How I Leaped: By being stuck


My motivation to leap didn't come from a desire for change; rather, it came from a feeling of being utterly stuck.

I've been a mother for almost four years, and for two of them, I've been at home full time. Those who know me often hear me say, "I wouldn't want to be anywhere else..."

But, well, I sometimes want to run away.

By Jen Gregory, The Runaway Mama.

Being a mother agrees with me. In fact, it's one of the few things in my life of which I am absolutely certain. Still, I sometimes crave experiences outside my cozy motherhood bubble.


Before I had kids I was a lot of different things. A writer. A dancer. A choreographer. A teacher. A painter. An actor. A public relations professional. A non-profit manager. A volunteer.

The best way to describe what happened when I became a mother is that motherhood engulfed me. Little by little, everything but the necessities fell to the wayside.

I loved what I was doing for and with my kids, but I lost myself in them. There was no balance in my life. Naptime was my best shot for "me" time, and I was usually so drained that the most productive thing I did was catch up on "Grey's Anatomy" or "Top Chef."

I was stuck, and in hindsight, probably depressed. Thankfully, something shifted when I filled out registration forms to enroll my youngest in school three mornings a week (my oldest was already going every day). I would finally have some time to myself, and the thought of doing something besides laundry, dishes or watching television felt like a real possibility.

It was like a space opened up in my head and I suddenly had thoughts, ideas and energy. I actually wanted to do something for me.

That's when I leaped.

Three mornings a week wasn't enough time for me to go back to work, but I wanted to feel like what I was doing everyday meant something.

I thought about starting a blog, but I had no idea how to do it. I simply began to write about my experiences as a mother - the good, the bad, the funny and the sad.

The writing came surprisingly easy, and as it turns out, I had a lot to say. I did some research, asked a few friends for advice and soon my blog, The Runaway Mama, was born.

I was terrified to click the publish button for the first time, and that's how I knew I was really leaping. It was exhilarating to do something I had never done before, especially after being stagnant for so long.

Feedback has been great, and it's wonderful to know that people are reading and responding to my posts, but the best part of the whole experience is that I got myself off the couch. I reclaimed the drive and creativity I had lost for so long, and I'm a better mother as a result.

I once read Julia Cameron's book, The Artist's Way. The book talked about a thing called synchronicity. It's the idea that if you leap, a net will appear. If you take a risk, the universe will reward you.

Writing has given me purpose, perspective and a voice, and the opportunities that have come my way, including contributing to this blog series, are proof that there really is a net. I can't wait to see where I land next.