I know what it’s like to lose yourself as a parent, without even realizing it.
Simple Non-Parent Joy
Prior to becoming a mom, I cared for children for 11 years. Actually, I discovered 4 years prior to THAT, when I was 16 years old or so, that I have some kind of natural ability in relationships with children. And when I was 20 years old I got a job as a nanny.
For the following 11 years, I was blissful in my service to parents and children, in a variety of roles – home daycare provider, nanny, volunteering with vulnerable children. I was just being me. Playing with kids. Parents thought I was the best thing that happened to their family! And I just loved what I did.
The Beginnings of Motherhood
When I was 31, my husband and I had our first child, and it was a sweet first 2 years as a mom! Well, except for the 3 months I was sick with the 2nd pregnancy, and also the anxiety I was feeling about becoming a mom of 2… Oh, and I did experience exhaustion some… But generally those 2 years were manageable, and sweet!
When I had my 2nd child, I was a stay at home mom with a newborn and a 2 year old. They were really cute…. And, they were more than two handfuls to care for! THIS is when my patience declined. I was experiencing overwhelm, anxiety, and anger. The hours were long. I tried to reject reality. “It should not be this is way,” was my daily mantra. “I should have a tribe of mothers outside my backdoor!” I felt like a victim to modern day life, where parents are raising their children in isolation. I wasn’t getting the support and breaks I needed.
Things Got Hard
I was drained from all the tons of love and service and devotion and dedication pouring out of me. Maybe you could say I did not have healthy boundaries for myself; I got burnt out.
As my impatience grew in the role of full-time stay-at-home mom, I decided I needed to work part-time. To get out of the house. Actually, I decided to go to back to school and get a bachelor’s degree, when my children were 1 and 3.
I look back and I feel compassion and understanding. I was protecting my children by getting space from them.
I Made a Choice
In the 2.5 years that I went to college, I actually created even more stress. I stalled on becoming the mom I was meant to be. I did not realize this until the last days of my bachelor degree program…
I had finished my last task and turned it in… Two days later I was struck with a feeling of sadness over all of that lost time. Now my children were 3 and a half and 5 and a half… I felt regret for creating stress, debt, and strain on my family.
The worst part was realizing I could’ve been even MORE connected, joyful, and playful if I didn’t go to school. I regretted my moments of reacting in anger. If only I had been willing and able to dive in and do the surrender work God was calling on me to do…
Mom Guilt! It’s a real thing to reckon with.
Reckoning with Regret
I know I did the best I could though! I played. I loved with all my heart. I listened. I cooked and cleaned. During those years, I did not have much spiritual grounding and I just wasn’t ready to let go of the layers of habits and emotions which were dimming my bright light.
I laid on the couch that night, 2 nights after I got my degree, with my husband by my side, and with my gut churning in anxiety. I KNEW I was no longer going to avoid being available and joyful for my children. I was NOT going to find something else to keep me busy and distracted.
I was in the process of deciding to share with my two children the real Dominique – PLAYFUL Dominique, the woman I knew from age 16 – 33, in a steady and consistent way. I was in a process of honoring and re-committing to simply be ME.
You would think this is an easy thing to do! But somehow we forget, don’t we?
Re-committing to Me
I decided NOT to go for the Masters program I was accepted into. My husband and I both knew it was time for our family to experience simplicity, and a returning of grace and ease.
I had been caring for children ELEVEN years before I became a mom. So, as it turned out, I was already a natural at this kind of thing! HA!
And somehow, in the demanding experience of becoming a new mom, I lost sight of my values, of myself, and I chose to not live in my purpose and power.
As I laid there that night, just after I got the degree, I realized a part of me was afraid that God would not even give me a chance to be happy. I was not giving myself permission to honor who I really was, because I was afraid my joy would be taken from me. So I came up with dramas and distractions and excuses for NOT being available to shine in my genuine ME-ness, as a mother.
Fear of Surrender
I was afraid to trust God’s presence in my life. That He would really guide me through the unknown territory of aligning with my spirit and aligning with His will, in this new world of being a parent. This role that I deeply wanted to experience.
What if He takes this beautiful opportunity away from me? What if I fail? What if I “damaged” my children too much already?!!?
