Is this you?
Hey you, there in the minivan/SUV/hybrid taking your kid to violin lessons, or is it soccer practice today?
You look kind of familiar to me.
I think I saw you volunteering at the school the other day, or maybe it was at the park watching the kids play.
I know I’ve seen you at the coffee shop every now and then chatting with some friends. You look like you know how to laugh!
And aren’t you the one that’s in a book group with another friend of mine? She says you always have something interesting to say.
I heard you had quite an interesting life before you had kids. You were in the Peace Corps, or was it grad. school?
No wait- you were the artist, writer, social activist? Or maybe you were on the fast track to partner, promotion or tenure. Bright, talented and passionate, you were out there making your mark on the world.
And then you had a kid or two (or more!) Maybe it was a conscious decision, maybe it just happened but here you are now, the one responsible for the care and feeding of your family.
You’ve survived the years of diapers and breastfeeding. You can recite Dr. Seuss in your sleep but have moved on to Magic Treehouse or Roald Dahl. Maybe you even get to pee by yourself most of the time now and sleep through the night. (And people think those are milestones for the kids!)
Now you’re in the world of carpools and PTAs, squeezing in a workout at the gym or coffee with a friend between grocery shopping and volunteer committee meetings before you pick up the kids to take them to scouts or little league.
But in the middle of all this crazy, busy, life, you sometimes wonder where you left yourself. Where did that smart, capable, interesting woman go and will you ever find her again?
Still with me? Cool!
Because that woman is still there- and dying to come out and play again.
The moms I like to work with often don’t think of themselves as needing ‘help.’ After all, they tend to have pretty cushy lives from all appearances. They are usually well educated- they have college degrees or even grad/law/business school letters behind their names.
They may work full time, part-time or not at all, but generally whatever their situation, it is a matter of choice for them. Most of them are married and so have a partner who is a source of support, financial and otherwise.
They tend to have some creative bent- music, art, theater, literature, etc. are important in their lives, though they may not think of themselves as being particularly ‘artistic.’
And while some may be active in their churches/synagogues/etc., even those who are a bit skeptical of organized religion recognize that there is something bigger- call it God, the Universe, Spirit, the great Pumpkin- whatever it is that is that connects us all to each other and our reason for being here in the first place.
In short- they are women who seem to ‘have it all.’ And therefore who have no reason to be unhappy. So when they do feel that empty space inside where joy used to live, they feel even more guilty than ever and think that there must be something REALLY wrong with them.
It’s just not so.
If you’ve read this far, maybe some of these scenarios will sound familiar to you:
Most of the time, you manage to get everyone where they need to be when they need to be there, with what they need to have, but every now and then you feel completely overwhelmed by the enormous task of tending to the physical, emotional and logistical needs of your family. You alternate between feelings of hate, admiration and envy for that mom who looks like she has it all together.
Most of the time, you have a solid relationship with your husband/partner, but every now and then, you just want to kill him for being so clueless.
Most of the time you feel pretty good about the choices you made to pull back on your career to raise your family, but every now and then you get those flashes of jealousy when you hear that someone you know has just gotten a promotion, made partner, been published or had a show go up. You feel like there’s SOMETHING else you should/could be doing, if you could only figure out what it was.
Ring any bells?
If so, please know you’re not alone.
You’re actually in great company- smart, talented, creative women who want to do motherhood and more. My favorite people!
The women I choose to work with (and who choose me) have other things in common:
- A willingness to play (goodness knows we WORK hard enough!).
- An eagerness to learn and try new things.
- A capacity for self-reflection and observation of one’s habits of thought and action.
- A desire to develop time/life management skills and habits that work for people whose schedules are not their own.
- A longing to have more productive conversations that actually move issues towards resolution instead of around in the same old circles.
- A refusal to be held captive by resentment and resignation for one more minute.
- And most of all- a recognition that NOW is the time to find the THING that makes your heart SING!
This probably isn’t the place for you if you have it all together!
This also isn’t the place to look for parenting advice. I’m pretty sure you’re an awesome mom already. I’d just like to make sure you have an awesome life as well.
If you’re still here, I’d like to get to know you better, so get yourself a cup of tea, grab a comfy spot to curl up with a warm laptop and let’s hang out OK? Check out the archives, lurk a while on the blog (you can leave a comment every now and then so I know you’re there!), follow me on Twitter… whatever floats your boat.
As one of my favorite yoga teachers says, when you’re ready, if you’re ready contact me and let’s discuss working together.
Looking forward to getting to know you!