04 September 2011

Guest Blogger: The Rusak Family

Hi everyone! My name is Katie from therusakfamily and I’m thrilled to be guest blogging for Jenni this week! I’ve been a fan of hers since way back in my days spent trolling the knot for wedding ideas to steal use as inspiration for my Oct. 2007 wedding. Lucky for me, I stumbled upon Jenni’s profile during the planning stage and was in awe of what a beautiful bride she was and how perfect her fall-themed November 2006 wedding turned out. Ideas galore!

Like the rest of you, I am sick to my stomach over Hurricane Irene throwing a wrench in her OBX vacation plans. Dammit, I was looking forward to living vicariously through Jenni’s pictures of her annual family trip, because Lord knows I could use a chance to get away and decompress a bit.

Let’s talk about that, shall we? Anyone else feel like they need a vacation?! My hubs and I have two young children, Allie (2.5 closing in on 3) and Tessa (she just turned 1! sniff sniff!), and I work full-time in higher education in Detroit, MI... and I'm just dying to get away for a bit! Here is my little family!
A couple of months ago I began to feel like I was going through somewhat of an identity crisis. In a nutshell, for the last 4 years, I have been either creating (getting knocked up, boo-yah!) or sustaining life (breastfeeding mama, just weaned after 12months, so sad).

And now?

I’m not really needed like that anymore. And I was starting to feel a little bit lost, in terms of my identity. I think being a “mother” can easily take over your life. Whether you work outside the home or are a SAHM (god bless you ladies, I do not have the balls for that), I think it’s pretty easy to lose yourself sometimes in loving on your kiddos. I was sad, and emotional (not to mention hormonal since I'd just stopped nursing! Look out!) and was honestly really struggling with this whole "what am I good for" feeling. While recognizing this however, I tried to look at this shift as an opportunity to do something for me. I’ll confess, watching Jenni take this blog to the next level, and really invest in it, and even go to BlogHer has been a real inspiration for me to try to carve out time to pursue my interests.

So… I volunteered for my local farmer’s market, asked my boss to nominate me for a prestigious leadership academy (and, holy crap, I got in!), joined the local Moms Club I’d been debating for years, sought out professional networking opportunities (free wine = WINNING) and scheduled dinner with friends and generally started to invest more time and energy in myself than I had over the years I focused on making and caring for my babies.

Not to sound really corny, but it’s working. I’m engaged, involved, giving back, and on track. I feel good about myself again. And that is going to help me be a good great mother to my girls. Am I overwhelmed sometimes at all I’ve taken on? Meh, a little. But I’m trying to cut myself some slack, relax and just do what’s good for me. So what if my laundry pile resembles a small mountain, I haven’t written all of my thank-you notes for Tessa’s birthday party, and a bowl of cereal and a Smirnoff Ice counts as a good dinner in my book?! That’s okay, I can’t do it all.

And when my 2.5 year old cried out for me in the middle of the night yesterday, and wanted snuggles to calm down, as I smoothed her hair back from her face and listened to her racing heart beat slowly return to normal, I realized I’m still needed, in a big big way.
Thanks so much for taking over my blog, Katie!

You guys, isn't she so sweet?? Don't forget to check out her blog... it's adorable!

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Sarah said...

Your family is so sweet!

Melissa said...

What a fantastic, fantastic post! It really hit home with me because I have been going through so many of the same feelings!! I've been trying to invest a lot more time into myself lately because I was getting really unhappy and down. I've made a lot of changes over the last few months and it has definitely helped me be a better mom and wife!!

And I agree with God blessing stay at home moms, I actually wrote a post today about how I don't know how they do it, I couldn't!!

Finally, I also work in higher education. The freshmen came to campus last week and the rest arrive this week. Lord help me. :)

Good luck to you! I'm going to go check out your blog now.

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