I am so pleased to welcome back Cassandra as a guest blogger today. I so treasure her introspection into her own motherhood journey. Her thoughtful approach and consideration continues to inspire me in my own motherhood. Thank you so much for contributing today, C.O. <3, K.B.
I have major FOMO (fear of missing out) within my current role as stay at home parent and full time care taker of my young children.
I will preface this post with the fact that everyone’s family dynamics are very different and my situation is fairly intense right now. My 15 month old daugher was exclusively breastfeeding until very recently when she began eating solids. She currently can only eat a handful of foods and I can only leave her for ~1.5 hours (possibly 2) at a time, and really only with my husband/her dad at this point. She only sleeps 45 minute stretches at night (but has had a couple 2 hour stretches recently though so… hope!) and it is pretty much all me, all of the time. We do not live near family or close friends and my 4 year old son does not attend any kind of school, he is also solely cared for by me during my husband’s fairly long working hours and then by both of us when my husband is home.
This FOMO could be attributed to starting my motherhood journey young, I was 22 when I became pregnant with my son, but there was a lot packed into those years prior to that. I got married, graduated college, got a job, bought a house, traveled to Europe 3 times, yet my heart is constantly aching for all of the things I feel like I am missing out on. While I am in bed nursing, on the couch nursing, walking around my neighborhood for the 3rd time that day, cleaning up the same mess every night, washing the exact same loads of laundry over and over and catching glimpses of myself in the mirror (after I have cleaned and groomed and fashionably dressed my children) only to be caught off guard that I may in fact seriously start being mistaken as a homeless person – I think about all of the fun “out there” that is being had and start getting seriously worried about parts of myself that may never actually exist again.
Yes the internet is a glossy place where everything looks better than it really is and yes I am immensely grateful for every single second I have with the healthy, tiny humans that have literally come into existence & remained alive from the cells and blood within my body but LOOK AT ALL THE FUN THINGS ALL OF THESE OTHER PEOPLE ARE DOING.
Maybe I should go back to work so I don’t feel like I am missing out on a career?
Maybe I should move closer to family so I don’t feel like I am missing out on helping hands?
Maybe I should never talk to any adults that do not have children so I don’t feel like I am missing out on what it would be like to not have the incredible weight of responsibility that is a helpless human’s life?
But really I don’t want to do any of those things. And I know children grow and they won’t be entirely helpless forever. These are some of the hardest years and everything is always changing. My daughter won’t be nursing on demand forever (although it very well could be a really, really long time). I know my husband and I will spend time together, alone, again at some point, but there are still some things that are just not going to happen, for me, for us. They just aren’t.
After years of this burden I have been carrying around of all. the. things. I can’t do right now and might not get to do and want to be doing coupled with the, at times, overwhelming fear of never being an autonomous being again, I recently had a very inspiring moment of clarity.
It is all a season.
My season to accomplish outside of the home, to travel, to spend more time on self care than will ever be necessary, to reconnect with my passions, will come. But it is not about waiting, no not at all. It is about experiencing the current season for all it has to offer.
Recently on Bunmi Laditan’s Facebook page (who will never fail to make you actually LOL & possibly wake the children) she mentioned in a post something along the lines of a friend with one very easy going child who thinks he understands how to influence’s children’s behavior positvely and offers advice ya da ya da and how it doesn’t bother her and she doesn’t say anything because “life will be his teacher.”
This could not be more true of my experience the last five years since becoming pregnant. I now do not believe that I know much of anything, I am not in control and I actually am simply here to learn and grow as much as I can. My children are here to teach me. This season is here to teach me, to stretch me, lengthen me, make me uncomfortable and make me better.
So instead of living in fear of all of the things I may not ever get to do I am adjusting my focus to LEARN ALL THE THINGS. But seriously, to focus on growing myself – can I have more patience today than I had yesterday? Can I take a couple of moments on this walk to completely clear my mind? Can I enjoy myself right now even though I feel uncomfortable with the state of my kitchen or I don’t actually like this game my son wants to play? This is what my season has to offer and I want to get as much out of it as I can!
I should also probably delete Instagram, Facebook, Bloglovin’ & the like off of my phone and block all of my childless friends from texting me too 😉 What season of life are you in? What does it have to offer??