I started a blog for one simple reason: it felt like the right thing to do. For years I felt that I needed to do something more, be something more. Which was a bit confusing as an already very busy and exhausted mother to five beautiful humans. After months of feeling out of sorts, and to be honest, a bit down in the dumps, I woke up one day and knew exactly what I needed to do. I started a new blog (I’d had a previous family blog), a public Instagram account, and an Etsy shop.
I decided to start by simply sharing the things I love: holiday traditions, crafting, home remodeling projects, hairstyles, and of course, my family. In doing so, I have felt more like myself than I have in years. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love being a mother. Raising my babies is THE greatest blessing and I feel completely humbled and honored by the simple fact that they are mine. At times, motherhood is so completely exhausting and frustrating, and quite frankly, painful. BUT, a part of me appreciates those terrible, heart wrenching, and just plain insane moments as they have shaped me into a much kinder and compassionate person than I ever was before. Through the good times and the bad, my children have molded me into becoming who they need me to be. Despite being far from perfect, they love me unconditionally. I have certainly learned more from serving them day in and day out then I could ever possibly impart on them. So yes, I adore motherhood and my babies and want to make that clear before my next bold statement: It is okay to want more.
After my second son was born, I quit working completely and became a full time stay at home mom. I was thrilled. I felt (and still do) so blessed to be able to raise my babies 100% of the time. However, I also felt a shift in who I was, I felt Melissa slowly disappearing as my role of mother took over. I would often complain to my husband that I didn’t know who I was. He could not relate or understand what in the world I meant. I myself, didn’t understand quite how I felt.
I recently heard Brene Brown speak on creativity, she said: “Unused creativity is not benign.” That was it. That statement sums up exactly what I was feeling. Despite the immeasurable love I feel for my children, unused creativity was drowning me. I believe ALL humans are filled with creativity. I truly feel, no matter who you are, there is creativity inside of you, waiting to get out. And when it is suppressed, bad things happen…things like lashing out at your spouse, yelling at your children, binge eating, depression, etc. For me, it was a lack of self-worth, an unexplained sadness, a feeling of despair. Yes, I have my little hobbies I have done over the years, a craft project now and again, painting a bedroom, planning and executing an over-the-top birthday party, etc. But I needed more. For me, blogging has given me that.
My blog, Instagram account, and Etsy store are a way for me to be creative, have a focus and a purpose outside of raising babies, and to feel gratification in the accomplishment of a finished project. Unlike the never ending homework assignments, doctor appointments, laundry piles, bills, etc. I actually CAN complete a post. I have a vision, I see it through, I finish the task and I feel a sense of satisfaction. My greatest wish is to inspire mothers and non-mothers and really ANYONE to find their creative outlet. Some of you may be thinking that you simply are not the creative type. Well that’s a lie. I know without a doubt, that everyone has a purpose, everyone has a gift, and everyone has something to share. No, I am not suggesting that everyone needs to start a business or a blog or go change the world, simply let your children see who you are, what you enjoy, what makes you happy. Let them see you face challenges and overcome them, hone and develop your craft, let them see you thrive and BE HAPPY. There is something amazing about your children witnessing you do your thing…working hard, overcoming obstacles, being YOU, and accomplishing your goals. Maybe right now your creative outlet is something as simple as cooking creative meals for your family or snapping pictures of your family. Big or small, I know there is creativity inside of you, desperate to find a way out.
I encourage anyone reading this to find what makes YOU happy. Make a bit of time for yourself, no matter what obstacles you face. In doing so, not only will you feel a sense of self-worth and joy, everyone around you will feel it too.
Yes, I would love to think that I am somehow doing a bit of good in the world, hopefully uplifting others as I go. Nothing makes me happier than when a stranger sends me a message, letting me know I have affected them in a positive way. However, at the end of the day, I’m doing it for me. I started my blog for me. And that is perfectly okay.