By: Cristina Trette
During the very early years of mothering, I was doing exactly what I wanted to be doing. I chose to stay home with my children. Although it was not easy, I cherished the time we had for nursing, bonding, and being together.
I felt connected to my purpose. Until I didn’t. I do not believe that we have one purpose in life. We have multiple passions and interests, and there are many missions that we align ourselves to throughout our lifespan. When my oldest two children we were babies, my calling was to stay home with them and pour all my love into mothering. Eventually, however, the joy of being a stay at home mom faded away. With the joy, went my sense of purpose too.
I struggled with this for some time. I told myself that I was fortunate to be able to stay home and even felt guilty when I began to resent my daily routine. I knew that deep inside of me, was a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction, that would only come by pursuing my career aspirations and through connecting with other adults. I ignored this calling for some time and stuck with the status quo.
When my oldest child was four, I remember being excited about the fact that she would begin pre-kindergarten. For the first time, she would be in school Monday to Friday from 8:00 – 3:00. I was looking forward to the break and the chance to find myself again. But in reality, my days continued to consist of laundry and dishes, with my baby wrapped around me, and my toddler hanging to my leg. I appreciated the time I had with them as I knew I was giving them a strong foundation and a great start at life. Yet, my own life was becoming dull.
Meanwhile, other mothers were kissing kids goodbye wearing heels, skirts, lipstick, and earrings. Some were stressed, yes, but they had a skip in their step that I had not felt in sometime. Others, stay at home moms like me, moved about with calm contemplation and expressed contentment in their eyes. They were fulfilled and knew that mothering was the most important job on earth for them to be doing and would continue to put all of their energy into parenting with joy.
Whether they were working or stayed home, these mothers met their duties with satisfaction and gusto, most of the time.
I wanted what they had. They had purpose.
After drop off, I typically headed to the playground so I could chat with other moms and so my toddler could play with other children.
Most mothers were happy and alive.
Other mothers we like me. Mothers that were working, wanted to be home. Mothers that stayed home, wanted to be at work. Some stopped sleeping with their husbands, others quit exercising, many let go of female friendships, and others had not been on a real date in years. No matter what the situation and circumstances were, something was not quite right. They had veered off course. They were stuck, they knew it, but did not know what to do about it. I suppose I found comfort in hearing such a familiar plight.
If we don’t acknowledge the voice inside urging us to break out of confines we have created for our self, sometimes crisis or hardship comes about and forces us to listen. For me, life unraveled completely. Everything was shaken up. Eventually the parts and pieces settled back down, this time in new places. When life settled, I came out, more grounded and deeply connected to my mission.
This was not some magic discovery. Instead, I decided to generate meaning and passion in my life. I made changes, put forth effort, began the life long journey of inner work, and took action. I did not find purpose as much as I created purpose.
If there is something inside of you, that is begging you to bring meaning back into your life – listen - and act. A great place to start, is to journal all your hopes and dreams. Assess your levels of joy and satisfaction around career, love relationships, friendships, health, mothering, finances, and spirituality. Next jot down what it is you would like to create in all aspects of your life. Having this awareness alone can be enough to create shifts and transformation.
As mothers, we raise children, have careers, cook, clean, drive, host, organize playdates, attend school events, and volunteer. We do it all and will continue to do so.
I believe wholeheartedly that the key to retaining sparkle and serenity through all the mundane tasks of motherhood is to stay connected to purpose. Today, when I am mothering, I am aligned with purpose, when I am working with clients, I am also aligned with purpose.
Sometimes I notice that the depth and meaning and purpose are missing. This is a signal to me that it is time for new challenges, growth, and expansion.
I encourage you to explore your mission. This may be something that brings you income or it may not. What makes you feel alive? How do you connect to your highest self? Is purpose infused into your daily life as a woman, mother, lover, and professional? And if purpose is missing, what can you do to re-discover it? I would love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments box below!
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