I’m back from my mini-maternity leave & I missed you!
On September 5, we welcomed our sweet baby boy, Alyosha Vuk Simeone, into the world. It has been an incredible month getting to know him & easing into motherhood. I have so many things I want to share with you all already (like what my birth experience taught me & how I prepared for maternity leave as an entrepreneur). Plus, Osh has been schooling me on life, love, & so much more. Babies are funny like that: they don’t say a word but their silence & presence teach you SO much.
Since this is my first week back to work since the little goose was born, I want to talk with you about something that is very real for me right now: contradictory emotions (aka having all the feels).
It’s definitely been the theme of the week for me & I can’t help but notice that it has been for few of my clients, too.
This past weekend, as the end of my 5 week maternity leave quickly approached, I noticed myself having seriously conflicting emotions. One part of me was so excited to dive back into coaching, connect with my clients, & get back to writing. Simultaneously, I was heartbroken that the “early days of motherhood” chapter of my life was coming to a close. Did I love my job & did I believe I was meant to do this work? 100% yes. Did I also want Osh to stay a few weeks old & be able to pass all of my time snuggling him every moment until forever? 100% yes. So, the moment in time was a bittersweet one because I was simultaneously excited for the new beginning & heartbroken for the end. It was also confusing because I felt two different things… & I felt them both 100%.
I’m no mathematician but how the hell does that add up?
In the past, I would have either (1) let my sadness about being away from Osh minimize my joy over a career I love OR (2) pushed down my sadness because I was afraid it would take away from my joy (causing me to explode later on over unprocessed emotions). & both of these situations would have wreaked havoc on my relationship with food. Because when I wasn’t practicing deep emotional self-care, food was my primary coping mechanism when conflicting emotions arrived.
Now I know I’m not alone. I often see women turning to food (like overeating for comfort or strictly controlling because they feel they have no control in their lives) as a result of feeling like they don’t have permission to feel their emotions fully.
& I get it!! It can be scary, right? We fear we might spiral out of control if we let ourselves “go there.” We fear we might be perceived as negative. We fear we won’t be able to get through it or move past it. We fear it might be too much to handle.
But, what I’ve learned is that we CAN survive our feelings, even the conflicting ones.
We can be excited for a friend who just got engaged even when we are super down about a recent breakup. We can be elated about a job in a new city & also be terrified to say “goodbye” to our community. We can celebrate someone’s victory when we are simultaneously mourning our own loss. We can love ourselves unconditionally while acknowledging we have room to grow. We can love our jobs & be excited to do important work while also loving our babes & wishing we never ever had to leave them. We can be sad & happy, excited & scared, faithful & disappointed, & everything in between. All at once.
Our hearts aren’t black & white & our feelings can’t be simplified into basic math.
When we treat ourselves with gentle compassion, give ourselves full permission to process our emotions (even when they seem confusing), & allow ourselves to feel all the feels, we will get through it one breath, one tear, & one laugh at a time.