Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Little Plan Derailers

I’ve heard others say about parenting that the days are long, but the years are short. I couldn’t agree more.  Some mornings drag on and on and I feel like 9am, our daycare drop off time, will never come. But then, I catch glimpse of one of Colette’s baby pictures and I am amazed at how quickly the last several years have passed and how much they have changed me.

My 'hood

Becoming a mom and going to therapy have made the past few years, the most life changing. I stopped seeing my therapist, whom I saw weekly, for almost two years shortly after Julien was born. I felt we had worked through the issues (anxiety, guilt, stress, depression, babies, work, marriage, moving, etc.) that initially drove me to seek help. I ended the relationship feeling incredibly happy, proud and empowered and those feelings remain to this day. The more openly I speak with others about my experiences, the better I feel. Maybe, it’s the crowd I roll with, but everyone seems to have relatable feelings and stories of their own to share.

Just the other day I ran into my therapist on the street in my neighborhood (lucky for me, I was on my way into work and looking like my best self).  She gave me the warmest hug, was happy to hear I was doing so well, and reminded me that she’s always there for me if I ever need her guidance down the road.  It was nice encounter and I walked away smiling and I’m sure she did too.

The biggest discovery through therapy was letting go of, or at least, tightening the grip on my life’s plan. For the most part, my life has been pretty well scripted and has unfolded as I have envisioned it…go to college, graduate college, live with roommates, date, become a professional, travel, get married, and have kids, remain a professional,  stay married, travel. 

I never dreamed of moving to NYC (nor really wanted to) and I certainly never envisioned staying in the city for as long as I have (9 years), and I definitely did not see myself having children here, and I was absolutely against the idea of raising a family anywhere but Connecticut.  Deviating from the plan made me anxious and caused a lot of tension between Jeff and me. Finding things to hate about the city and our life here was exhausting, mostly because our life is really good. Good jobs, good childcare, good friends, good apartment, lots of culture and things to do and great take-out (as Uncle Jay and Uncle Dave will attest to).  The more I uncovered and accepted that I need to find my best self regardless of location, I felt better, and the pressure to move diminished. Also, my family, the main draw of relocating, has been incredibly supportive and understanding. 

My little plan-derailers

Instead of only focusing on what I’ve planned for myself (raising a family in West Hartford), I’m focusing on what feels right for my family and me in the moment. Right now, our lifestyle is working for us and we are staying put.  Having kids has forced me to be more flexible and accepting of deviating from the plan, if not forgetting it all together.  Over the passed two years I’ve learned that babies make every process take 15 minutes longer than it would normally and toddlers’ main goal in life is to take your plan/schedule/itinerary and make a mockery of it....combine the two, and it's a miracle I'm able to write this post. 

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