Life and Times of a Self-Employed Single Mama

Uncategorized Jan 28, 2020

Friends,

I've written this post 6 times. I've deleted it. I started to record it. I deleted it.

I evaluated every topic I wanted to write or talk or teach about: the death of Selena Bell Not Afraid, why do people mourn for celebrities or famous people, a follow up from my last post-the Resiliency of America, and the brokenness of our mental health system.

All of these topics are important and meaningful. I have tons to say about each one of them.

And, yet, I deleted...all of it, every draft, every word, every sentence.

I have not posted in 3 weeks. I can't believe it! I've been so committed to showing up for you and I had huge challenges in that these last few weeks. I'm so sorry. You've been on my mind. I promise. Every. Single. Day. I look at my computer and think...I need to touch base with them. I need to connect. What can I teach? What do I have to offer? The answers came, and then they left.

So, I thought I'd get real with you.

What have I been doing?

Living. Surviving. Some Thriving. Connecting. Grieving. Problem Solving. Soldiering. Driving. Resting. Appointmenting. Juggling. Self-Employmenting.Office-Space Seeking. Moming. Self-Caring.

I'm inventing words as I type. Apparently, I needed these words to describe the last few weeks.

Maybe there's something in here that you can relate to. Maybe not. Either way, it's part of my journey and I'm committed to being authentic with you.

I wear many hats and I love each one of them. They each serve a purpose. However, it's all about balance. Generally, I balance pretty well, but some seasons, one of the hats may take a priority.

"Mom."

That hat never comes off and it's always lurking, even when my kids aren't with me.

During this last school year, I made a commitment to my kids to travel less to speak and teach so I could be home with them more. Our parenting plan changed and I needed to make adjustments to meet their needs. I work more while they are at school and I get to be home with them more often. It's been a true gift.

Of course, we navigate the typical ups and downs that all families with middle schoolers navigate as well as the stresses and wins of being a divorced family. It's a beautiful mess.

This last week really tapped our stress systems as we navigated illness and broken bones. We're all okay and nothing was life-threatening. However, when 2/3 of the family is down, nothing flows well.

I got to really work on my co-regulation skills! Lucky me!!! (Do you ever have those moments where you're thinking, "I just need to get through the next second/minute/hour so that I can get through the rest of the day? Yeah, several of those opportunities presented themselves over the last few weeks.)

FYI...for me to stay co-regulated and show up for my kids in the best way I can, I lean on my amazing support system. That means they get phone calls or texts from me at all hours of the day/night in all sorts of emotional states. I am extremely lucky they keep replying!

"Self-Employed."

This choice is a blessing and a curse. I love the flexibility I have in scheduling. I love that I can be a clinician, a speaker, a trainer, a blog writer, a consultant, and so many other things.

I don't love when I need to find new office space to manage my overhead costs or when I have to cancel on clients because my mom hat has to win.

Several shifts in my business occurred over the last couple weeks and I get to move to a new space this weekend. I'm excited to be settled into the new space. However, as we all know, TRANSITIONS are HARD!!! So, I've been cleaning out 14 years of private practice papers. It's cleansing and time-consuming!

It's also been a gift of reflection. As I was shredding, my son said, "Mom, are there any clients in your life who stand out and you'll remember forever." AWE!!! Tears came to my eyes and I told him several stories. I'm so thankful that many of you reading this are part of my journey as a therapist.

No one in grad school talks about how clients will make just as big of an impact on us, as clinicians, as we could only hope to have on them, as clients.

"Sister/Daughter/Relative."

About two weeks ago, I lost a great uncle, one of my maternal grandmother's brothers. He was one of my faves and made a huge impact on my family of origin. I have fond memories in my childhood of this man and his family. I wanted so badly to show up for the funeral and connect with my loved ones. This man was a pillar in the community I grew up in and loved by so many. I am honored that I got to call him Uncle.

Through a series of weather-related events, I did not attend the service. But, I did get to see my mom, sisters, nephews, cousin, dear friends, meet a new baby, and have a day filled with connection that I did not expect at all. Then, I was exhausted!

Holding space for the weather and wind in Wyoming is soooooo exhausting!! Oh yeah, and the grieving...the celebration of a life of a man who impacted so many. I feel blessed.

"Soldier."

While being in the National Guard is "only" a monthly commitment, I want to acknowledge all of my National Guard family who do so much more! It's soooooo much more than a monthly commitment.

When you're being recruited, here's what they say: "It's one weekend a month and two weeks a year. You'll get great skills, excellent health insurance, and a paycheck while you help Soldiers."

What they don't tell you is: You have to manage the details of child care and child transitions while you're gone. You'll be driving (For me it's 2 hours each way. For some of my battle buddies, it's up to 7 hours each way.) You will work hard. You'll make great friends. You'll also give your all on the weekend you serve and be exhausted! Oh yeah, and some of you will work your civilian job on Friday mornings before you report and you'll definitely have to be at work again on Mondays. For those of you who work shift work, plan on your days off being your drill weekend, and you'll work before and after that.

The women and men I serve with are amazing humans who truly life the Army value of self-sacrifice. I'm honored to know them.

"Stacy."

As I typed the label to that hat, I got a bit teary. Not gonna lie, that really probably should be the first hat I describe. But, it's not. I'm a work in progress. I've spent a lifetime helping others and I'm still working on helping me. I'm learning to rest more and build in self-rejuvenation time.

I've set some self-care goals and I continue to work on them. For instance, I try to put in at least 30 minutes on my treadmill everyday. I get up at 4:45am to make that happen so that I can be a mom and ready to go when the kiddos wake up. I also committed to running at least a 5k every month. I'm slow and it's brutal. But, I've reached that goal 4 months in a row.

"Human."

So, for all of you reading this, if you got this far, I'm filled with gratitude.

Every client who sits on my couch is carrying way more than he/she talks about or tells others. We don't want to burden others. We don't want to complain about our lives.

This post is not at all about complaining. It's 100% about embracing who I am and sharing my humanness with you.

Know that I'm human. Just like you. I'm flawed. I make mistakes. I don't always find balance. I'm deeply emotional. I'm also amazingly loving. I care for others. I'm a badass in so many other ways!

I will continue to show up for you! February promises to be much more stable.

I'm sending you all love and holding space for you on your journey, too.

Drop me an email ([email protected]) and tell me about your human moment this week! I'll put ya in for next week's drawing. 

Thanks for being a part of my tribe.

Go Be You,

Stacy

 

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