I love New York City, and one of the reasons why I love it so much is that this is a concrete jungle and in the concrete jungle, there is no illusion of the white picket fence idea or measuring who’s grass is greener. This is a hustling ground and nothing is given or done for free. You pay for it one way or another. Thats the kind of place for people like us. Mothers who are caring, nurturing, kind, humble yet big time hustlers at heart.
The down side to being a goal getter when you are a solo mom is that it brings a lot of anxiety. I made a promise last year that I will always be truthful with you on my blog. These few months have been an eye-opener for me. In my moments of thought I felt the pain and anxiety of a mom like me, I wanted to hug her and tell her “I fell you mama”. You are not alone in your struggle.
When we hear about anxiety, we usually think its all about too many bad things happening at once. No, it is also about having too many good things or potentially good things happening all at once. The “thing” or reason it self is not the anxiety – that could actually bring you joy and happiness, the problem is having multiple things happening at the same time. Your joy and happiness is tainted with anxiety and this is why it is hard for people like you to get help because no one will understand. You are having the time of your life. You have this and this happening for you. Starting a new business is a good thing, having a small business already going on is a good thing, having a family is a good thing, having your good friend get married and her asking you to be her maid of honor is a good thing, having your parents come to visit is a good thing but having them all happening all at once or needing your attention all at once can cause you a lot of anxiety.
Society make us to think we are good at multitasking and yes that is true, no one can be making dinning, helping the kids with homework, sending clients emails, dealing with staff issues like a mother. But when you are starting a new business while running a new business, in a new place while navigating your way through your new environment, and helping your kids navigate this new way of life too and worry about the emotional implications of them missing their old friends even though they are making new friends and doing well, it gets too much.
As mothers, we are cursed with perpetual worry. We worry if there is nothing to worry about, I mean it can’t be right for everything to be going on this good, what is the catch or when is it going to all go bad, we worry currently for the future for things that are going ok now but might go wrong later. We are blessed but we are cursed with that burden of worrying.
It is not a bad thing, another way to look at it is that, that constant worry is our guard, our checker, our rational self that knows yes it is cool to live in a world of bubble, roses and unicorns but the reality is that things do go wrong, things will stop working, you will get rejections and disappointments. But you are tough, you are strong. You are a beliver. That is your truth so hold on to your truth. Use your worry and let it work for you.
When everything is all happening at once and you are feeling anxious, anger can easily set in. Why do I have to be the one making all the sacrifices. “But how about mama”? This is for my solo mamas who are keeping the forth while the husabnds are working. You sometimes resent him for having the freedom, peace and quiet to do his work, there is no child to answer their 10994th questions or something to sign at school that you could have sworn you already signed or one parent things to attend or a baby to change her diappers after only just changing it like a minute ago or a sick child to attend to. You want to have all the peace of mind to think, develop and build your business.
Why does it have to be you making that sacrifice to juggle it all. Contrary to popular believe you don’t love the ‘strong-woman-can-do-it-all’ title. You don’t even want it, It wasn’t a choice for you. You had to be it. If things were different of course you would want it the easier way, but life isn’t always easy, what’s the fun in it. You won’t appreciate things if they were that easy. You ever wonder why you live a life full of gratitude and you are always hopeful and love to enjoy life? It is because of all the struggle you have been through. You come out on the other side stronger and you see the world differently.
Mama have her own dreams too that go beyond changing diapers and attending PTAs. Mama had dreams when she was a little girl. Yes she’s had some of them but she is still not there yet. Mama wanted to change the world and make it a better place just like you. How about mamas dreams.
You sometimes resent the same family you love and that you would give your life for, but then you look at them and think, “it is you I’m doing it for”. If it is them you are doing it for, then lets do it for them. What is more important to us moms? The kids. The family. Yes we matter too but they matter more, we are cursed with this motherly thing. But we are blessed. Do you remember when you prayed for what you have now? Maybe not all of them, but something you wanted 10 years ago and you have it now. Do you remember their giggle for the siliest thing that isn’t even funny?
When they wrap their hands around your neck. Do you remember the wet kisses of a toothless baby on your face? That’s my favorite. You push them away laughing at the pool of drool on your face while hugging them tight. They can’t say they love you yet, but the way they look at you, smile and sheepishly turn their face away says it all. I love it when my baby is having her milk, playing with her hair and trying not to smile because even though she’s not looking directly at me but she knows I’m looking at her. She tightens her lip around her bottle nipple and her cheeks are puffy from concealed smile. She is trying so hard not to smile! It’s just so beautiful to watch.
Yes you are beyond tired and exhausted, you don’t have the time to even go to the gym or time to go for that bra fitting you have been meaning to go. You are a mother. You are their mother. This is your calling, this is your one true duty. Nothing else. The duty of a mother is beyond birthing the child and making dinners and other things we do or have someone else do for us. It is the sacrifices. The selfless act of putting their needs above yours. You may not even feel the tingling kind of love people have come to describe what love is, for your kids but making that daily sacrifice to put their needs above yours is the definition of love.
Kids will grow up, new businesses won’t be new forever, eventually it will find its momentum and a system in place where it will not need you as much. Then you would have time for those catching ups, those long hours at the mall shopping, those hours sitting at the nail saloon to have your nails and toes painted. Yes others might be doing it while running a business, do they have kids? Do they have the number of kids you have? Do their spouse work in a different state or country? Do their support system live far away? These are all rhetoric questions that we cannot answer, remember why I love New York in the beging, stop looking at the grass of your virtual or real neighbor. You do not know their story. You know your own story. Your own situation. Given the same opportunity or support they have, you might do better, but work with what you have right now. Be proud in the process. Not of, but in the process. The journey not the destination. Every little step you make is something bore out of your hard work. Given that you are doing it while raising your kids single handedly. Tru,st that process. You are on to something. Keep doing your best. That is good enough.
Remember the beginning and where you are now. Small progress is better than no progress. When my baby was newly born i never had time for full on makeup. These days i find myself doing my makeup and even applying mascara and she is playing away with her toys as supposed to having to carry her with one hand and do my makeup with the other free hand. I look at her and i get emotional, it reminds me that these struggles are but for a little while.
The Bible says count your blessings and name them one by one. List the things you see in your kids that means love to you. Maybe it’s them making breakfast for you on Sunday. Or sharing their cookies with you. My son keeps a snack from school and brings it to me. I told him his teachers might think we have no food at home and we laugh about it. I encourage him to continue. Your babies might be too young but they have a way they show love too. Do you notice they always want to put your nose in their mouth. That’s them kissing you. Your labor of love is not in vain and you matter too. Just not right now. Right now you are in sacrifice mode. Give give mode. Anxiety mode. Feeling unappreciated mode. But these times don’t last forever. When you are done raising your babies, you will have ALL the time in the world to invest into your business. That little time you have that you are investing in it right now is ok. This is what you can do with the kids. They will grow up and go to college. They will find love, get married and form a family of their own. And you will be proud mama. Proud that despite all, you did. You. No one else. No one helping you. You will be there for your kids and help them raise their kids because you have been through it and you understand it too well. You will be successful in business and in your family life. Because you endured these period when it was tough. to
I love you mama,