When I started this blog (or whatever blog I had when I began... my blogging history is such a mess!) it was to work through the huge change of becoming a first-time, stay-at-home mom. I needed women in my life who understood that, and who were either going through a similar season or were willing to share their knowledge and experiences from when they had been there in the past. I found amazing friends and mentors.
When I didn't go on to have more children like many of my friends did, and then also didn't transition to sending Aiden off to school, things changed. They changed in my local relationships, and they changed in my online relationships as well. While I look forward to the day when I can mentor young moms (or moms of littles), I feel like I am still "in the trenches" because homeschooling is such a battle sometimes. It is hard for me to remember those baby and toddler days because I am so wrapped up in the reality of trying to educate my intense child. I love the friendships that have endured these changes, and treasure these special women in my life... but I also feel a little lost sometimes.
I spent a lot of years being a childless married woman, who was an "aunt" to countless littles but still felt like I was always out of place. There was that brief time after Aiden was born that I felt like I was less of an outsider, although postpartum depression and the struggle to embrace living on one income always kept me feeling a little different. Now, here I am homeschooling an only child... once again living outside the norm and struggling to find where I fit. I am the only one of my local tribe to homeschool, so things have changed a lot here. I am one of few mamas in my online homeschool mom communities that has an only child. Add in the fact that my only child is also likely gifted and highly sensitive and I just don't know where to turn sometimes.
I have struggled with finding my place in the blogging world as I work through this most recent change in my life. I feel like I need to define my space... declare which niche I fit into here. Yet if I daily feel like I don't really belong anywhere, why am I trying to force myself to fit into a neat and tidy category when it comes to blogging? Those early days I love to reminisce about were all about just telling my story and recording my journey. In doing those things, I built relationships. It was never all about me... I was always hoping for connection... but it was more about just taking some time to reconnect with myself each day (or when I could find time) - to just be a real person who is more than the housekeeper/parent/teacher/cook/etc. that I can slip into thinking of myself as.
I try to live with an appreciation of where I am right now, as well as an awareness of how brief these years really are. I mean... 6 years as a SAHM have flown by. When I sit down to blog I can hardly believe I don't have an infant snoozing nearby like I did in those early days. I know that there will likely come a time when I find myself without some of these roles to fill, and I don't want to wake up when that time comes and not know who I am anymore. So yes, there are other things I could do with this time. No, I will probably never fully recapture what this space was in those magical and maddening days of being a brand new mom. Yet there is still a longing within for me to stick with this. Maybe this year I will succeed at making this space feel more like my own sanctuary again. If not, at least I will have spent some time remembering that there is more to me than the list of tasks I have each day to complete.
I guess that the more I find myself feeling like I don't fit, the more I hope I can share my story so that other women who are feeling the same way might know they have an ally. It is my hope and prayer that 2017 will be a year of renewal... both here on the blog and in my life overall. 2016 was hard. At some point I know I will need to sit down and really process what I can of the past year. I am just ready to be done with it in many ways, though. I know the flipping of a calendar page and the number of the year doesn't magically change anything. That doesn't mean it isn't worth taking the time to stop and evaluate. Learning from what is behind... refocusing on what is ahead... living in the moments we are given... this is what a new year means to me, and I am ready to embrace it.