone more than I should? Yes. Am I writing this blog post while I sit in a dark room waiting on my youngest child to give it up and go to sleep. Heck yes I am! The version of present that he needs from me is just knowing I’m in the room… and wont let him escape. (I see you parents of small kids.)
If we can simply allow ourselves to take back some of the energy we are spending on wasted efforts, we might all be a little surprised by the enthusiasm we gain for doing the things we want to do more of.
When I left my Direct Sales to pursue being a mom again, I did so knowing that if I didn’t change something my depression was only going to get worse. I’d been ignoring the signs that I was sinking into depression for almost a year before I admitted it. Don’t be like Britt, be more self aware than that. My pride got in my way. It wasn’t the worst thing in the world, but it was hard, and it was hurting my family. Despite ignoring the signs that it was creeping in, I still feel like I caught it relatively early. Treatment has, thankfully, gone extremely well so far. Life style changes helped. Dietary changes helped. Medication helped.
When I decided to cut out the things that were draining me, and left my self employed status behind, I found myself with an empty blog. Well, not empty exactly, but basically just the husk of what I was aiming to build. I had no words for new posts. No business direction to write about. Just me and my depression. Well, that and my staying home all day with a small kid who mostly talks jibberish. All that to say that my life wasn’t interesting enough to write about parks or stores or any other places we might visit that could be made up into some interesting blog post. I sat in the same chair, watching the same cartoons, playing with the same toys, before going to pick up the kindergartener and then mediating the same fights. Life is just full of interesting patterns.
What can be gained though, really?
I got my smiles back. Depression isn’t like this for everyone, but it was one of the big things for me. I lost my enthusiasm. I turned into a “blah” and “meh” attitude human. That wasn’t who I know myself to be. When I cut things out of my life, and added in things that are good for me: prayer, nutritious food, medication, time focusing on my marriage and children, books (oh yeah, I added reading time back into my life!), and time to craft again. Doing all of that has helped a lot. Like, I feel so much better!
I’m three months into my lifestyle change and honestly, days are hard. I don’t necessarily feel like I have more energy; though I know I do find myself voluntarily cleaning or working on projects I never would have considered doing most of the year. I find myself smiling when I would have otherwise simply nodded in acknowledgment or had to force the smile. I’m finally seeing myself again, and it feels good.
There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neitherAlan Cohen
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