Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Knowing when to "Let It Go"

I wrote this post last week for the Tampa Bay Moms Blog.  I've explained all of the stress that have been going on in my life and this post was like therapy for me.  I love writing so much but the experience I had writing this post was truly organic.  The words just flowed and it turned into the piece I'm most proud of.

I feel like it's been so long since I've been on the blog that I should re-introduce myself. Hi, I'm Jess. I'm a full time working Momma who just learned the biggest Mommy lesson of all time: Knowing when to Let It Go (like the Frozen reference???  Gotta thank Debbie for that one! There will be more than one of these references so bear with me!)
As moms, we're charged with handling (or juggling in my case) so many tasks at one time on a daily basis. Keeping our children alive and happy, keeping our husbands/boyfriends/partners happy, managing the household and everything that comes with it, school responsibilities, extra curricular responsibilities, social obligations, and throw work responsibilities on top of it if you're a working Momma like me. When you sit down and look at everything a mom is responsible for, it's amazing we're all not in the looney bin by now. That's a lot of responsibility and pressure to put on one person. And to make it worse, we're so critical and judgmental towards our fellow Moms. We're expected to handle it all with grace and poise and not let everyone see we're falling apart at the seams.
That's where I found myself the past few months. Trying to hold everything together as best as I could while my life was spiraling out of control. I can't help but think of the amazing song "Let It Go" from Frozen. First off let me say that I absolutely adore this movie and the soundtrack. Granted we've been listening to it nonstop since it came out, to the point where I pretend the CD isn't in my car anymore, but it's still amazing. Just listening to "Let It Go" has brought me to tears before. The message is so powerful.
Don't let them in. Don't let them see. Be the good girl you always have to be. Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know. Well now they know
I was struck by that lyric. That's exactly what I was doing! I was drowning on a daily basis but I was putting on the happy face. You know the one. The one that makes everyone else think everything is fine when it's anything but. We've been dealing with my daughter's health issues with no answers. My son had a seizure at school, which was the worst day of my life. I had another kidney stone. My husband had a heart scare. I had just switched jobs. School and dance and family obligations were piling up. There was no light at the end of my tunnel. I was putting on a brave face each and every day. I was acting like nothing was going on, that there was no stress in my life.
One day I realized that I couldn't hide it anymore. There was no way I could pretend like it wasn't too much for me. That's when it hit me...I have to let it go. I have to stop pretending that I have everything under control. I learned to say no. I took a step back from some of the things I was involved in. That's why you haven't seen me on the blog since Christmas. I had to focus on the most important thing in my life, my family.
You know what I realized? I realized it was okay to say no. It was okay to let other people know you're overwhelmed and need help. I learned it's okay to feel like you're drowning because you're not the only one. I realized I'm not the first mom, nor will I be the last mom, to be going through what I was going through. I realized I didn't have to be the picture perfect portrait of Motherhood. Being a mom is wonderful and a dream come true but it's messy and crazy and it's hard. I've finally come to terms with that. I've become okay with knowing I'm not going to live up to society's expectations of what a Mother should be. I'm okay with that because the only opinions that matter are my children's and they think I'm doing an amazing job!
It's time to see what I can do. To test the limits and break through. No right. No wrong. No rules for me. I'm free. 


1 comment:

  1. You said it, mama. There's no need to be super mom - no matter what you do, it's super to your kids. It's most important to take care of yourself. The one line that always comes to my mind when I think about that is what my aunt told me when Ellie was born: "put on your own oxygen mask first." We can't help our kids if we don't take care of ourselves. It's okay to not be Everything to Everyone all the time - prioritize what's important and the rest will fall where it should!

    (Of course, I realize I'm just a "rookie" mom compared to you, but I get you. :) )