This post is just the beginning. I’m finding my way.
My son recently turned two, and the road to recovery has been intense. Two years later, I’m just now finding “balance” again.
I’m learning and healing and growing. I found myself again and it was like a blissful reuniting. The soul searching was tough and messy; it cracked me open and made me question myself. Once I dug in beneath the surface I found that spirit, that woman who accepts a challenge and lusts to explore.
What is balance?
What do you think of when you hear the word balance?
A balanced diet, a balanced marriage, balancing motherhood and your career? Scales, tipping, standing on one foot while you've got your finger on your nose? What does balance even mean?
The term brings on anxiety and judgment, mostly making me feel like I’m not doing it right. Any of it. They say that’s natural once you become a mother. I’m never sure who “they” are, or what their credentials are, but I have grown sick of accepting that this is just the new normal.
That feeling of intense and overwhelming “I have to” and “I should” that wakes you up in the morning, shooting you up in bed, and quickly making you feel already too tired to start the day. There have been mornings when I felt like I needed a nap after being awake for 30 minutes. Seriously. That’s not even right.
Finding my balance
Becoming a mom changes you. Obviously. While I had a wide array of labor, delivery and post-op setbacks, I also had grieving of my old life and self. And I fought those, hard. I didn’t think it was right to look back at life without my son with nostalgia, and I beat myself up for it. I went through a period of time when I believed that my only job now was to be a mom. That nothing else mattered.
Running from the grieving process and turning away from any of my other passions in life left me tired, pissed and resentful. But I didn't know any better. Because why does that mom want to spend all day staring at her baby and never go to work again and I don’t? How come I get angry sometimes when my baby cries? Why does my patience slip through the cracks when I need it most?
Nurturing My Spirit
Last August I told my mom that I needed more. More time and energy to dive in and explore myself and find a way to help others do the same. Life Coaching seemed like an obvious choice. But it wasn’t an easy one. I took out a loan, I committed to 3 weekends away from my family, and I spent hours each week on the phone with clients, getting coached and participating in teleclasses.
But actually, this IS balance. Opening up, being vulnerable and growing. All of these things are my jam, and sometimes they aren’t easy.
So what is balance?
The definition of balance is: “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady”.
My weight has never been evenly distributed; I’m 5”1’, and have always been off balance. I know, short girl problems. The struggle is real though, falling into the grocery shelves because standing on your tippee toes to reach the pasta sauce is hard work.
In her book, Replenish, Lisa Grace Byrne writes, “the way to maintain a strong center of gravity is not to resist the tossing and turning, which is part of life, but paradoxically to soften into it.”
Turns out my “even” distribution of weight doesn’t come in the form of perfectly completed to-do lists, picturesque baby dates or a fairytale marriage. The thing that allows me to remain “upright and steady” is actually allowing myself to toss out the “shoulds” and “have-tos”, writing myself permission slips to continue to pursue my dreams (which are big,man) and accepting that motherhood ain’t always pretty.
I am softening right into this new start. Today I received the news that I am officially a certified professional coach; I passed my oral exam with flying colors.
Exhale. Good-bye, stale and stuffy expectations. Inhale. Hello, fresh and brand-new love and self-compassion.
How will YOU define balance? What is your upright and steady?