Finding Myself after my Husband’s Injury (Passover Semifinalist #4)
Welcome to our “My Personal Exodus from Egypt” Contest! Each day of Passover I will be posting a new semifinalist, and after Pesach one grand prize $100 winner will be chosen at random…
I got married 6 years ago and have 3 children under 5.
My married life very quickly became a maze of laundry, diapers, and tantruming toddlers. Just as quickly as I entered the maze, I lost track of where I had entered from. I lost who I was pre-marriage. Pre-kids. Lost who I had dreamed of becoming.
Instead, I became “just a mom.” I didn’t see that as a bad thing. I was (and still am) happy to change diapers, wipe noses, and listen to screaming kids in the park because I personally think being a mom is the best job in the world.
But the vitality which I had pre-kids got lost too.
Something recently happened which forced me to retrace my steps back to the entrance to this maze of motherhood, to discover the old me. And with this re-discovery I have rediscovered, as well, the delicious feeling of being alive, instead of just making it through the day…
I have always exercised. My whole life, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t at least power-walk daily. I also loved kickboxing, weight lifting, jogging.
In my family growing up, it was ingrained in us to exercise. It was important to move our bodies and to enjoy it.
I love to exercise. To push myself to the limit and see how much farther I can go. I like a workout where at the end I can’t breathe, but I can say to myself, “Wow, I did that, I am strong and amazing!” Throughout my life, exercise has been something I could come back to as a way of feeling good about myself and a reminder of how very strong I am. Growing up, I always envisioned myself in some sort of fitness profession to help others to feel as good as I do when I push myself to, and beyond, my physical limits.
But over the past 6 years of being pregnant and nursing constantly, I lost the drive to exercise beyong walking or doing some yoga. These are, of course, perfectly good ways of exercising. They aren’t me, though.
And then about 8 months ago my husband was in a serious work accident. Since then, he has not been able to go back to work.
Life has been one enormous weight on my shoulders. I am taking care of 3 children under 5, the house, my husband. I am working very hard to just keep my family afloat.
In the midst of all this, I started to feel very much like a martyr. I get 2 to 4 hours of sleep a night while my husband on pain medications gets 10.
I am with the kids all the time, even when I don’t feel well. My husband only when he feels up to it. Etc etc etc.
Now don’t get me wrong. In my rational, logical mind I do not begrudge my husband at all. I would never want to be in the pain he is in physically, emotionally and spiritually. However, it is very hard at 3 in the morning when I am up with all three screaming kids and he is passed out in a drug-induced stupor, to not feel……well, like a martyr.
So about two months ago I looked at myself in the mirror and said: “I need to get my life back. I need to feel good. I need to be the best I can be to keep my family strong. And I need to be a thriving mom, and not a martyr.”
The next day I heard about a fad workout that guaranteed results in 2 months. It looked just like the kind of workout I did pre-kids. I got the video that day.
I know it sounds so simple. A workout video changed my life in such an intense way?
However, the minute I started it, doors started to open. I started to feel like myself again.
I am now on track to becoming a certified personal trainer and leading different exercise classes. I am starting to live the life I had envisioned pre-marriage.
It took a major bump in the road of my family life, but this bump is what is weaving the beginning of my journey back into the picture.
I have become less bitter towards my kids and husband. I have become less angry regarding my husband’s situation and less judgmental of myself when I do feel angry.
In other words, I am back in my own skin.
I feel strong and full of life. I feel like the strong JewishMOM who Hashem knows can take care of this family during this crisis as well as in the future. I am coming out of the Mitzrayim of martyrdom and being led into the promised land of empowered motherhood.