(WARNING: This post has little to do with quilting, a bit to do with life - and whole lot of honesty!)
It's Saturday night, I'm sitting in bed excitedly thinking about Monday morning! On Monday, my life changes - A LOT! It is a day I have been waiting for, for many years! One that I have been excited for, and a bit nervous anticipating...it is going to be a big change.
On Monday our Twins, our youngest children, start Kindergarten!!
For the last 7 1/2 years I have spent MOST of my time as a stay-at-home mom to our three daughters (our oldest is in second grade this year) - a job that I never really intended to have! When we had our first daughter, life worked out perfectly - I worked three days a week and was home with her the other two, and of course the weekend. I had the best of both worlds!
All of that changed when we found out that our "ideal number of children" would not be two, but three! When people tell me they wish they had twins, I always laugh and tell them they have no idea what they're wishing for! Don't get me wrong, I cannot imagine my life any other way - the girls complete our family and they bring such joy and diversity to it. But, OH MY GOODNESS are they a crazy pair. The craziness that ensues with twins could fill an entirely separate Blog Series, but know that no matter how well prepared you think you are - IT IS NOT ENOUGH!
Most of you know how much motherhood changes you - not just who you think you are and what you believe, but the very core of YOU is different. There are now three people out walking around in this world that I would stop at nothing to protect, pieces of my heart out there subject to the craziness of the world we live in. SOMEONE should have warned me!! How can you love someone so much and at the same time wish that you could turn invisible so they could not find you?!
At times I felt like I wasn't me anymore - the person I was, who I identified myself as. She was gone - lost to motherhood. The cleaning. The feeding. The worrying. The lack of sleep. The crying. The screaming. The constant noise. The insecurity. I wondered where the woman was that my husband married - the one who was confident in herself, knew what she wanted and went for it. At times I didn't know if I would EVER find her again - would I have a passion again?
I can't tell you the exact moment that it happened, but I found something I really enjoyed to do, something that I was willing to be SELFISH enough to MAKE time to do - to hide away and lock doors to do.
I discovered that I really enjoyed Quilting, not the cutting and piecing part, but the end - the last step - the machine quilting! I LOVED it - and I was pretty good at it. This was something I could have for me - just me, I didn't have to share it with the kids! I would hide away in my sewing room (a converted walk-in closet) to quilt after the girls were in bed. I would run up there and lock multiple doors behind me when their fighting and whining became too much. I could de-stress during nap time by making a cup of coffee and dragging my ever growing stack of machine quilting books down to the couch for a mini escape.
I had found my PASSION again! The funny thing was, I don't think I even realized that's what I had found until last year. Last summer, the summer before the twins started preschool we were on our annual Strait Family Kenai Trip. We go every summer! But last year I worked up the courage on the drive down to tell my husband that I wanted to start a Longarm Quilting Business - actually, what I told him was, "I want something for me, something that is my own, something that I care about again that has nothing to do with you or the kids"!
Sounds a bit harsh now that I reflect on it - lucky for me I am married to a wonderful, understanding man who knew what I was trying to say - one that saw what parts of motherhood had done to my sense of self. I think somewhere along the line, he saw the spark in my eyes when I would say "I'm going up to the sewing room!" and knew that I had found "me" again!
Looking back over the last year and the changes that life has brought, I realize that there will be phases where we are lost, and phases where we're found. Life has a funny way of changing just when you think it won't. There will times where we don't get to pursue our passion like we want to but then things change.
When the stars align, the school doors open and you wave goodbye to your children while driving toward the coffee shop and many blissful hours of quilting - you know you've come out the other end of the tunnel, and there's no looking back!
Here's to embracing change and pursing your passion! If you need me, I'll be blissfully quilting!