Click the pics below to see what our week has looked like!
There may be the feeling of isolation, of a vastness far greater than one could comprehend. Logically we know we aren’t alone in this, but what does logic know about the workings of the heart?
– The Nashville Wife
I believe in the world as it is, this can apply to so many.
+ The stay-at-home-mom
+ The single mom
+ The musician that can’t seem to catch a break
+ The man and woman who broke up and he can’t do this again
+ The student who lost his way and can’t find a worthy path.
+ The woman whose disability creates a vast open space of nothing.
+ The artist who has it all but nothing at all
+ The man who has everything but feels empty
+ The author who writes for no one.
You may not be that author, that mom, the student or the woman. But when have you ever not felt isolated? Empty. Lonely. Unworthy. Ignored. Lost. Inadequate. We are not alone in this. We all have our own burdens to carry but we are not alone in the journey. Whatever the journey, we are not alone.
Logically, we know that. But what does logic know?
You are sound asleep.
You should be. You earned it. You worked hard today even though you didn’t feel well.
You followed instructions. You stacked blocks. You retrieved toys you’d thrown. You ran wild, kicking a ball and giggling along. You hugged for the joy of hugging and you cried when you bumped your head. (You were brave though. You thought hard if it actually hurt.)
You listened when timeout became a real threat. You pushed boundaries and respected them. You asked for snacks and asked for toys. You let yourself be you and that was enough, always enough. You concentrated when she hid something under a cup and moved them around, always picking the right cup. This is not average for your age. You have no idea how smart you are.
You had no idea we were testing you for speech issues and never cared that you seemed to be behind. Why does it matter? I imagine you’d say. Look at how good I am at everything else. Isn’t that enough?
Continue reading I never needed words then…
Well the time has come.
I have waited two years for the toddler stories and I am so thrilled (really, Sarah?) to have some to tell!!!
#1: The Puzzle
Jackson has this animal puzzle that seemed like a good idea (My mom bought it and I was so excited! I knew Jackson would love it!) but it’s a puzzle that has the little red knobs on the top of each piece so that you can pick them up out of their cut-out spot. It also has a sensor so it makes noises when you find each spot for the puzzle pieces.
If you put a pig in it’s spot, it makes a pig sound. A cat makes a cat sound, etc. Well apparently it’s also light sensitive. But here’s the thing: JUST the pig. So EVERY NIGHT… Continue reading – 5 – Short Toddler Stories
To those who haven’t been following this series, I am writing about what it’s like in the world of The Nashville Wife (myself) and what it was like coming here without my own purpose. Along with that came The Nashville Mom. I had to find myself within both titles and I wanted to share my experience. I spoke to many other lovely ladies who have been through the basics of my story but in their own versions.
That is what this series has been about.
Their voices. Our voices. A community of people who share a common thread within our life story, willing to branch out and reach for the lonely or the broken.
These women are wonderful people who have volunteered their time to answer these questions and discuss their life with me. I am so grateful for their willingness to share and I hope this meets someone where they’re at in their story.
Just a quick recap
My last blog in this series, When the Nashville Wife becomes the Nashville Mom (part I), I talked about my story and then I ended with the first question I asked,
“What was the hardest part of moving to Nashville for you?”
Man, there were some great answers and I highly suggest you take a look if you haven’t already! We all came here at a different time in our lives, but what I saw in every story was this:
So let’s continue…
Let’s dive back into their stories and hopefully connect with them on some part of their path.
Did you leave a job to become a SAHM?
[stay at home mom]
Here’s what they had to say:
“Yes. I had a career position in accounting. But I always knew I wanted to be a mom, so I was glad to leave. I loved my job, but music and family are my passions.” – Martyne Palmer
“I was working a job I loved in Redding, CA and I haven’t been back to work since I had my son. ” – Heather Abbott Burback
“I stayed home for 4 months but went back to work because I needed my own purpose and space. I love my son dearly but felt like if I didn’t have my own career or something I was achieving personally, I’d be envious of my partner. ” – Allison Klein
“No. I am so grateful to work from home.”
My follow up question: That is wonderful! You worked from home before you had a child, correct? Did you have a kid before moving here or after? Where do you work, if you don’t mind me asking?
