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Let Yourself Be Vulnerable
Being a work at home mom can be such a challenge emotionally. Not only do we have our goals and kids to balance, but we have our homes as well. Sometimes with so many mundane responsibilities just to stay on top of it all, our lives feel like they are being run by everyone except for us. It is easy to forget all of the reasons why we love staying home and instead get wrapped up in the negative.
The loneliness, the repetitiveness. The feelings of self-doubt and guilt. These feelings are totally normal no matter where you are as a mom. That is why it is so important to have people in your corner that keep your head up and lend you the strength of mind. I’m talking about other mom friends!
I had a bit of a refresher this week while one of my best friends came to stay. She visited for just over a week with her five-year-old and her 8-month-old, and it really helped to open my eyes to my reality: shutting everyone out when you are struggling is not the best way. Even if you feel like you don’t have a moment to spare, take the time to connect with the people that really matter most in your life.
A True Friend
If you have been around a while, you know that I lost my dad in a car accident about two years ago. About two weeks later, I found out I was pregnant with Willow. Needless to say, I fell apart. Between grieving and pregnancy, the year of 2016 is basically a blur. This friend, she was there for me through it all. One-hundred percent. She was the person that “borrowed” my kids because she knew that I needed a break. The one that showed up and fed my kids, then did the dishes while I was passed out on the couch. She is the only one that saw me as I was: crippled with pain despite the rest of the world believing I was okay. Believing that I was coping, but that I would be fine.
When my friend and I talked about her stay, I wasn’t sure how it would go. I was nervous about the logistics. How would the kids get along for that long of a stay? Would we disturb Chris too much since he is working nights? Would my meal plan feed us all or should I adjust and go shopping?! There were so many things to consider to make sure the week wasn’t a total bust!
Then came the insecurities. She would be able to see everything wrong that I do. All of my fails as a mom in the week, all of my slacking in the house. She would be here for long enough to get a true glimpse of my life, and even though I have told her I’m not perfect(newsflash-nobody is!), seeing it felt much more invasive. I realized that deep down I felt I was doing an inadequate job trying to balance it all.
Related: How To Strike the Perfect Work-Life Balance as a Mompreneur
Afraid To Be Vulnerable
To be honest, I was afraid to be vulnerable even to somebody that I trusted so much, maybe even to myself. There were so many reasons that she might start seeing me differently. There are so many ways that I disappoint myself on this journey of reclaiming myself, becoming the woman that I want to be, and creating a life that I can be proud of.
I have so many parts of my life that I have been working on, but haven’t quite lined up. This journey of a smooth household is made up of small, seemingly insignificant changes over the course of time. I’m only so far into that journey, and having someone watch me try to piece it all together? Well, that felt like a whole lot of pressure to be perfect. Pressure from myself.
Related: How To Empower Yourself To Overcome Struggles As A Mompreneur
A New Perspective
Well, my friend came to stay and it was an awesome week. I loved having her around, and after all of that doubt, I didn’t feel embarrassed one bit. Even more surprising was that she was complimenting parts of my life that I hadn’t even realized I was doing well. When she claimed that her kids had never been as dirty as they were at my house, I almost choked on my drink. I wasn’t sure what to say.
Then, she went on to say that it was amazing because they were having such a great time and you could really see it. I just thought I sucked at keeping my kids clean! What a refreshing perspective on one of my insecurities. Maybe I am pulling this whole mom thing off better than I thought, eh?
We talked, and dreamed, and we showed her everything we are working on. With the kids. For ourselves. We connected on a deeper level, past the small talk and discussions about how our surface level life is going. We really got to dive into all of the parts of life that are normally hidden from the world. It was an amazing thing to share my little world with someone that I love so much, and I couldn’t believe that I had forgotten what true vulnerability with an “outsider” feels like.
Related: 6 Ways To Be A Happy and Productive Stay At Home Mom
A Lasting Impact
My friend left to go home, and as she was leaving, she started to tell me how excited she was to start making changes. Some of these changes were small things that I never knew mattered, like going outside in the morning, and planning projects on paper. Others were the hacks that I have made intentionally. She got to see things like my laundry system in action and now she is completely sold! (The funny thing is I had told her about it so. many. times! Maybe a video would help?)
This visit impacted us both so positively. It was an amazing reminder for me to allow myself to be vulnerable and make true connections. To give myself grace and focus more on the parts of life that matter. It was so motivating to see all of the small changes that I have made be so substantial that she is going to try them. Sometimes I forget how far I’ve come.
Let Them In
If you are in a funk, try letting an “outsider” in. You could let them into your thoughts and insecurities, let them give you feedback on work, or just let them into your madhouse of a home. Stop letting the little things keep you from the big things in life. The things that matter most like love, support, and true gratification are what we will remember later. You don’t have to do any of this alone. Allow yourself to be vulnerable to those that you trust, and reap the benefits of love.
Please share this message with someone who needs to hear it!