In Her Shoes is a series written by readers to give us a glimpse into their lives – what it is like to walk in their shoes. I am thrilled to share with you a guest post written by my lovely cousin, Becca. She is a wife, mother, runner, and so much more. Let’s join our friend as she tells us how she found her true self – and what it is like to be in her shoes. ~ Ginger
I’ve been married now for nearly fifteen years, to a man that I’ve known since we were about seven years old. Our families spent weekdays together at wrestling practice and weekends together at tournaments. We didn’t find romantic interest until we were seniors in high school. That’s not where I found myself.
We spent the first five years that we were married going to college and working. Seeming as if we never saw each other, strangers passing in the night. Three degrees later we settled into professional jobs and new routines. I still had no idea who I was or wanted to be.
Not too long after, talk of adding a new life to our family began. I had never thought of myself as a mom, but we gave it a go. Hello, Matthew Ray. When Matthew was born, I was working as a nurse in a doctor’s office. My Honey wanted me to consider staying home and caring for our new little bundle. I just couldn’t see myself doing it, so I worked part time. Six months later, we were offered an opportunity to move to Oklahoma. Off we go, south to Oklahoma, and I still had no inkling who I was.
After arriving in Oklahoma, I did stay home for half a year. And then I couldn’t take it anymore, I HAD to go back to work. I returned to the familiar hospital setting, then a school setting. Little did we know that a few short months later we would discover there would be something of a tiny pink crying nature in our very near future, Emily Grace. I had yet to find myself.
When she was almost three, I started running. My weight was still up, my cholesterol was high, I was tired from a nearly five year old who still wasn’t sleeping through the night, and battling my ever present insomnia. I began training for a series of half-marathons. A month before my second half-marathon, my Honey got a new job. It was going to require a LOT of travel, but how much travel remained to be seen. We talked about it and decided it might be time for me to consider, again, staying home to be more accessible to our kiddos. I left to run my second half-marathon with my best friend, and I came home new woman.
Two years later, I know exactly who I am. I am a mom, chauffeur, activity director, classroom copy maker, laundry/meal fairy..……the list is familiar. When I reflect back I wonder, “How did I ever get it all in? What got left out/put off/neglected?” I shudder to think about my old schedule.
0455 alarm to run 3-5 miles before work. 0700 hustling around getting everyone ready for the day. 0815 loving our childcare giver and feeling guilty for leaving my babies. 0830-1600 work. 1600— the world just keeps turning, there are never enough hours. Housework and groceries on the weekends. It’s overwhelming to think about.
I’ll never tell my Honey this, but he was right. Education is never wasted. Being able to be ‘mom’ is the most blessed job I could ever have. While things aren’t perfect, and I find myself frustrated while I play referee, ask my kiddos for the millionth time to pick up their stuff, or get in the car, I remember to count my blessings. These are moments that we can’t get back. When there are tears of disappointment over unkind friends, less than ideal grades, or consequences for our actions, I hug them often to remind myself, and them, that this too shall pass.
We all have those moments that we wish we could take back or do over. But what I know now is that tomorrow is a new day, and that I need to let whatever I get done today be enough. It has to be.
Today I got to be a dutiful daughter at 0545. A grateful wife at 0645. An attentive (and bossy) mom at 0700. Chauffeur at 0845. Athlete at 0915. Devout friend at 1030. Again, the list goes on. While my days are filled with different things now, I feel ever more present. More thankful, more willing. Where I thought my education would be wasted, I am happier than I have ever been. Rather than chasing the sunrise with my girlfriends; my sunshine is my Honey, my Matthew and my Emily. They always have been. This is who I am. His wife and their mom. I feel fortunate to have discovered this revelation, no matter how long it took me to find it.
Love those colorful kicks! Thank you so much, Becca, for sharing with us today how you came to know your true self, and what it is like to be in your shoes! What an inspiration! And what a wonderful reminder to cherish each moment that we are given, and to count our blessings! Thank you for sharing your beautiful family with us today!
To read more stories, or if you would are interested in sharing your story, please go to the In Her Shoes tab near the top of the page. I love learning about the people in this series. Connecting with others seems to make the world feel not quite as big and scary. We’re all in this together. I can’t wait to hear from you, to read your stories, and learn more of what it is like to walk in your shoes. ~ Love, G
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