I suppose the sagest advice I received during the then and now was,
“You have to get through it to get to it.”
Truer words have never been spoken, even if they were out of the mouth of my little sister. I thought I was to be the much wiser one?
I’m not going to pull any punches here. There were days where I was (and still am sometimes) completely overwhelmed. Re-entering the working world, where computers are common place, was a tad unnerving. The last time my fingers plucked away at a keyboard, floppy disks were still a thing. It was a huge transition going from being home with my seven children all day. I had to relearn how to speak adult, and I quickly discovered that the work at home was still there, waiting.
The kiddos were introduced to chicken fingers and frozen meals. (Yes, I was the mom who made everything from scratch and balked at the thought of purchasing cookies or muffins!) Now I scour the clearance racks for both, and fall asleep at night wondering what concoction I can toss in a crockpot before heading out to work.
Has it been worth it? If you asked me that even two years ago, I would have struggled for an answer. I knew I felt better about myself, but I lugged a backpack of mom guilt around with me.
Then a phone call from one of the older kids really put everything in perspective. He said he was happy to know “me”. Yeah, I teared up with emotion; I realized I didn’t do the kids any favours by never letting them see me be silly, happy, mad, or crying. In fact, by hiding my emotions – good or bad – I removed myself piece by piece from their lives and put myself on a different playing field.
I may be their mom but I am still just a girl who is trying to make sense of every day; no different than them.
It truly feels remarkable that l’ve accomplished as much as I have when, in the blink of an eye, I could have chosen to hide away and sought to remain still. Fortunately, when I was at my lowest someone always stepped forward to take me by the hand; sometimes with a bit of a yank, but most of the time with a loving nudge! For those amazing bright lights in my life: I will never be able to give back what you gave me.
I am forever grateful.