Mommy Walk About: Myanmar By Myself
This week I will be sharing four posts about my recent Mommy Walk About to Myanmar. A Momma Abroad's focus is on cultivating positivity while living abroad, specifically in the Philippines, however with these few posts I share more personal matters about motherhood and travels outside of the Philippines. Regular programing will resume on Saturday. Kita kits!
2017 was not my year. My life is great, I am beyond fortunate but the average rating of 2017 was pretty rough in comparison to other years. Freaking motherhood kicked me in the pants, HARD! My faith was rocked and I spent so much of the year feeling so broken. And to be honest, for the first time in my life I felt depressed. Deeply. And it didn’t go completely away because I still feel it creep in from time to time.
Nagar Glass Factory, Yangon
As I struggled through last year and this year it became evident that my soul hungered for silence. My brain craved (still does) stillness and peace. When you are raising 3 makulit boys wala na sa peace and quiet. I couldn’t get myself grounded nor find a balance which lead me to a place of emotional instability. I wanted to remember that I was an autonomous individual who had opinions, talents and desires. As a mother you give up everything. Your boobs, your body, your sleep, your emotions. You surrender almost everything you have in the name of love. It is all very beautiful but sometimes we surrender every part of us as individuals and we are left empty, with nothing more to give. Children need mothers who are alive, partners and spouses deserve the same.
I needed to fill a void. I needed to remember what it was like to be an individual. I needed to love myself and take some time away so I had love to give. I am lucky enough to have a super supportive husband who encouraged me from the beginning to take this adventure. He was probably thinking, ‘Please go away so you can come back normal.’ Ha! Also super bonus: Ate Chanda, our super yaya, for the win! Silly thing is, when push came to shove, I froze. Time and time again I couldn’t push the ‘purchase’ button for a plane ticket. Horrifying worst case scenarios would run through my mind a mile a minute. Parents have an unusual macabre talent to imagine worst case scenarios. As I was relaying the irony of the situation to a friend, she offered a solution to the problem by journeying with me on a Mommy Walk About. Two weeks later the beginning of loose plans came to fruition in the form of spread sheets and plane tickets. It was really happening.
Myanmar was magical. Anywhere away from mom-duty would have felt like refuge but I am so happy it was Myanmar. However, I did put so much weight on this trip to try and cure or solve all my problems that half way through I had to emotionally smack myself in the face and say, “Self, stop putting so much pressure on this trip and just enjoy it for what it is.” I had adventure. Disappointment (of course at least one flight had to be cancelled). Silence. Ruckus. I had moments where I got to write and draw. For fun one day I even came up with a line of home fragrances based on my travels. I ate new and exciting foods. I took a ferry by myself. I visited as many social enterprises as I wanted to! I learned. I learned so so much. It was beautiful and brilliant. And then, I was ready to come home.
I went on a ferry all by myself, because I could!
I went shopping by myself, because I could!
I ate whatever I wanted, because I could!
I ate where I wanted, because I could!
I remembered that I am Amber. I am a mom but I am also an individual. The more you love yourself the more you can share that love. I crashed right back into motherhood the day I returned. Tantrums and a high fever, waking kids up and getting them to school. I learned that a week away wasn’t going to make my problems disappear. However, my brain did receive a nice moment of peace and got a fresh perspective. Upon my return I have taken self care more seriously. As parents we should be doing something daily that fuels us. I am not talking about a mindless brain numbing break on instagram but truly something that feeds the soul. This isn’t selfish, this is in fact filling us with energy and self love so we can share it with others. I am grateful for the perspective I received on my Mommy Walk About. I am fortunate to have the problems and trials I have. I am fortunate to have a supportive team at home and I am so fortunate to call myself Mom and Amber.