I could hear that little voice saying, “No, you are doing it all wrong. You are giving them more stuff, but less of YOU. You are what they want, what they need, mama.” It had been there, tugging and pulling at my heart for a few months when Brynlee was born. I had become a work at home mother and there is nothing wrong with that, but I had let the “work” become more important than the “mother” and that is not okay.
photo credit: Kayla Cobb Photography
I didn’t quit my job to stay at home with my firstborn over 5 years ago to be saying things like, “No, Mommy can’t play right now. She has to work.” Those words usually came out with a long sigh and full of frustration. Every day, the delivery man (as my kids call him) would bring something new and add to my work load. Shiny, fun toys, expensive gear, things we probably wouldn’t buy or could not afford, and I would smile and show the kids our delivery of the day. Within days (sometimes hours) the new would be worn off and I would once again hear that voice saying, “You’ve got it backwards. Less stuff. More you, mama.” We could get by without the extra money and we definitely didn’t need the stuff, but my pride. There’s that word- pride. My blog, my work- I took pride in it. Pride isn’t necessarily always a bad thing, but in this case- it was. As a mother, we need something to be proud of, but what I’ve finally learned is that I want to be proud of the mother and the wife that I am. I want those things to always come first and not “in just a minute” but now.
When Brynlee was born with PRS, everything came to a screeching halt. I had no choice but to pull out of campaigns and let those deadlines slide. What!? It’s Holiday Gift Guide time, don’t you know!? What I found is that letting it all go and focusing on my family- that was freeing. The load that I had put on myself (no excuses, this was totally on me) was heavier than I had realized and my children were paying the price.
photo credit: Kayla Cobb Photography
Years before I became a brand partner or a review blogger, I was a teenager sitting behind a computer pouring out words because that was the only way I could get out everything I was feeling. Ten years and 3 kids later, that is where I feel the push to return. Just with a few extra pounds and less angst. This isn’t to say that I will never share products or brands with you all, because I absolutely will. I love partnering with brands that I genuinely love and I enjoy being able to give back to my readers through giveaways, but those partnerships will be less. Way less. For the last 5+ weeks, I’ve written for me and I’ve shared our family and that just feels right. The blog deliveries have all but stopped, I’ve deleted all but one new campaign that has come my way, and I don’t feel overwhelmed with work. Not once have I said to my children, “Just a minute. Let mom work right now.” Not a single time. But you know what? When I sit down at the computer, my kids will say, “Mom, can you do this…. when you finish your work?”
Oh, my heart. How wrong I have been. They think that they come after my work.
I am so, so sad that Bryson and Bella think that way. I could easily cry buckets over it, but I won’t. Instead, I am thankful that my eyes are opened and we can move on. From now on, work will come after the children. I can see God working through Brynlee’s diagnosis and though it feels like our world was flipped upside down, I’m fairly certain it’s just the opposite- everything is falling into place. As it should be. A hard lesson, but one that this mama desperately needed.
It’s time for the kids to wake. It’s time to connect feeding tubes and suction our her trach. It’s time to eat breakfast without worry about all of the “work” I need to finish today. It’s time for cartoons and cuddles. It’s time to take pride in being a mama and know that being a mama and wife- that’s enough. More than enough.
My cup overflows.