Being a working mom can feel like having an alter ego.
One of you hasn't had the time to change out of a stained nursing tank as you rush out the door, babe in arms, to get your preschooler in her carseat and the baby strapped in safe to make library storytime in time.
The other one of you is dressed in an artsy-cool outfit, trying to decipher just what it is your boss wants you to do, troubleshooting a customer service issue and working through a checklist of tasks to get done before daycare pickup.
On a morning walk earlier this month, I saw the scene below. The leaves were just changing color - one of the most beautiful signs of fall bursting into view. At the same time, the last of the wild blackberries were ripening on the vines below the trees. (As any Pacific Northwesterner knows, this invasive species is a thorny pain in the butt 10 months of the year, then rewards us in summertime with huge, juicy berries.)
Fall leaves and summer berries...
I was really struck by the presence of two seasons, side by side. As I mulled over what was so striking about seeing summer and fall together, I thought about my own life. I'm very much in a season of mothering, yet also in a season of growing as a coach and small business owner.
How easy it is to wish to fast-forward my current circumstances! It's easy to view my family as a burden - how many killer opportunities could I have if I weren't so busy hustling kids through breakfast in the morning, if the kitchen didn't always need attention, if my sons were simply grown and capable of handling themselves?
On the flip side, how much more present could I be to my kids if I weren't trying to write a blog post while they play Legos, do a consult call during screen time, or attend a coach training during bedtime?
It's not easy to be a mom and coach. Just like it's not easy to be a mom and a ______ (you fill in the blank! - manager, student, PTA member, small business owner, employee, caretaker for an adult family member, etc).
I sensed an invitation to be thankful for being in both seasons.
Really? How beautiful! Instead of wishing I could fast forward through this stage, I have the opportunity to appreciate being mom to my two boys AND the steward of a coaching practice I love. I get bedtime stories AND professional development. I get brothers taekwondo-sparring in my living room AND coaching calls in my computer room.
Without being a mother, I could never connect as deeply with my clients, who face the same challenges and joys that I do.
Without being a coach, I could never model to my children what it looks like to follow a calling to become more myself for the good of the world - someone who listens compassionately, cares deeply, and encourages others forward.
Are you in a time of two seasons? Depending on your stage of motherhood, there's probably different things you wish you could fast-forward through.
But I invite you to pause and consider the gifts of being in two seasons.
What's hard about it? What's worth being thankful for? And are there hidden ways that one season is strengthening the other? This time of two seasons won't last forever, so instead of wishing it away, consider switching to being grateful for what's good about both.
Hit the 'Comments' link below and let me know! I'd love to hear.