Pre-children, I traveled the world, learned 4 languages and was nicely climbing up my professional trajectory. I was a self-made woman on a mission to stay strong, accomplished and succeed.
I was organized, did power yoga and considered myself a pretty chilled out and “together” kind-of-person.
The thing is…I learned 4 languages and became cross-culturally sensitive, but never learned how to effectively speak or navigate baby land or toddler world.
In fact, when motherhood came, it chewed me up, swallowed me whole and then spit me out as some new unrecognisable, mad, crazy, woman.
In the beginning I didn’t really think much would change, so I kept living at full speed.
High stress became the flavour of the day. The weight of responsibility for young lives, my lack of freedom, my ever confused identity, my altered relationship with the man I loved, the isolation from friends and social events that had been such an active part of my life – these drove me to the brink of insanity. It was the confusion, the exhaustion, the frustration, the resentment, the overwhelmof it all.
And the guilt of not getting it right. (Oh the guilt!)
Today my experience and research tell me that these are all feelings shared by mothers around the world.
The myth. The romantic myth that motherhood is blissful. Ha!
It did not take very long for that myth to come crashing down on my sanity and self-confidence – both as a stay-at-home Mom and as a working Mom.
As a stay-at-home Mom I questioned who I was and I regretted my financial dependence. (What of my commitment to feminism and all those working Moms out there?) I missed adults and their rational, reliable world. My brain was melting and my beautiful wardrobe gathering dust. Worst of all, I hated feeling busy all the time, constantly asking myself: “but what are you actually doing?” I yearned to feel accomplished, to have something, anything, in my realm of control.
So I went back to work. It would be better that way. The financial burden would lessen. My mind would be challenged. I’d have adults to talk to. I’d come home happy and fulfilled. I’d yell less.
But here’s what actually happened when I went back to work:
Life became a guilt-plagued balancing act. A box ticking repetitive groundhog day. Every day. Rush. Get the kids ready. Get myself ready (sort of). Drop them off. Go to work. Leave work. Pick the kids up. Get the kids down. Finish work. Drop dead for the night. Start all over again.
So as both a stay-at-home Mom and as a working Mom, I was miserable, stressed, overwhelmed and completely disconnected from myself and my family.
Interactions with those I loved were anything but calm, because I’d lost my cool (myself!) along the way. All the “small stuff” (which really represented bigger stuff) was getting to me and I was losing it. My poor kids! So when baby number three made his appearance he brought along with him a moment of awakening. Maternity leave with baby number three shone a mirror on what I had become. My high-strung-hamster-wheel-guilt-plagued lifestyle was getting in the way of the most important moments and relationships in my life. My reactions to life’s Mom-stress were explosive and my connections with those I loved, unhealthy.
I had turned into a hot head monster Mom.
And, not only was I modelling crap emotional intelligence…But my kids were getting to know this crazy woman who I didn’t even recognize as their Mama.
These were moments I would never get back.
So I stopped.
I relearned motherhood.
I learned to stay calm and enjoy the ride a little bit more. Since then I’ve retrained as a professional life coach and have worked with hundreds of mothers from around the world to help them do the same – to ditch stress and love more.
And this is where the story ended until this past summer when I realized two things:
1) All my inner work towards becoming a calmer more joyful Mama had led me to become a woman who acknowledges the value of emotional intelligence and mindful living while also embracing my woo woo, speaking my mind with confidence and honoring my boundaries. In other words, I found myself honoring my inner wisdom and stepping more into the shape of my soul.
2) Today’s crazy world needs women who are more than calm and joyful and loving. It needs women who are bold and confident and ready to model the change they want to see int he world – for themSELVES, for their kiddos and for our common future!
This is why I created In Essence Collective. To support mothers like you to find your clarity, your calm and your confidence. To find yourSELVES and the courage to step into the shape of your gorgeous souls – as mothers, women, and global citizens.
I’m so happy you are here and can’t wait to share this journey with you!