There are times when the snowball of motherhood just starts rolling. And rolling. Oftentimes, the heaps of snow fall upon us, burying our beautiful, unique identities underneath. We may forget what our passions ever were before kids. What used to light that fire within us? Where did we find that indescribable feeling of fulfillment? What did we enjoy doing? Besides sleep, of course. Sometimes we need to go back and uncover all of that snow to rediscover ourselves, our identity. I feel that it is crucial that we are more than moms because we have so much to offer. Being a mom is an unbelievable gift, it is. I’m not saying our kids are these things that ruined our lives, but I just don’t think that ‘mom’ is all that is in store for you.
I never in a million years thought I’d be a SAHM. Sometimes, life doesn’t always go as planned, though. I will never forget that phone call about 2.5 years ago. I knew it was coming all day long. I wanted to vomit from being so sick to my stomach, and then my worst fear became true. When my second child was just 6 weeks old, my mother was diagnosed with advanced uterine cancer. I also had a potty training two year old and my father was almost 80. My mother took care of him. As tears welled up in my eyes, I looked at my husband and said, “I can’t work. Not now.” He simply said, “We’ll figure it out.” I took my newborn and went to be with my mother.
Cancer and Courage
I resigned from my teaching job confidently. I knew that God needed me to fulfill my new role as a nurturer. I had zero regrets and I never will. I was side-by-side with my courageous mother through 18 months of vicious hell. Watching my mother fight, and then fight some more, was nothing shy of inspiring. She had to shave her head twice, (some pretty unbelievable thick Greek hair, may I add), had 6 rounds of the most grueling kind of chemo, 25 rounds of radiation, 5 more rounds of internal radiation, a complete hysterectomy, and multiple hospital stays due to pain and complications. Today, she is triumphant. She is a survivor. She is my angel. I am so humbled that she allowed me to walk with her on this journey and I cherish the memories, even when the days were ever so dark and bleak.
My New Role as a SAHM
During the first year, being a SAHM was fine in the fulfillment department. I put my heart and soul into my young children and getting my mom better. Nonetheless, after my children turned 1 and 3, $h1t hit the fan. Big time. Having a 1 and 3 year old is no joke. A threenager and a fearless little firecracker? Seriously. Not funny. Not only did I find it overwhelmingly difficult, but I had lost myself. I know that’s cliché, but I had done nothing for myself in that year. I had read zero books, not exercised, nor had I used my brain in any capacity. Nothing. Saying that I was in a rut would be a huge understatement.
Running into New Roles
Thankfully, I started to pick myself up off of that couch and started working out again. It felt so good to sweat and get healthy. Simple workouts turned into 5Ks, then 10Ks, then my first half marathon. This running thing gave me fulfillment again. I set goals, worked hard towards them, and achieved them. I am also back in the classroom this winter to earn my second graduate degree in hopes to teach at the collegiate level. This blogging gig has also given me some great fulfillment and passion already. I am quite thankful for that.
Are you filling your bucket? Ladies, it is so incredibly vital that we put stock into ourselves. Let’s face it, we are the head of the household. We need to be fulfilled to live a happy life. We need to set some time aside for ourselves to work toward something. To explore creativity. To rejuvenate. To get reacquainted with ourselves again. What is it that ignites that fire inside you? What awakens that beautiful soul of yours? What else are we doing here on this planet Earth, anyways? Yikes, I’m really getting deep here. But in all honestly, what amazing role models we for are for our children when they see us striving for greater heights, setting our own future ablaze.
Ideas for Living a Fulfilled Life
Some women are blessed and find fulfilment from their jobs. Amen to that! But if you’re yearning for more, here are some easy ideas to start uncovering that snow:
- Back to school – It’s never too late to fulfill a dream.
- DIY – Pinterest can be your best friend.
- Gardening– It’s much easier than you think.
- Ebaying/consigning– It’s amazing how many people want your junk.
- Cooking or baking – Take a class!
- Working out – Run, get in that basement, take some classes.
- A new skill– Try a musical instrument, photography, etc.
- Writing or blogging – Give it a whirl.
- Crafting – Again, Pinterest can be your best friend.
- Local moms group – Try out your local MOPS, BSF, or other moms group.
- Book club – Start one online or in-person.
- Church activities/bible studies – Get involved in your church.
- Volunteer– Find a local non-profit that needs your time and energy.
- Find a Cause– What needs to be changed? Fuel your passion and make a change within your community.
What are you doing to lead a fulfilled mom-life?