I was crying and trembling laying there on the couch, feeling sick in my stomach, because I knew it was time to face my fears, face my “demons”, face my angry victimy parenting habits, and do the work of untangling and releasing and starting anew.
I paint a painful picture….
But those years I went back to school were a blessing too. I got to see what’s inside of me. Parenthood has a wonderful way of doing that! I was getting coaching, counseling, spiritual support, and going to self-development workshops and seminars. I was working to be my absolute best for my sweet boys!
I worked really hard to transform and grow. Maybe even too hard? I was dedicated and devoted. But maybe I could’ve lightened up some… Yeah…
Actually in the summer of 2014, I had an experience of spiritually awakening… Which is exactly when the Return of Playful Dominique began to take place. Ah, but that’s another story for another day!
So what did I do in this newfound commitment to simply be myself? I did the dishes, I organized our home and our family rhythms. I got deeply connected with each of my family members. I delved into spiritual teachings and spiritual practice. My husband and I purposely kept the schedule very light for 8 months straight. I focused on being a mom and a wife.
We put God back in the center. It was BEAUTIFUL! It IS beautiful. And magical. And settling. Ahhhhhh. Back to what I do best, being with children.
Fruits of Surrender
Our family unraveled. We loosened up. We are still loosening up… It’s a process.
I’ve arrived at a really steady and loving place as a mom.
I share this story to say that I get it. I know the busy-stressed-avoiding-guilty-pressured-waiting-victimy-blaming lifestyle… And it’s incredibly sad.
With what I have and what I know now – I do not wish for any family to experience that painful disconnected uninspiring paradigm.
The thing is, once I decided to step into my Truth, honor it, and LIVE (to the best of my ability) from that place of spiritual purpose — my children transformed!
Their eyes light up. They’ve loosened up. They are more flexible, more goofy, more helpful. One friend told me about my older son, “He’s back!” And he was! Yeah. Stressed out parents = stressed out children… We set the culture and tone of our family lives, no way around that.
NOW, we laugh a lot. And cuddle a lot. I’m so playful and excited about life! My God, I am beyond blessed to be a parent, to have these relationships, including with my kind intelligent creative husband. And my kids are NOT damaged! They’re amazing and resilient. My whole life is like a dream, it sometimes shocks me.
Just to exist is a blessing… Sometimes it’s scary to embrace all the blessings and live in awe and gratitude…
Expansion of My Being
My conviction is that when we as parents step into our Truth, align with spiritual purpose, and commit to live a life in touch with the qualities of our souls, in service to the Divine – EVERYTHING becomes magical.
Joy and Play Reign.
Sweetness and Closeness Return and Overflow.
Connection Rekindles and Life Becomes an Adventure!
Of course, I still have struggles! I feel feelings. Life is not perfect. I’m not perfect by any measure. But I’m committed to me. I choose to respect myself in the journey of motherhood.
I’m experiencing increased faith that I am co-creating a playful magical life with God. My experience is that He is there, just waiting for me to follow His guidance.
I’ve arrived at a stage of conscious parenting that’s working and flowing and joyful. It took a lot of work! I celebrate my accomplishment.
But this isn’t my final destination…
Sharing the Bliss
I wonder if you’re ready for your transformation and if I could give you a hand up.
I want this for you. It pains me to see parents and children – spirit-souls – who trudge, who wait, who rationalize the status quo, who feel powerless, who forget their Truth, or don’t know how to access it and manifest it.
AND, aren’t there just so many nuances to raising children?! It’s A LOT to get clear on – your policies, your values, your vision. And there are skills and tools to learn as well!
Where are you stuck? Would you like support?
I’m here to offer my energy, my care, my 17+ years of working with children, my 14+ years of diving into personal growth work, my tools, and my coaching to parents who are ready to create change. If this speaks to you, send me a message. Let’s chat! You and your children deserve to light up with joy, relax into connection, and feel the magic of God in your lives. I’m SO HERE FOR YOU! Sending all my support from afar, and if it’s time for us to work together, then great!
Sending you my well-wishes dear parent! Thank you hearing my story. I do feel vulnerable sharing this. But I want you to know I really get it. Families are struggling. And I know there’s a way out and the journey starts right inside your heart.