Friday, October 16, 2015

Finding My Way Back to Me

The title of this post should be Finding My Way Back to Me as a Stay at Home Mom of Triplets...but that would have been way to long. Its been a little over a year and half since I quit my job and Tommy and I moved the kids to Virginia. Tommy took a new job and I did not. It was a rare opportunity for me stay at home with kids. When they were getting out of the hospital, I was already going back to work. It had been three months and my maternity leave was over. Experiencing the loss of my father and almost the loss of my babies in such a short time, in addition to spending every day in the hospital with them for three straight months made me start to ask myself questions like, what am I doing? I got to know the nurses that cared for babies and I spent every day learning about how to take care of sick babies like mine. I knew code words and what all the beeps on the machines meant. I watched them save my babes life on more than one occasion. And then I went back to work. I had people coming into  my office complaining about who they sat next to at work, how big the break room was, and what kind of prizes we gave away at the company holiday party. I thought, what am I doing, am I really making a difference? A few weeks later when I had to terminate someone (for good cause), I still felt like a terrible human being. I thought about the nurses and what they did every day and just was not completely satisfied anymore with how I was spending my time away from my new babies, who still had health problems of their own. Don't get me wrong, I still loved the company I worked for and the people I worked beside, but something was suddenly missing. Still, I pushed my feelings aside and kept doing what I knew I did best, and my ambition and drive propelled me forward. We had an excellent nanny stay and take care of the babies and she sent me pictures of their milestones and I secretly hated that I wasn't their to witness them myself.

Flash forward  two years and Tommy is offered a position in Virginia where I could be home with them. It was a tough decision. I had a good chance of moving up in the company and advancing my career if I stayed, but I wouldn't be able to pursue some of the other things I had always "just thought about", but never had time for, and I would likely have less time with my children. So, we moved. It was exciting and the most stressful thing I have ever done. Here we were in this beautiful snow covered place and Tommy was gone ALL THE TIME. I knew no one. I had never been by myself with the babies, hardly ever, let alone 24 hours a day for multiple days at a time. The babies were just reaching that ever so wonderful phase of the terrible twos and threes. I quickly sank into depression and started trying to find ways to dig myself back to the smart, confidant, and capable women, mother and wife I knew I was. I volunteered at the hospital, my heart was there with those babies and families, who were enduring the roller coaster that we did. The sleepless nights, the questions, whys, hows, life and death?

I made some friends, thankfully, that helped keep me sane for brief periods of time. I became passionate about essential oils and started an at home business that I still have and love but struggle with it because its outside my comfort zone (marketing) and so different from Human Resources Management which I could do with my eyes shut.

Then in April, the stress of three, 3 year old triplets, frequent trips away for Tommy and long hours, the loss of my professional identity and missing my family came crashing down. I was a different person. I was not the mom I wanted to be, I was not the wife I wanted to be either, I was overwhelmed and not me at all. In fact, I didn't know who me was at all anymore, outside of "the triplets mom". A title I will always proudly wear and I am lucky enough to be their mom, but the adjustment from working full time and living close to family and friends I had known my whole life to not working and having to form new friendships and support systems was no joke. Its like starting all over from scratch. No matter how beautiful and wonderful a place is, there are certain things and people that just cannot be replaced. Instead of being able to do the soul searching I was hoping for when we moved, I was simply trying to make it through the day and keep the kids and I in one piece.

BUT, I'm coming back to life. We found a small church that we love and we are getting involved in a way that I have always wanted to in the church. My faith has kept me going through some pretty difficult times, and I still go there to find my peace. But better yet, Tommy is coming with me and we are going and doing it as a family. I've started running, and I've even started a running club? So hard to believe as I have never been an runner, but its been a great outlet for me and I physically feel the best I have in a long time. All the while, I have been applying to HR jobs and going on interviews only to get nowhere, which has been a huge blow to my self esteem. But maybe there is reason why that's not meant to work out. Maybe, even though I was great at HR, I could be even better at something else and I could help people more than I have ever been able to. Maybe I could be one of those nurses helping those babies? Maybe I should go back to school.

I got so lost after the move here with the adjustment of such a new and different life that I forgot one of the reasons we did it. I was supposed to explore other options and decide what I wanted to do, instead I panicked and said "I need to go back to work" because that sounded easy but maybe the right thing to do, even though its scary is go back to school. I suddenly remembered what I realized when I went back to work after having my babies and losing my dad, that life is so, so fragile. And if we are going to spend all that time away from the people we love the most, make it count. And as much as I loved my co workers, my boss and those employees,  and those people mattered, my job there did not hold the same value for me that it once did.

Now, I am not depressed. I feel I am becoming the mom I always imagined I would be (of course I have my moments). I am not afraid all the time, I don't feel alone all day, I have hope again. My main purpose will always be my children. But someday they will move on and start their own families, and who will I be then? I want to make an imprint on the lives of others. I want to share my hope, and belief in miracles with other families and parents who are struggling. Once again,  I feel like I have climbed my way out of a dark space and God has shown me which way I need to go and its always the opposite way of which I thought. We think we are so smart, but sometimes, we just have to keep going until he shows us the way.

Since we moved, I have written less and less, and when I do, my words haven't always been positive but I had to be real. It doesn't mean I don't love my kids or appreciate my blessings, it just means I am human and I am flawed, but I'm figuring it out. And I will still always choose them, for they are my reason for living and what got me through the grief of losing my dad. They are my dream come true and everything I do is an effort to be the best person and the best mom I can be for them. The days I have with Georgia, JoJo and Mickey are easier, their smiles, their laughter, their words fill me up. I'm glad I can enjoy and appreciate all of it and that I'm finding the new me, while staying true to myself. I will never be the same person I was before the kids, just as I will never be the same person I was before I lost my dad and I'm learning its ok to let her go. There are parts of me that will always be there, but there are parts of me that have been gone for awhile. I'm excited to see  what the future holds and for this evolving "me" that is always learning, always growing, and always, always a mom before anything else. But at least now, I know who that mom is, again.

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