“This post was sponsored by Starbucks as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received compensation and complimentary products to facilitate my review.”
Pardon me, while I get a little personal here. Perhaps it’s because my counselor says it’s best for me to “write,” it out. (Which, by the way… making a monthly visit to a counselor or therapist does wonders for me, and I highly encourage it for anyone.)
Or because I’ll often read posts by others, sending encouraging thoughts to one another, and I’m hoping by sharing my story, it could help encourage someone else today.
I’m a Mom, and I Forgot.
The inspiration of this post, all stemmed from when I received my Cozy Collection Kit from Starbucks®, the other day. We all love getting “fun,” mail, right? So when this came in, and I popped it open, a warm and cozy feeling took over, and I was ready to get snuggly with my kiddos.
Then… I felt it was time to admit what I had experienced lately, and how not every day is a warm and fuzzy experience, but we can turn it around, to make it one.
No, I didn’t forget to feed my kids dinner, and I didn’t forget to give them a bath last night. But I did forget something. I forgot how to be the “mom,” that I want to be.
As I fight back the tears, writing this post, I can’t help but share every feeling I’ve experienced lately, in hopes that you can understand my heart, and where I’m coming from.
Since April of 2015, when I put all “seriousness,” in to my full-time blogging career… I started to forget that I was a mom. The successes of reaching target goals of pageviews, the big brands paying me to do what I love, the tv appearances, the major media publications… ALL of it, started helping me “forget,” that I was a mom.
I was finally receiving validation on all of the hard work and effort that I had put in to Fantabulosity, and it was REALLY, REALLY, encouraging.
So of course this meant, hours and hours of sitting on my laptop. Trying to squeeze in a Facebook post while my kids ate dinner, and trying to rush my kids to bed, so I could share that “hopeful,” viral blog post at 8:00 on the nose to catch the evening crowd.
I was suddenly losing something, so incredibly important to me, and wasn’t even aware of it. If you read my post, “I’m Sorry…,” then you know that I was once told that I may not be able to have children. The devastation was just that… devastating.
But it seems like somewhere along my “business building,” journey, I forgot what was truly important to me. My kids. Being a mom. Being a wife.
The game changer.
If you follow me on Facebook, then you may have noticed that one my precious little guys has recently been having some medical issues. Out of nowhere, we were faced with something EXTREMELY scary, and our world stopped. It was a long moment of uncertainty of what was going on with him.
After a few days in a children’s hospital, I was forced to STOP. I was forced to pop that bubble around me, that constantly “covered me,” reminding me that my business needed to take priority over everything in my life.
The computer began to collect dust, and the Facebook messages and emails began to pile up.
The business to-do list, grew and grew.
Deadlines of prior commitments were passing me by.
All of these things, suddenly seemed as if they were a small spec of dust, when just a week before, would have been mountains & targets to hit, in front of me. It was like they weren’t even there. I had only ONE mountain in front of me, and that was my only responsibility and commitment, to climb over: My son. Nothing else was a priority.
But why? Why did it take such a life altering experience to make me realize how much I loved being a mom, all over again? Why did it take God, allowing something to happen to my child, to get my attention, on what mattered most in this life?
I believe, sometimes as moms… as parents… we get caught up in the every day, and lose touch with what is really important. I had let my business, overtake my emotional “mom,” role. I was still playing “mom,” making sure my kids were safe, fed, bathed, and well taken care of. But I was completely lacking the emotional “mom,” that I had desired to be, for such a long time.
God, if you give me a baby, I promise I will try to be the best mom ever.
I still remember praying that prayer, when we prayed daily, for two years, for a child.
So how… 4 years later, did I forget how important being a mom, was to me? I honestly feel it’s because we’re not perfect, and thank God, He knows how to remind us, in the best ways.
The Answer I Didn’t Want to Hear
After a couple of weeks, when things seemed to have calmed down, and I thought I had this new “Best Mom,” thing, under control… I sat quietly with my son on the couch, watching Daniel Tiger. I had remembered that a few weeks back, I saw one of those:
“Fun Things to Ask Your Child”
questionnaires, and I thought it would be a few moments of “fun,” before starting breakfast.
Looking forward to receiving funny four-year-old answers, and precious… heart-felt responses, I began to ask him the prompted questions.
Then it happened…
Ok son, here’s the next question. What is your mommy’s favorite thing to do?
… and he stared at my computer. With no expression on his face, and no hesitation. “Working.” He was certain. He was certain that was my favorite thing to do.
I was distraught. I had been anxiously anticipating, his answer would be, “Playing legos with me.” But it wasn’t. How could he think that? I had just had a major epiphany, and told myself that I would no longer let my work, be a priority over him. But for some reason he still felt that. Perhaps I had told and convinced myself that work wouldn’t take priority, but I hadn’t shown it to him yet.
Do I love what I do??? You bet! Am I blessed to have a successful business that I can do while I’m at home with the kiddos, if I want? Yes! But when my son feels like my favorite thing to do is work, and not spend time with him and his brother… it’s time to reevaluate some things.
It was at that moment, that the “guilt,” flooded my heart and body, and I decided it was a time for a change.
I have vowed to my children and my husband, that I will no longer let my business be a priority over them. I will no longer, let my children think that I would rather work, than play with them. But I know what you’re thinking. “Sheesh Jessica. Sometimes we HAVE to work.” I know, I know… I get that. And what I’ll do is really evaluate if what I’m doing, is a “have to,” or a “want to.” I will make it a priority to manage my work hours, during the day, as much as possible, and to “shut off my work,” during family time. There will be days of exceptions… but that’s at least a goal to work towards.
My First “Test.”
It had snowed unexpectedly, and my kids were chomping at the bit to get their snow boots on, and go outside and play.
Mommy, can we go outside and play in the snow?
“Old” mom, briefly thought,
Oh man, it’s already 3:00, and if I get this post created really quick, I’ll be able to submit it, and knock another item off of my to-do list. I wonder if I just sit and watch them play, while I type this post out really quick…
and I stopped. I closed the computer, put my snow boots on, and went outside and played with them.
No, that item didn’t get checked off of my to-do list, but I didn’t care. We had the BEST time, freezing our little fannies off in that cold snow.
But we didn’t stop there. When we were too cold to feel our hands, we snuck back inside, and got cozy.
Mommy, you know what would be REALLY fun?! Hot cocoa.
The little guys had me wrapped around their fingers.
I quickly popped some Starbucks® Hot Cocoa K-Cup® pods in my Keurig, grabbed a few snacks, and cozied up in blanket by the fireplace, with my littles.
Mommy, this was the BEST day ever.
I suddenly felt that I had earned a few “mommy,” points that afternoon, and all was right in my world.
So as I wake up every day, it DOES takes an intentional “thought,” to make sure I attempt to be the mom that I want to be. I’m not perfect, as you can tell. But I CAN try to be a mom that I desire to be.
Thanks for letting me get a little sappy and personal today. Admitting my faults feels pretty good.