I have worked from home for 3 1/2 years. I have 4 kids! Ages 4, 6, 9, and 11. Our older 2 are biological and our younger 2 are adopted. We had all of them before moving to Nash. I work for Plexus Worldwide! After failing miserably at 6 other MLM companies, I finally found the RIGHT one. Through Plexus, I was able to pay for our son’s adoption and I am able to pay all of the bills for our family of 6.” – Vicki Mason Brown
“I feel that once I became a stay at home mom it was so rewarding, at first, but I’m so grateful once I started working part-time from home. I got lucky finding a bookkeeping job that was very flexible and understanding of being a new mom. I advertised my resume and job skills on Craigslist and I was lucky enough to be contacted by a small business that has now become like a family to us. I love having my own work on the side to keep me busy and engaged with adult issues during naptime and after bedtime.” – Jamie Angsten
Ha. Let me repeat that, Jamie:
I love love love this! So perfect. I have to say, I LOVE that the answers are so different and that no one was ashamed to admit they were glad to go back to work. I hear a lot in mom’s voices the guilt over leaving their kids. Well, no, not just leaving them, but wanting to “leave them” to go to work. And that’s not it at all. There’s always more to it than that. I love what Allison had to say about it:
I needed my own purpose and space. I love my son dearly but felt like if I didn’t have my own career or something I was achieving personally, I’d be envious of my partner – Allison Klein
I completely, 100%, understand this. I personally had no desire to go back to work physically (as in leaving my house, leaving my kid to go work) but I DID have this same feeling of needing my own purpose and space. I needed to achieve something personally. I didn’t want to live in my husband’s shadow. Wow. Just so well said, Allison. Something I think a lot of women feel – NOT just in Nashville, but every mom that is a SAHM.
I could go on and on with this blog but I’ll leave it for now. Again, I look forward to next Monday, The Nashville Mom (Part III), where I will continue with more questions and more answers from these women who want you to know you’re never alone. As always, feel free to comment or to send me a message through my Contact page. I would love to hear your thoughts and your stories!
Take care, lovelies.
As you all know, I moved to Nashville because I made the choice to follow my husband’s dreams. I quickly found my dream job and started working at an animal shelter, to which I eventually became the Assistant Director there. I had my purpose and I was happy. I hadn’t planned on ever quitting my job, not even when I had my son. Truthfully, I didn’t give it much thought (who would? It’s your dream job. No giving up on that!) But then it happened.
I passionately, deeply loved that little boy. A love that grew so quickly that it took my heart by storm and my work was no longer my driving force. It was still my passion but it wasn’t enough for me anymore. It was harder and harder to swallow the thought of leaving him behind and then one day, the decision was made, and I would no longer work at the shelter.
I was so blissfully happy, but as most of you can imagine, the fullness of love couldn’t always fill the emptiness of solitude.
The constant stretch of days with no other human interaction, no getting out of the house, no me-time, was starting to wear me down. There were days where I felt like I was suffocating. Clawing my way out, I knew I needed something; I needed an outlet. That is when The Nashville Wife was born and so was the flame that ignited the kindling and set my world on fire.
I knew I wasn’t alone in this. I knew I couldn’t be the only mama that felt that way. Starting life in Nashville with no real purpose, finding your own and then letting it be taken away. Every road is traveled differently from person to person whether our stories are similar or not.
We can let our different stories separate us or we can let them build us up. So I started this quest to share the stories and the voices of so many beautiful women who came here, to Nashville, either as a mom or not yet one. Women who came here with a purpose and those without one. Some that have struggled and some that have had the greatest adventure. These ladies wanted to let their words and experiences be available to those that may need to hear them. I needed to know I wasn’t alone. I needed to know there was a community out there where I belonged. So I might not be the only one.
I’ll end this with the first question I asked:
What was the hardest part of moving to Nashville for you?
Here’s what they had to say:
“Probably leaving family, because everything I knew and loved still lived in Georgia. I was lucky that my sister decided to move here too about the same time- she was (and is) a lifesaver.” – Martyne Palmer
“Moving to Nashville has been hard only because we moved with very little. We sold everything we owned to move here and it’s been a harder transition for my husband. We are very excited to be here and to see what this city has to offer for us. I think once we get settled it will make everything more of a smooth transition.” – Heather Abbott Burback
“Leaving California & the ocean. I grew up surfing on the beach my entire life…..And yeah, working for me is important. Also childcare is so affordable that moms can have careers and not hand over 85% of their paycheck to their childcare. It’s important! Many other countries have childcare priced similarly to Nashville (vs. let’s say, california) and there is a very high rate of happy moms with less post partum. I found staying home all day and breastfeeding made me sad and getting out for a few hours made me happy!” Allison Klein
“Leaving the only state I’ve ever lived in. Texas….I was leaving my sister which was really hard, but I knew Nashville was what God was calling us to do!” – Vicki Mason Brown
“I had a similar experience as you did with regards to working. I found a job that I liked and was happy with the friends I met there, but once I became a stay at home mom I lost those friends as we were in different chapters of our lives. My one piece of advice would be to save money. We had moved here and had originally saved a good amount of money, but as we were both unemployed for a couple months, and moving into a new home, it was more expensive than we originally intended. However, once we both started working, it evened back out but it was something we were not expecting as we were always so stable financially and neither of us wanted to rush into a job we were unhappy with. It all worked out but it does take time to get working, settled in a new home and making new friends. ” – Jamie Angsten
I look forward to next Monday, The Nashville Mom (Part II), where I will continue with more questions and more answers from these women who want you to know you’re never alone. As always, feel free to comment or to send me a message through my Contact page. I would love to hear your thoughts and your stories!
