In my usual day to day life I am happy being a mother, a wife and a business owner. But not now. At the moment I want to be a daughter. But how do I do that when I can’t just ignore the fact that I am the other things too? My dad is dying. I want to be there for him, for my mum and for my brother. But if I am trying to be a daughter 100%, then how can I be a mother, a wife and business owner at the same time? Everyone is telling me to take time for me, take a break from the business and do what is important to me, and that is the advice that I would say to others, but it is all important to me. If I wasn’t a business owner what would I do? If I wasn’t a mother how would I feel? But what I am struggling with is how do I give 100% of me to all of these different parts of me? The obvious answer is “I don’t…I can’t”. It is unrealistic to think that I could, but that is what makes me me. I started out in this world as a daughter and a sister. They were labels given to me that I had no choice over, they are fundamentally me. I had a choice in becoming a wife, a mother and a business owner, but it doesn’t make any of them less or more important than the other. And just because I chose them, it doesn’t mean that I should choose to ignore them. The biggest question is how do I keep being me, when I can’t be all aspects of me? When I was younger it was simple. I was a daughter and a sister. But as I have gone through life I have added in different elements. These all make me me, but it is a different me to the one that started out all those years ago. A richer and more interesting me. We become the stories that we live. We become the way we interact with what is going on around us. We don’t live in our own little bubble. This is all part of my story. It will shape my future and my interactions with others. But right now, how do I keep being the me that I have become? Do I have enough resources to keep on going?
My promise to my dad is that I will try. He has never expected me to be perfect, and in actual fact I think that he would be disappointed if I was, as that would mean that I would stop trying. Once he has made the perfect pudding, or the perfect meal he doesn’t make it again. The same would be true with me, if I was perfect, I wouldn’t need to try anymore. I wouldn’t need to keep evolving, keep trying new things or to see what happens if I tried an alternative. This situation is all new. None of us know how to behave or what we should be doing, but I know that I need to try. I can’t give 100% to everything at the same time, but I can give 100% of myself to one thing at a time.
I will continue to work in my business. I will not give up. I may not be able to give the same amount of energy as I was previously, but I know that my drive and passion is still as strong. I will still give 100% of me to my business, but not 100% of the time. Kindness, reflection and time is what I need to be able to keep going.
I feel guilt and sadness that I am not able to give my children everything that I want to give them at the moment as I am just not capable. My biggest and most important role at the moment is to be a daughter, but I know that as a result my children will learn empathy. They will learn that their mummy cries too. That their mummy isn’t perfect, but that she will try. I will treat them with the dignity of being able to grieve, laugh and cry without being shut out, however hard it will be. And when the time comes that I can again be the mummy that I truly want to be, I will know that we will have grown together, another layer of glue between us. They will grow up, live their own lives and I will inevitably live mine, but knowing that a family works together is another step towards us being able to stay together in the future. I can’t hold their hand the whole time. I can’t work in my business 24/7, but I can be me 100% of the time. The me who is human. The me who falls apart but picks herself back up again. The me who makes mistakes, occasionally drinks too much wine and quite often eats too much chocolate. And the me who loves and who tries whether that is as a mum, a wife, a business owner or a daughter. The resources are within me to live through this with grace and dignity, love and kindness, as these are all the stories that I have been part of. I am learning that I can keep being me 100% of the time, just not all at the same time.
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