When life seems to be feeling a bit stagnant, I crave change. Small changes or large, shaking things up a bit can have an invigorating effect. Usually this manifests itself in a spontaneous rearranging of furniture, or joining a new knit-along. Too much change at once though, and I risk getting lost in a swirl of to-do lists, packed calendars, and feeling uncertain of everything.
We’re walking a fine line these days. The changes are coming swiftly now, and so we are doing our best as a family to be thoughtful, pragmatic, and proactive in our actions. Opening a yarn shop has created waves farther out than I initially imagined, affecting people and activities in ways I hadn’t anticipated. I have a certain level of guilt and grief about taking on my own big project outside the home and changing our lives so profoundly.
These days, our rhythms as a family are taking on an entirely new tone. Where once I was a stay at home mama and felt no sense of rush at the beginning of a new day, now I am a working mom and wife with a lot going on outside the home for the first time in years. While I am thrilled to be creating my own dream job, it’s also painful to let go of another dream job. For that is just what staying home has been for me, challenges and all. I have loved staying home with PB, witnessing every moment of her young life in a very intimate way. And next week, PB goes from stay at home little to an enrollee at a Montessori morning program for toddlers. More change.
When I’m at work, I worry about what I’m missing in PB’s day, and when I’m home, I struggle to stop thinking about the shop. Being present in the moment is taking a little more effort on my part than usual. The good news is, I have a very family friendly boss who understands all of this and is willing to make certain sacrifices to spend as much time at home as possible.
Along with not being a being a stay at home mom anymore, I will no longer be a stay at home wife. This means the structure of our domestic life is changing, too; job sharing, meal prep, laundry and errands will all be divvied up in a new way. I’m sure that this will take some time to iron out as we both get used to letting go of old expectations and adjusting to our new normal.
Folks, this is a lot of change. It keeps me up at night sometimes, worrying about what I’ve done by deciding to start my own business. In my heart, I know it is right, that to pursue this dream is something I couldn’t not do. I have watched my own mother pursue her dreams independently of being a mother, and I admire her for it. And yet, in the pit of my stomach (especially late at night) I worry that this is all a huge mistake that could irrevocably damage our little family.
Change is swirling around me, and as I reach for an anchor to hold onto, I have to remember to be patient and gentle with myself. To find time to add rhythm and fun to all the schedule changes. It takes time to adjust to new routines and expectations, but it will happen.
Working parents, how do you do it? What are some coping strategies or rhythms you’ve found to be helpful in times of great change?
*Photos are from a recent shoot we did with Chris of Becerra Photography. It was a wonderful experience! If you’re in Oregon, check him out!