Hello online world! Woman, mother, novice blogger here. And I use the term “novice” pretty conservatively — I literally had to look up what “blog” means when I was first getting started, and I’ve now spent hours sifting through an endless web of information just to find and learn the platform that will support what I think I’m trying to do.
But here I am, finally, with a budding creative energy and a readiness to put a pen to the page. I’ve always enjoyed writing and connecting with people, but never have I tried merging the two, much less in this vulnerable, put-it-all-out-there kind of way. I’m very much a perfectionist, and don’t usually feel confident enough in my own voice to share it with others so publicly. But I’m sensing a seasonal change coming on, and a burgeoning need to stretch my limits — as if being a mom of two kids under five doesn’t already do that enough for me!
This feeling was likely first planted about a year ago when a series of events began to evolve for our family and set into motion our present day life, — which has kind of become something like a game of “Duck, duck, goose!” At the time, we had decided to grow our family, and would be adding a spunky boy to our otherwise calm composition when he was to join his easy older sister in September of 2016. Also, in advance of this pending change, we thought it responsible of ourselves, and the financial planning of our growing family, to combine what had otherwise heretofore been autonomous bank accounts and ambiguous spending habits. Then finally, to really shake things up and keep us swift on our toes, my husband Blair decided to uproot his ten-year tenure as an elementary school teacher to pursue more long-term security by going back to school, if only temporarily, still full-time.
With this perfect storm of transformations, you could say we’re all still reeling a bit in the whirlwind, as not only do our daily schedules and hourly responsibilities shift on a whim, but also our budgeting strategies have had to become a bit more tedious and activity plans a little more improvisational. Also in the process of these transitions, I have had to become more transparent in my personal accountability, and begun to feel uneasy not only with the unpredictability of our family’s future, but also the loss of my otherwise lifelong spending sovereignty.
It’s a complicated feeling, and one that I admit isn’t really fair. But to explain, our family’s lifestyle until recently had comfortably afforded me regular frivolous treats like a mid-afternoon Starbucks or the latest new J. Crew sweater. I had also come to enjoy indulgences like a biweekly professional house cleaning, a whimsical trip to Target, and a late night rendezvous with Amazon Prime. I had grown complacent in our modest affluence and frankly quite content in my ability to indulge all my self-supported cravings. What I didn’t so much realize is how deeply connected these little luxuries — and when I could have them — were to my total sense of sanity! While I’ve always been an anxious person with a slight depressive tendency, I’ve never been forced to pay such close attention to how spending money — or the autonomy to do so — actually impacted my mood until now.
Today, in our new set of financial circumstances and family demands, I’m finding myself at a crossroads of emotions without a roadmap and a significantly compromised internal compass — feeling irritable about the sacrifices I’m having to make and guilty because I know that’s selfish of me to see it that way. Feeling unhinged without my spending power and most prolific coping strategy, and aggrieved that I can’t make the autocratic decisions my lifestyle once afforded me. Feeling sorry for myself when I can’t have the $5 latte with whipped cream and cinnamon sprinkle, and pissed off when I get the enticing retail ads so strategically delivered to my inbox but know I just can’t click on them.
So where to go from here?
Maybe this crossroads, in all its uncertainty, is actually an opportunity — a chance for me to grow if I seize it just right and nourish these uncomfortable seeds beginning to take shape. If I can enrich the soil with meaningful reflections, forge new blooms with healthier perspectives, and connect roots with others who can maybe relate — perhaps I will cultivate a deeper gratitude for my actual daily fortunes, and find a more meaningful organic balance to better serve my family through any season we’re sure to fare.
Herein, I’ve arrived at the journey of a personal blogger, with an endeavor to take a closer look at anything that relates to the experience of women today, examining in the process how my own idiosyncrasies fit in with these themes and the larger feminine ecosystem.
I don’t expect it to be easy, I fully understand the discomfort I may be up against, and know that like any season there will be times of less and more. But my hope is that by opening myself up to community, sharing my journey as it unfolds, and learning from anyone willing to listen, maybe this can be an opportunity to not only grow myself but perhaps even share in the yield.