Your Own Lane
“You guys will be glad I’m making so much effort right now launching this business. You’ll be happy when I have my own lane and am not all over your life when you’re at college.” I say to my two a few months ago.
As I say this, everything aligns, so I have to lean into this deeply with friends, acquaintances and clients. I have to talk about this from lots of different angles and say ‘your own lane’ over and over.
What does your own lane mean?
Let’s back up a bit first.
I notice FB posts of women taking care of their grandchildren during the week, providing childcare for their own children.
I observe women in my neighborhood walking their dogs every morning and evening, replacing their time taking care of their puppies as their children grow older and more independent.
I see parents drive their children’s high school careers with military-force.
I discuss high schooler’s anxiety with my two as some of their classmates take on the goals of adults into their own lives indiscriminately.
I read about the college scam with Hollywood insiders to get their children into select colleges.
I overhear a conversation between moms about how they are basically writing their son’s college application essays.
I also hear about my sister-in-law writing a paper with her college-aged junior.
Some of these activities are healthy and normal and involve the love of family. It’s absolutely beautiful when a grand can take care of their children’s children. Also, extending a family with the love of a pet is beautiful as well.
Yet other activities feel like false insertion into another’s life. It doesn’t matter that this other person is the child, it’s still a takeover of someone else’s life.
Unfortunately, these over-extensions limit both the parent and the child. I imagine this happens through osmosis, little by little, so the parent or child doesn’t even notice.
Mothers, most often, are the victims of overextension into their children’s lives, so I’ll be using the female pronoun and the term mother. But, you’ll know this can be fathers as well.
I wrote a post a few years ago about mothers being shapeshifters and having to become complete vapor within the family in order to give their children enough room to become fully themselves. Read it here.
But, this goes further. Choosing your own lane adds definition to your life in ways that mean something to you – uniquely you.
It’s so easy to forget who you are, what you like, what makes your mind wonder and your heart sing. It’s so easy to bask in the glory of your children because that’s been the norm for a decade or more. It’s so easy to lose yourself as a priority as you’ve put everyone else first for so many years.
You’ve become relatively invisible, even in your own mind.
You’ve shifted to the end of the line, once everyone else has gotten what they want and need.
You’ve been put into a position of a non-position and have accepted it so readily you don’t’ even question it.
It’s so bad, you’ve even forgotten how to ask yourself questions. Questions about who you are, what you like and how you want to live your life.
But, let’s assume you can. Let’s assume you can ask yourself a few questions, taking a moment to seek answers to these questions of what you want, what you like and how you want to spend your time.
You see, there are women who are perfectly happy to bring up their children, get a few pets and/or projects and then take care of their grandchildren. I herald and honor them.
I am not among them.
I need to honor myself differently. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mother, yet it’s not completely fulfilling to me. I can openly admit this to myself and to the world.
It’s okay to say, “Hey, motherhood is partially fulfilling to me. I need more, different, other…”
If you’re one of these women, give yourself permission to admit it.
Admit your more than a mother, you’re a woman – a person with wishes, needs and desires beyond her children.
Once you admit this, you can say YES to yourself.
You can say YES, I’m going to ask myself questions.
Yes, I’m going to take time to explore and try new things.
Yes, I’m going to seek answers.
Yes, I’m going to connect to myself in ways I haven’t for years.
Yes, I am worth it.
Yes, I want to create a life that is COMPLETELY fulfilling and nurturing to me.
Yes, I’m going to choose my own lane.
So, how do you define your own lane?
More on that later.
For now, it’s enough you’ve said yes.
Thank you for reading and sharing with friends.
As always, wishing you joy,