It has been almost 8 months since I have ventured into this new phase of my life with being a stay at home mom. It definitely has been an adjustment with many good days and many challenging days. The first few months it felt like I was on an extended vacation. There was no structure and my days were a constant flow of chaos. This made everything really difficult because I am very much a Type-A person so I am not the “go with the flow” type of person.
I honestly had no idea how to create structure because every day was different than the day before. After a few months, I started feeling myself sinking into a depression. I am sure I am not alone in this and I want to believe that other stay at home moms get me when I say that I felt lost as a person. I love my kids and I am so appreciative of the time that I get to spend with them, but I found myself getting lost in the “groundhog’s day effect” of my life. It was: wake up, drop Boogie off at school, make breakfast, laundry, clean, errands, lunch time, nap time, pick up Boogie, start dinner, eat dinner, bath, bed, clean, homework, bed, wakeup and repeat. Day after day it is the same routine and I got lost in it.
I started having feelings of worthlessness, like I am nothing more than a mom and wife who cooks, cleans, potty trains, and wipes noses. I know that I am going to school to further not only my education, but to start a new career as a therapist, but right now, it is hard to see that when homework feels so repetitive. Trying to see friends is difficult and date night is a rarity. I constantly struggled with, is this all I am?
I have been told over and over and over again that I have to take care of myself before I can take care of everyone else. I have also been told you can’t pour from an empty cup. Those are sayings that I tell all of my moms but it is something that I don’t live by, like at all. Recently, my depression got so bad that I realized I had a choice to make: either accept my depression or make a change. I chose to make a change.
I have heard for a while now how awesome kickboxing is. It has always intrigued me and I have wanted to try it out for a while but I have never had the courage to step out of my comfort zone and try it out. I am not one to just try something, especially by myself. But I had been so horribly depressed that I figured, what is the worst that is going to happen? I found a local kickboxing place about a mile from my house and they offered your first class free. Filled with anxiety, panic, and nerves, I registered for a class and went the next morning.
Let me tell you, I thought I was going to throw up walking into the class! I tried to give myself enough grace as I listened and watched. What is amazing about this particular place is you have 9 rounds and each round lasts only 3 minutes and you have a trainer with you at every round, so you are not in this alone. The first class kicked…my….BUTT. I left feeling so exhausted but I felt empowered at the same time. There is something so invigorating and empowering about kickboxing. I felt strong for the first time in a long time. It almost made me cry. So I signed up for a 6 month membership and vowed to start at least 3 times a week.
I haven’t been going long but I have fallen in love with something that is for me. I am becoming intentional about going, which makes me feel important because I am valuing myself enough to carve out time to do something that makes me feel good both physically and mentally. Something I have never done for myself before. It is also amazing what it has done for my moods. While I still feel most days that I am in the movie Groundhogs Day, I don’t feel completely bogged down by the feelings of worthlessness. That is not to say that my depression is gone or that kickboxing is a cure all, but what I am finding is that when you set intentions for yourself, you start to see yourself in a different light: a human being loved by and created by God.
“Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love takes away fear.” 1 John 4:18a ICB