Photo credit: Michelle Spice Photography
Meet Mary. She is a working mom of two amazing boys and resides in Alberta, Canada. By day she works as an analyst and by night she is a wellness coach and blogger for www.chigetsfit.com. I should mention that Mary is my awesome sister-in-law (and those boys of hers are my sweet little nephews!)
One of the many things I admire about Mary is her determination to live a healthy life. Over the years she has become more open about her battles with depression and anxiety, has worked hard to overcome them and uses her journey to a healthier, more positive body, mind and spirit to motivate and inspire others to do the same.
As I have faced my struggle with depression I have turned to Mary for support and advice. She has helped me see that I can get through it, and that despite my struggle I am still a good mom. Watching how gracefully she has faced her own battle gives me motivation to do the same, and I am ever so grateful for it.
I also admire the way her, and my brother, tackle the tough moments in life, always with the whole family unit in mind. Last year they faced uncertainty job-wise, resulting in moving their family twice in a short period of time. As difficult as it was, what mattered most to them was what was best for their family. I think Mary and my brother have taught my nephews a valuable life lesson in the past year — that when life brings the unexpected, take chances and face it with determination, faith and love!
I asked Mary to share some of her insights on motherhood.
How has motherhood changed you?
It would be faster to ask how hasn’t motherhood changed me? But I would say on the largest degree it’s changed my selfishness and decision making. I don’t think I was a terribly selfish person before but I certainly asked what’s in it for me more often than not before deciding on something. Not only as a mother do I look out for my children’s interest, but I also think what is best for my family? My husband? My extended family? And most of all, in all my decision making I think what example am I setting for my children? How does what I do set them up for success?
What do you love most about being a mom?
Growing and becoming better as they grow and learn. I love that motherhood makes me strive to constantly be better. And there is never a desire to quit becoming better. It is a limitless ceiling of where I want to take myself personally so I can provide the best guidance for my children.
What do you find challenging about motherhood?
There’s two pieces I struggle the most with. Firstly is the struggle between wanting to teach them to overcome adversity and pain in life by experiencing it, or being there to help them through it and pick of the pieces. And wishing and trying to just shield them from everything, which harms them more than helps.
Secondly, as an introvert I’m an easily over-stimulated person and struggle with the constant noise and go go go-ness of busy children. This brings immense amounts of guilt that I get frustrated or angry at them simply for being children. Especially when they are playing kindly it just so happens to be very noisy and it’s bothering me. I struggle with wanting to tell them to quiet down and wanting to just let it go and get over my own problems and enjoy seeing them interact and play. This does however make me go deeper into my meditation and mindfulness to learn how to deal with being overwhelmed, which is a blessing
Mary shares some words of wisdom and advice.
It sounds cliche but my words of advice are simply to take it easy on ourselves. Our kids will be okay. We’re all doing the best we can. And the best thing we can remember is that we are teaching through example how to be compassionate, thoughtful and most importantly resilient human beings. They learn by our actions over our words.