Hi friends. I’m Katie and this is my first blog post for Chesapeake Family Life. It is a joy to be new around here. I am a freelance writer, a certified yoga instructor who wishes she practiced yoga more, a shoe lover, a procrastinator, a tea addict and a mother of four wild and wonderful warriors.
And this past fall, after 16 years of building a life together — 13 of which we were married — my husband I have decided to separate. We are treading carefully in icy rivers of contradictions. It is hard but right, high and low, jarring and mournful, light and heavy, painful but hopeful, intense yet empowering and sometimes it is everything all at once. It is hard to remember a gap in life where we didn’t come home to each other. We are now living in a redefined normal. It is a time of rebuilding, rebirth and rediscovery.
I became a mother 12 years ago and had four babies in four years. There were days that I couldn’t remember whether or not I brushed my teeth, let alone what I wanted to accomplish as a human being. I know what it feels like to be stained, spent and sleep deprived and to forget that you have any other name than MomMomMomMomMommaaaaaa. Now my babies are 12 and 9 and my twins are 7. It is a different time in life that presents its own challenges but it is also a beautiful, sweet evolved space. A space that affords me some room for freedom but also allows me to still hold them when they come home.
So this is the year that I find myself.
This is the year that they will see me smile more. This is the year that I will drink my tea while it is still warm. This is the year that I date myself. This is the year that I RSVP for one. This is when I no longer put off the things I filed under “one day.” This is the year that I take the trips. This is the year I make more time for the people that bring me joy and light. This is when I say no to the people and obligations that weigh me down. This is the year I breathe. This is the year I make peace with the reflection in the mirror. This is the year that I embrace the laugh lines without a side of guilt or negativity or self-deprecation. This is the year I listen to my intuition and own my voice. This is when I write and read and feel and let go and open and dance and stand on my own two heels.
This is the year I rise.
I have a faded post-it note that hangs in my closet. It is a quote that I stumbled upon long ago:
“In the end, I am the only one who can give my children a happy mother that loves life.”
I have read it countless times. But this is the year that I choose to live by it.
So wherever you find yourself on this journey of life and parenthood, please join me in finding who you are. We get this one life. What if we tried, just as we have encouraged our own children’s baby steps, to do a little bit every single day to take care of ourselves and reach for our own honest, authentic joy? What if that could be our legacy? Our own glorious happiness. Now that is a resolution worth keeping.
Here’s to 2017. Here’s to us…
Katie Yackley Moore is a freelance writer, yoga instructor and momma of four. She adores coffee shops, laughing until it hurts and impromptu dance parties. Her work has appeared on Scary Mommy, Mamalode and HuffPost Parents. She has published a journal entitled “Dream a Bigger Dream” and the children’s books “You Are a Warrior” and “We are Family” and just finished her first novel. Catch up with her between tea breaks at The Naked Momma and on Facebook.