Not really having a choice.
From the time I settled into a stay-at-home parent role, I was the stay-at-home parent. And to be honest with you, I loved it. I mean, truly I loved the elaborate dinners I made, the time I got to spend with Scarlett, the hours I spent in the yard and garden…
I could go on and on but it’s neither here nor there but where I was going with this is-
I was determined to be the BEST stay-at-home-parent because I’ve always struggled with trust and therefore struggled with allowing to agree to depend on people and THAT list also goes on and on.
So, I loved that role, but it also fed my perfectionism fire to the point that unless I was so exhausted I hurt at the end of the day, I figured I didn’t do enough, so the next day I did more.
And so on…
But now, especially as I grieve that period of time for a variety of reasons, I find myself still stretching and stretching in order to still give my babies part of that life. To still cook the dinners Scarlett asks for. To work on art projects with her Just Because. To bake her something to come home to. Here’s the deal, I’m not looking to be framed in the Hall Of Martyrdom. I realize I don’t have to make Scarlett English muffins or bake the bread she requested. I’m not looking for a gold medal for making my kids dinner, I’m aware that there are more corners I could cut in the name of my sanity.
But I WANT to. No matter what, I want to. I’d rather be Stretched if it means I give them things my own mother oftentimes could not, even if it means there will be moments of my own, “God, Ava, seriously”?
I ditched the idea that I was meant to hate my job or feel unfulfilled or stressed beyond belief years ago.
I tell people to rest. I encourage my four year old to rest. Mental health days? Take them. Burn out? Don’t let yourself get there. Doing every single thing there is to do in order to feel successful…
I mean, you shouldn’t do that but I definitely should.
And now, to a certain degree, I don’t have a choice and it makes me feel several kinds of ways-
I can’t stop. Truly, I have to keep it moving, all the time. When I started Butter Moon Bake Co it was crazier than normal because I was a stay-at-home-parent going through a separation and attempting to move out. Truly, failure wasn’t an option. Listen, I’m not implying that other entrepreneurs don’t have to make the same decisions, what I’m saying is that Butter Moon Bake Co was not going to be able to serve me as a Weekend Hobby or approached casually.
And so now, here I am, T I R E D.
And not just tired because of my business, but tired inside of my hair follicles.
I recently connected with my now-new-therapist and she said, “It sounds like you’ve been passed burn-out for awhile now.”
I’m like, burn-out? The flame literally blew out approximately 18 months ago, but like, here I am.
All of this is temporary, this I know.
I have the privilege and ability to boot-strap my way up and I’m doing just that.
In my core, I don’t believe that unless you’re ripping your hair out, you’re not Doing It Right, but it isn’t always easy, and I’ve had to get over a lot of my shit.
So, I sit with that, and also the fact that Hustle Culture (which I proudly denounce) is also just sort of where I exist for now.
We’re learning lessons everyday, y’all.
And this is the lesson that I’ve being served.
So, in order to lessen The Burn Out, there are less elaborate dinners and more Easy Breezy moments sprinkled in. Kind of like this gnocchi sheet-pan number inspired by The Kitchn you can find here. I mean, you can’t get much easier than whacking some shit on a sheet-pan and roasting everything together for 20 minutes, you know? The options are endless and meals like these help me feel successful at the end of a long ass day, when I know I am getting in some vegetables other than bagged salad into me and Scarlett’s bodies.
Someday there will be homemade gnocchi, but for now there are these sheet-pan meals with shelf stable gnocchi, amen.
You are so wise to be questioning and thinking about balance NOW. As THE parent and full time careerist, I thought I was doing a reasonable job of balancing. 40 years later I know I didn’t effectively include self care in that equation. Learning how to do that now! Sending hugs to you. Take care of yourself 💜
One day at a time. We strive to do so much but alas, we finally realize there has to be a balance and we need to find it. You will find it. Wrapping you in love and hugs. You are doing so very well. Don’t undermine your confidence. You can and will do well at raising your 2 beautiful children and have your business thrive.
I really like it when people come together and share thoughts. Great blog, stick with it! Sheryl Cobb Rama
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