I am a wife, mother, teacher, hobby writer and blogger, homewowner, pet parent, as well as a friend, sister, and daughter. It's a lot of roles and as most know from experience within those large titles come all the subtitles of roles we play as women: nurse, bookkeeper, housekeeper, financial analyst, counselor, and many others. To say it's a lot to balance is probably an understatement but somehow as women we do it. Some days I feel accomplished and like I completely have a handle on this modern day woman balancing act and other days I feel like the clown in the circus show who screwed up her juggling act while the crowd watches in quiet uncertainty.
I love being a mother, love being a wife, love owning my own home, love my personal hobbies like photobooking (electronic scrapbooking?) and writing, love my job on most days, but it's hard sometimes. Then I get frustrated because I think it's hard. I have this strange mentality that fighting cancer is hard, being homeless is hard, losing your home to foreclosure is hard, losing a loved one is hard. Those things definitely make the top of the cake in my book of hard so I tend to judge myself pretty harshly for finding this motherhood balancing act so hard. I tend to think complaining or even claiming how hard motherhood is in comparison to serious problems like cancer, lost homes, or lost loved ones is just whining.
However, as I've encountered a few students who were bright students who appeared to have it all-just like so many of us mothers too have it all in a way-completely lose themselves in the overwhelming stress to succeed and push themselves beyond their limits, I began to see how stress and pressure can have such a negative impact on our self image, our relationships, and our mental stability and happiness. As I've watched some of my high achieving, successful on the outside adolescent students struggle to meet the expectations they and others put on them, I came to see the similarity between them and mothers. As I worked with adolescent students during the day and worked through my own mental imbalance in reflected writing at night I started to see this connection between the growth we go through as adolescences and that we again go through as mothers. Just as adolescence begin to face pressure to meet others' expectations and create their own identity with their own path we as mothers are on a journey to recreate ourselves with this new woman that is now in the most important role of her life: mother.
Pressure creates tremendous stress. Stress is a slow silent killer and mothers face some high levels of stress at times. I let it get out of control a few years back and found myself in place where the pressure and anxiety of too many things just consumed me. That is when I started writing. Writing has always been this wonderful creative outlet for me. At peak points of hard times in my life I have always turned to writing. I find it incredibly therapeutic. It's a great reflective tool when you find you are a little lost. Motherhood is not the only thing that defines me. There are many layers to who I am and who I want to be. As I struggled to figure out how who I was, who I am, and who I want to be in this life that is motherhood, I created what started as Time with A & N and then later became Stepping into Motherhood back in 2012 when that lost journey to finding my way back to myself began.. Some of those top posts were then expanded into longer essays to create my book Moms, Monsters, Media & Margaritas, which examines more in depth the perceptions and expectations of modern day motherhood with chapters about letting supermom go, the balancing act of motherhood, the mommy wars, marriage and kids, the myth of happily ever after, and many more.
This is how four years later the now blog, Stepping into Motherhood and book Moms, Monsters, Media & Margaritas came to be. I also now have over thirty essays and articles published on other motherhood websites (which you can check out here ) and in two Chicken Soup for the Soul books, The Multitasking Mom's Survival Guide and Curvy and Confident. I hope you stick around to read more.
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Check out the reviews on my book
Southern Mess Moms Book Reviews
Noise of Boys Book Reviews and Giveaways
There's Just One Mommy Reviews