If you had told me a year ago that I would be writing a blog, I would have probably laughed out loud. But like, for real, laugh out loud.
“Why,” you ask?
Well, because English was always a tough subject for me in school. It’s not that I disliked the material, I just wasn’t a big reader and writing never came naturally. I always had to work hard at it. I was great at expressing myself verbally, but when it came down to organizing my thoughts in a flowing, structured way, everything always seemed all over the place.
But truthfully, looking back, it does make sense that I am where I am at because I have always loved journaling. I’ve always been in touch with my thoughts and emotions, which is no surprise why I went on to study Psychology and later received my Masters in Social Work from Columbia University.
In addition to trying to make sense of myself and those around me, my biggest fear in life was repeating family patterns. I spent my higher educational career learning about child development, behavior, and mental health and wellness to ensure that I would do it right.
I provided in-home therapy to children, parents and families. I worked on parenting skills, provided psychoeducation and taught coping skills. I helped to strengthen and stabilize family relationships. I felt competent. I felt confident.
Then I became a mother. And it was hard. Like, really hard. Parenting tested my patience and highlighted my flaws. It had me doubt myself. And in a way, I was crushed. I had this perception in my head of the parent I would be and I couldn’t live up to it.
But I came to realize that all moms have moments where they felt like they were failing. That motherhood tests our limits and on those really “fun” days leaves us lying on the floor with our hands in the air yelling, “I give up.”
I realized motherhood is a journey. That there is always more to learn. And there is always room for growth.
I learned it’s about finding a balance and that everyone’s ideal balance is different. It’s not perfect and it is ever changing. It’s a process of figuring out what works best for you and your family. It’s prioritizing. It’s making sacrifices. It’s learning to say “no.” It’s figuring out what you need to give up and what you need to gain. It is about listening to your body, your heart and your soul. It’s trusting your gut.
It’s a balance of having high expectations of ourselves, but also being gentle with ourselves. It’s acknowledging that we are human. We are human, for goodness sake. It’s that some days we will really rock it. And some days we won’t. We will mess up and that’s okay.
I realized that no matter what, we have to continue to strive to be our best self. For them. For us. That all the good qualities, all the good things we do, should not be overshadowed by our mistakes and moments of weakness. Because that is just not fair.
I learned that in order to be the best mom you can be, you need to take care of your own needs. That by taking care of yourself you are better able to take care of your family.
Becoming a mom changed me. It has rocked me to the core and opened places in my heart I never knew existed. It is because of this journey that I have a passion for helping other moms find their balance, trust themselves and their abilities, and give them confidence when they need it the most.
The work we do is real. It’s raw. It’s honest. It’s a beautiful thing to see. As moms, we doubt ourselves so much because there is so much on the line. Being a mom is the best job in the world, but it is also the hardest. Sometimes we just need to hear: “You’re doing a great job. You’re doing the best you can.”