It’s been two days since sharing my post, The Broken Mommy, and I have to be honest, I wasn’t expecting to receive such a huge and positive response from it. Partially because as I mentioned, I feel like most mom’s can’t relate to me, and partially because I feel judged and somehow uncomfortable every day with the thought of “only” having one child. But I’ve barely been able to keep up with messages ranging from women I’m close to, to women I’ve never even met.
Since actually putting it out there, I’ve felt extra sensitive about it, and leave it to NBC’s TV show This Is Us to put things into even more perspective on this topic and pull another raw and emotional post out of me. In case you’ve been living under a rock, This Is Us is a new hit show that’s all the rage, and if you haven’t seen it yet, then I strongly urge you to make friends with your couch and On Demand that shit, immediately! And watch it with your spouse or significant other, because I strongly believe that every couple should watch this show together.
I’ll refrain from spoiling it in case there are some of you out there who haven’t seen the show or haven’t gotten to the finale yet, but what I will add is that last nights episode had a hardcore fight between the two main characters who are husband and wife. While this particular episode wasn’t totally what I was expecting, this fight really got me. It pulled at my heart strings like no other fight on TV. That shit was real, it was honest and it was downright raw. I felt like I could relate to Rebecca, the wife, in all her wild and crazy screaming 100%. Expressing that for the last 15 years she’s been nothing more than a housewife and mother, and that she’s had nothing for herself. BOOM! People, that’s the shit I’m talking about right there. That’s what I don’t want to become. That’s where I don’t want to be in one year, five years or 15 years.
I’ve seen my parents, other family members and countless friends have their relationships end in divorce – because once you have kids your lives then become dedicated to being parents together, and somewhere along the way many couples somehow stop feeding their marriage. I know there are momma’s out there who will be able to relate to me here – but it’s easy to lose yourself and your relationship with your spouse to your kids.
When you have kids life becomes a juggling act that is hard to manage. Every single week I feel like I’m walking across a balance beam. Some weeks I glide across with ease and without falter, while other weeks I can barely get one foot in front of the other without stumbling and feeling like everything I have going on is falling flat on the floor, including myself. And this is how I feel with “only” one child…
My post on Monday barely scratched the surface folks. I only listed a handful of reasons why I struggle daily with the decision of whether or not to have a second. But I will tell you here that my marriage and my career are huge and I mean HUGE factors in this struggle. I don’t want to lose my marriage or the love I have for my husband and I don’t want motherhood to dictate my career.
I’ve turned down countless opportunities because they simply don’t align with our schedule. From studios offering me classes and positions that don’t offer childcare to reality TV shows (yes TV shows!) that have contacted me to audition for fitness roles that would take large chunks of time away from my family, I am constantly saying no. And while I definitely don’t want to be on a reality TV show, there are plenty of other opportunities that I really didn’t want to say no to, which has left me feeling discouraged and held back. Call me selfish, call me a bitch, call me a bad wife or shitty mom, but I don’t want to have to keep saying no! And I know the more children I have, the harder it’s going to be to say yes. And just like I don’t want fear or doubt holding me back from anything, I don’t motherhood holding me back either, and admittedly, sometimes I feel like it does. [<—–Insert feeling like the worst mother ever here.]
Here’s the thing – marriage is hard, motherhood is hard, having a career is hard and having something for yourself outside of all of these things is hard. I’m willing to fight and work hard for all these things because they’re equally important to me, but I’m not willing to lose myself to any one thing because of another. Does that make sense? Meaning, I’m not willing to lose myself or my career because I have a bunch of kids running around and I can’t manage or make the time for anything else. Having one is hard enough, I worry every day that having more would result in me losing something…
Ladies, we ALL need something for ourselves! We are more than just wives and mother’s! We were human and we were strong independent women before we met our husband’s and before we had our children. I refuse to let adding color to my life dull or take away the wonderful things about me that were there before!
With that said, there’s a quote I keep going back to whenever I have to turn down an opportunity, and I’ve decided that I truly need to start applying this to all aspect of my life…
“My heart is ease knowing what’s meant for me will never miss me, and what misses me was never meant for me.” ~Imam al-Shafi’i
I’m trying to come to terms with this quote in motherhood… if I’m meant for a second child, it won’t miss me, and if I don’t have more children than it was never meant for me. I think writing and talking about it is helping me cope with my feelings a bit, because I truly struggle with this daily.
This is me… Wife, mother, fitness instructor, run coach, personal trainer, runner, lover of life, the outdoors, positivity and sooooooo much more. This is me, and I refuse to lose myself to motherhood or anything else.