I want to introduce you to my new friend, Emily Heyer. She is a certified life coach focusing on motherhood and mental health. Not only is she living la Vida Loca with a two-year-old, but she is also learning to connect with her own personal joy and joy in motherhood. Yes, those can be two separate things that happen simultaneously.
One of the biggest misconceptions about motherhood is that we must give up our own hobbies, passions, or interests or even careers to focus solely on the needs of our families. We convince ourselves that all the busyness of taking care of our kids and our spouses is just the sacrifice we make to be moms. Sacrifice has become synonymous with motherhood, and it often comes with a cost to our mental health.
Sacrificing my own interests made me feel like there was a big missing piece to my life. I was disconnected from myself and the things that bring me joy because I had waited too long to nurture them.
It’s no wonder moms can feel so stressed out. When we sacrifice our own happiness too often, what is there to get excited about? There is not a lot of joy in swapping weekends at 4-star hotels for dirty diapers and cleaning up crumbs a million times a day with no breaks.
Wanting joy for ourselves, does not mean we take away joy from our families and it is not selfish. We are allowed to nourish ourselves with the same intensity and love we do our families. So, why is it so frowned upon?
Well, that’s exactly what Emily and I chatted about during our one-hour consultation. I was curious about the mom coaching she offers. We talked about how society defines our roles, how other moms can expect us to stay confined to those roles and the overall effect that has on our mental health.
Then, she asked my one simple question, “if you had a magic wand, what is one thing you’d change about your life right now?”
My answer was that I want to return to work outside of the house again, but my fear is that I don’t know where I’d fit in. I have been out of the traditional 9-5 workforce for a decade, and I may be too old or irrelevant for some jobs. I had two successful careers before motherhood but going back to them I’d be at the bottom of the ladder again.
Emily helped me unravel that thought process and determine how I am relevant right now. We discussed how the pandemic has changed the way people work and connect and that I am already well versed on how to work from home. Can I just tell you that shifting that perspective made me realize I still have valuable skills? I have been a SAHM and WAHM for nearly ten years. I may have lost touch with some traditional 9-5 aspects of my previous two careers in an office because I am not doing them every day, but I have picked up an entirely new skillset that not only makes me relevant but opens new opportunities.
Emily and I also discussed ways I connect with my own joy, what makes me happy and how I can participate in those things this week, not some day when my kids are grown and flown.
For one full hour, I was able to talk about myself with another mom who listened. I shared my stress with someone who could relate firsthand. And when we were done, I had small, actionable steps to take with me toward my personal fulfillment. I felt heard and validated, which as moms we don’t get to feel nearly enough. I felt empowered to re-align with my own interests again and to feel less guilty for wanting those things for myself. It was well worth it to meet with a life coach at this point in my motherhood journey. I really wish I had taken this opportunity sooner, especially in those early years when I tried hard to make everything perfect. Reconnecting to my personal joy makes me a healthier mom and a good role model for my kids. They deserve to see how to make themselves a priority too without the stigma of it being selfish.
You can meet Emily yourself in this short video, “3 Things Every Mom Needs to Know.”