… then Emme came…
My 3rd child completely blind sided me in every way. I thought I was in control of my life, until I had Emme. I thought I was impervious to depression, until I had Emme. I thought I was invincible, until I had Emme. I considered myself organized, driven, collected, and easy going… until Emme.
Not only has Emme been a generally “difficult” baby… three children under the age of 4 has turned out to be quite the nut-show of a modern day circus. Who would’ve ever thought?
I have found myself wedged between the tension of the worn out, selfless, un-showered stay at home mom and my desires to pursue passions outside of the home. My deepest desire is to see my children flourish, but I’m realizing that is contingent upon whether or not I am flourishing.
When I flourish, my children flourish. Plain and simple. And I find that I flourish when I’m spending quality time with my children, and quality time away from my children.
But is it even possible to have the best of both worlds? Work, grocery shopping, library story times, client meetings, friend coffee dates, husband dates, invoicing dates? Is it crazy to think that life exists? Is it crazy to think that life could exist well?
Joanna Gaines seems to make us think so, but it’s hard to believe that she has one of the most successful brands in America, is happily married, writes cookbooks and tucks her children into bed every night after feeding 100 animals on the farm… all with a calm spirit and a grin on her face.
I’m sure Joanna has yelled at her children. I think she has slammed doors and gone for drives while the kids scream and she drowns them out with loud music. I think she has had phone calls with clients while her kiddos are fighting over a toy in the background… or missed an important meeting because one of her kiddos is sick.
I think Chip and Jo have stressed about childcare. I know they’ve scrambled when a sitter can’t make it or worried over how they will cover the cost of it.
There has been seasons of work for Joanna, seasons of momming 100%, and seasons of both.
She is human. The balance, I’m sure, is a constant struggle.
I know Chip and Jo are not as perfect as it appears, but I have no doubt they are flourishing! As individuals, they are flourishing. As a married couple, they are flourishing. As business owners, they are flourishing. As parents they are flourishing.
And as a result, their children are flourishing.
And Joanna Gaines has forever changed our idea of motherhood. As moms, we see her and know its possible to love our children and pursue our passions. We know that being a loving, selfless mom doesn’t always look like being home with our children every second of every day.
Motherhood is a role. It’s not an identity.
Being a designer is a role, it’s not my identity. Being a wife is a role, it’s not my identity. Being a mom is a role… a very very very important role, but it is not my identity.
If my 4 year old lays down on the floor in Homegoods kicking and screaming because she can’t have bejeweled Sketchers (yes, those still exist)… my security in who I am as a mom is not shaken. If I miss a meeting or have to apologize on a phone call because my kiddo’s screaming for MIIILLLK, my confidence as a designer does not waver.
I am Ashli Marie. I am a 29-year old woman, Created by God for His glory. I am saved and redeemed through His son’s life, death and resurrection, and am now a child of God for all eternity. That is my identity. Nothing can change it. Nothing can hinder it. Nothing can shake it or take it away from me.
Everything else, outside of that, is icing on the cake.