I Love My Work And My Kid The Same

With my son’s 5th birthday approaching on March 5th, I felt it only perfect to share these thoughts.

I had a beautiful conversation with a friend in Costa Rica recently. I made a comment about the importance of my work as just as important to me as being a mom. My beautiful friend said, “Wow, I love that you just said that.”

It’s taken me a while to say it confidently out loud. Like is it really ok for us as parents to say we love our work just as much as our kids? And I’m not talking about your 9-5 work that pays the bills. If you love your 9-5 that much, then hell yeah, go you. I’m talking about the work that sets your soul on fire. Those things you get excited about on the regular, that spark your curiosity. Your creativity. Things you’re interested in that you want to learn more about. Skills you care to hone. Things you want to get good at, and maybe even share with the world. This is the true work of life.

See, there’s this thing around being a parent, like it’s supposed to be the most amazing, hugest blessing, most-important-role-that-exists-in-life-period, and that at the end of the day, this tiny (or not-so-tiny-anymore) human is the reason we are alive and breathing today and the only good reason to keep on breathing and living, every day.

Well, for me that’s not the case. First things first – I fucking love being a mom. It’s amazing. If you’re a parent, you know exactly what I mean. I don’t even have to mention the things they do to melt our hearts. You already know.

My mom was amazing. I remember growing up thinking, “Wow, I can’t wait to have kids one day and I can only hope to be half the mom mine is.” I consider myself lucky that I can say that because I know it’s not the case for everyone. I also thought I’d have like, three kids, and here I am with one son, throwing in the towel.

I’ve really come to peace with the fact that I think I’m done having kids. I wrestled with this for a while, and I realize it’s definitely still not too late to have more… but over the past couple years I’ve really fallen deeply in love with myself and the work I’m doing. Honestly, it almost feels like another child. But it never grows up and goes away. It’s with me all the time, it’s a part of me. How cool.

When my two younger brothers and I grew up and all moved away from our mom, who still lives in Seattle, she experienced a lot of emptiness and sadness, which makes total sense. I can’t imagine raising three kids, all those years, and then suddenly them all being gone.

And I know a lot of parents experience this. And I know I will, too, when my boy grows up and moves away, and travels, and falls in love, and has moments of sheer joy and heartache and success, and I’m not there to witness it firsthand. But I will not feel empty, because I will keep creating everyday, and doing the work that makes my soul sing. I sit every morning and give myself the gift of stillness. I read, I write, I roll out my yoga mat and give myself the gift of breath and movement. Every day. I help others do that, too, and I also help them live out their dreams and that, my friends, is some exciting shit.

I’m asking you to make a promise to yourself today. That just as much as you give to being a mom, or a dad – give to yourself, to your own interests, to consciously creating a life you love. Your work is you. Your soul work. The work that makes you jump up every morning and keep going another day. We are all creators. It doesn’t matter what you do or make or how good it is or if someone else likes it or not. It’s yours. It’s something no one can take away from you and that drive inside of you to keep creating is never going to grow up and move out.

We wear a lot of hats in life. Being a parent is just one. Don’t leave yourself hanging. Stay true to yourself and what you love. Make your soul work so exciting that being a mom (or dad) dims in comparison. It’s ok to be more excited about this work than getting up, making lunches and taking your kids to school (there, I said it). Yes, you’re a parent. Yes, you fucking love your kids. But you also love yourself. And you’re stuck with yourself, forever. So you might as well make all your days as awesome as you possibly can. Fall in love with your life, I dare you.

And don’t get stuck on thinking you need to find your “passion.” Maybe you do have that one thing you love and you’ve cultivated it your entire life. Great. If not, also great. Just ask yourself, “What am I interested in right now?” Surely there is something. Anything. Growing your own food. Taking up rock climbing. Getting back into your yoga practice. Learning how to paint. Who cares what it is. Stay curious. Let yourself go down that rabbit hole and see what you find. You never know what magic awaits.

And don’t forget, your kids are watching you. So lead by example. Show them how to love their lives, too.