"This is how we break the chain."
We are silly. We prioritize love and memory making. We take time in the middle of the day to dance, to laugh, and to shake out the sillys.
Becoming an Entrepreneur and a stay at home mom is what lead me to BREAK DOWN emotionally.
I suddenly have had all this time at home to FACE my emotions. To be a mom 24 / 7 in the way I WANT TO.
When I was a single mom, at 17, i put my girl in daycare while i attended college. I am so grateful i did that and do not regret having had people i trust teach and nurture my child while i spent my time wanting to educate myself and work.
But I missed a LOT of memory making. And I missed the opportunity to crack my own issues wide open.
Being a work from home mom, while my husband is doing his own work, means I am home every single day by myself mostly.
It means I deal with the tears, the screaming, the endless laundry, the "I'm hungry" and the "I'm not tired" every HOUR between 3 kids. I deal with hands on learning, teaching, and disciplining. I make the plans. And I make the rules.
What that has done is jacked my ANXIETY UP times a billion.
I had no idea how bad my PTSD was until I became confronted by 2 tiny rebels and a teenage sass-boss that created.
I had no idea how hard it would be to manage and complete tasks around the house every day for anyone, let alone someone who grew up with trauma.
This made me feel so ASHAMED and EMBARRESSED.
It made me feel like a failure as a mother and a wife.
But something changed in my this Spring, when I finally decided it was time to take control of my mental health and this whole experience.
I decided to get to the bottom of my anxiety, my triggers, and my past memories so I could figure out how to get better.
I confided in my husband and sought out his advice, which led me to release all of my insecurities through tears and confessions.
I admitted to him that everything felt really hard.
I admitted I was not "okay".
After pouring out my heart and muddling over the details of my past, I discovered that my priorities were feeding my anxiety. And I lacked management of my own triggers.
My husband said something that really soothed my heart, and ever since it has helped me to put the big picture into perspective. It has helped me manage my life better, and my relationship with my kids better.
He said, "Focus on being the mother you want to be. Make that your first priority."
Sometimes we have these matrix moments where time freezes and you can suddenly see all of the past + present + future of your life just zoom into tiny moments on a line.
You look at this line and you realize that it is not a climb, it is not a boiling [vertical] progress meter.
It is a horizon.
And all I can see ever since that day is a sunrise.
A new day. Every single day.
I now view time differently.
I have a lot of responsibilities at home. I manage company marketing for our family businesses, I help with secretarial tasks for them, I manage websites and sometimes customer service. I do graphic design and print work as well.
I also created, founded and manage my own blog site all on my own.
Aside from that, I raise 3 kids daily. One who is high functioning autistic. And 2 in potty training mode.
I also have to find time to manage my own PTSD + mental health and healing. Which is a fulltime gig. I cannot afford to fire myself in this job. The others depend on it.
All of this used to feel like an uphill battle. Now I know everything will just get done, one day at a time.
I also know that work and making money are not my "priority" OVER or BEFORE my children.
I am not going to teach my children that it is all work and no play.
I am not going to teach my kids that they are low on my list of things to get done.
Every sunrise is an opportunity to make the best of the day. A fresh new set of plans.
Seeing my time like this allows me to conquer challenges in small strides, easing my anxiety and giving me the chance to be in control of my experiences.
I spend all my time with my kids, guiding them through the day and trying my best to teach them how to manage their feelings.
I adopted gentle parenting techniques including teaching them how to dissolve a melt down into coloring, dancing, or having free play.
We create art, we write, we tell stories. We sing funny songs. We are going to learn yoga, meditation, and calming techniques too.
I need to heal and I need to teach my kids what that process looks like. Because we all get feelings of overwhelm, stress, pain, jealousy, rage, disappointment, anger, remorse. I need to show them what all those feelings are and how to manage them as a LIFE SKILL.
My kids have also given ME more time. They love to color, play, or sing next to me because I welcome it. I welcome and encourage their creativity and exploration WHILE I do my work.
Now we both do what needs to be done, but with more peace and joy.
And consequently, I am getting to watch 3 kids blossom.
I am being the mom I actually want to be.
Published by Jean Soto JS Jaded Savior blog: email@example.com
Jean Soto, mother of 3 and wife, is a writer + artist in the Hudson Valley, NY community.
Content mention of Rape, Abuse, Neglect, Addictions, Mental Illness, Kidnap, Molestation, Child abuse, Teen Pregnancy, Abortion, birth, body image, gender/identity dysphoria, sexuality, personal trauma, domestic violence and other extremely personal stories. Please practice caution. I am not a licensed physician or mental health professional. No medical prescribing is provided on this site, Only personal insights, experience stories, and advice; All stories published have had prior authorization. Questions? Contact Jean at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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