Take care, lovelies.
Quick update: I haven’t left, I promise! I had my wisdom teeth (all 4) removed and have been hibernating. I have one blog almost finished and ready to go and have several in the works! So get ready bloggers and blog-readers…
I’m coming back!
When my husband, Eric, and I moved to Nashville, it was clear why I was here:
→ To support the rising Nashville musician I knew he was going to become.
→ To finish school & get a job (as a stenographer, aka court reporter).
→ Take care of our two huskies
→ Make our house into a home
→ And to someday have a baby or two.
Then everything changed.
I was miserable.
Working towards a degree I truly hated. Lonely as I had no friends, no family, and my husband was working his tail off; out of town two days a week and in Nashville all the rest, making waves and changing tides.
Not to mention I was in a new land, unfamiliar with it’s heartbeat.
I was tired of being miserable. So I did it – I quit school. I started working at an animal shelter which quickly led me to become the Assistant Director, overseeing the animals being adopted.
I was ecstatic!
This was my dream job. Heck, some nights Eric had to call me and ask if I was ever coming home! I sure was walking on my own shadow.
Then in October of 2015, we made the decision to try for our current little boy and within a few weeks, we found out we were pregnant.
(well that escalated quickly)
My new little man was born in June of 2016. I had every intention of going back to work but one day, I off-handedly said something to Eric about staying at home and he surprised the daylights out of me!
“If you think we can afford it, I think you should do it.”
I. was. SHOCKED.
I thought it wasn’t possible…
I thought it would stress him out too much…
I thought there was no way my dream of not having to work could ever come true…
And it just did!
I was such a happy momma. I still am.
But there came a point (and I couldn’t exactly tell you when) but I felt like I was wasting my time.
Can you imagine how that must feel?
Can you imagine what it was like to admit it?
…that having a baby and feeling like staying at home, taking care of this sweet child and taking care of the house was a waste of time? Was a waste of existence?
That I was taking up space in this world of movers and shakers?
Looking at it from an outsider’s point of view, that has to be the saddest thing I’ve heard. Someone responsible for raising an innocent, someone responsible for making sure this child becomes someone respectful, kind, loving, and a warrior in a land of chaos, that someone should never feel like they are wasting their time. They shouldn’t feel like they have no purpose.
So why did I?
I was no longer walking on my own shadow. Actually, I don’t think I was even standing on it. My husband was amplifying his and at some point, I snuck behind him, lined myself up and matched my shadow to his. (All without ever having realized it happened.)
Well, he is bigger than me (lol), his life is broader than mine, so my shadow disappeared in his. I disappeared.
The reality? You only get one shadow.
→ But what is the point of that?
→ What does that mean?
→ And what is a shadow?
Well, It’s not just a dark area or shape produced by someone or something, standing in front of light. It’s also an action; to follow or observe closely or sometimes in secret. We say people live in other people’s shadow. Usually referring to the fact someone isn’t as great or powerful or worthy as someone else and so anything you do is just blocked out by the “greater person’s” shadow, the mark they “leave behind”.
People want to be seen, to not be hidden inside of someone else’s work. They want to be seen and to cast their own shadow.
Your shadow tells the world who you are and where you’ve been. So what was clear was that I would get nowhere living and hiding inside a shadow that was not my own.
Like Angela Cartwright said, “My shadow in my art is one way I trace who I was and where I have been. My shadow and I have been on a journey for quite a while now!”
So while you can stand IN someone’s shadow, you cannot stand ON their shadow. Nor would you want to. We need to find ourselves. We need to BE ourselves.
To start finding myself, my purpose and what life I’m supposed to be living, I need to remember to stand and walk on my own shadow and no one else’s. It’s a reminder of who I was and where I have been. It moves and grows and changes with me. So while I may be lost, my shadow is lost with me. And together, as many times before, we will find where we are next to travel.
Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow – Aesop
Photo Cred: xperimentiv.wordpress.com
“Happiness is an inside job.” – unknown
For the past few days, I’ve been wandering; walking into familiar rooms and not understanding where I was. I was lost. I mean, sure, I know who I am…
– mother –
– musician’s wife –
– daughter –
– sister –
– friend –
But knowing that isn’t enough for me. I want to be a mother and do more. I want to be my husband’s wife and do more. (etc.)
I. WANT. TO. BE. MORE.
As I walked into my son’s room, picked him up out of his crib, I sighed the most peaceful sigh. It was a breath of freedom. I should have done this months ago. Is it perfect? (lol)… NO. Will it be the answer I’m seeking? I sure wish. But again, NO.
and so today? I began my journey. We began our journey.
I hope you sigh peacefully tonight.