Let me start off by saying I love my children, and I do everything I do for my family. They are the reason I am who I am today. On that note, my children/family drives me crazy sometimes, but who doesn’t?

The last few years of my life have been consumed, or driven, whichever you would like to call it, by my family. At one point I worked 2 jobs and was a full time college student. I was determined to have my life on track, for my family. I have taken traits from my mother, and many times have decided to put my kids’ happiness over my own (which to me is what a mother does).

Do you see a common factor in the above paragraphs? How about something that is missing? Me! Doing something for me!

I used to feel selfish if I thought about wanting something for myself rather than for my kids. I felt like a bad mother if I thought about what it would be like to do what I wanted to do, like my friends who didn’t have kids. Then I grew up and realized I needed to stop comparing my life to everyone else’s and to the families on t.v. There was something missing in my life and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it……..

So what was I going to do about it? Well, I definitely couldn’t turn back time, and in all reality, I wouldn’t want to, EVER! Again, I love my kids! God gave them to me for a reason, and that reason was to bless me with an unconditional love that I had never thought I could feel. But I sure did not want to sit around and be unhappy all the time. Stressed or tired because I stayed up late just so I could have some quiet “mommy” time after the kids went to bed.

Then one Saturday night, I accompanied my best friend to one of her roller derby bouts. I listened to her rave about the girls on her team and how close they were, and that they would be there for each other if they ever needed it. She explained that she loved her derby practice nights because it got her out of the house and for those few hours, she didn’t have to worry about anything. She could just skate (and work out some of her frustrations, it is derby after all). After that night, it just hit me; THIS is what I wanted to do.

THIS, meaning have a life outside of my life. THIS, meaning belong to a family that I didn’t have to worry about cooking and cleaning up after. THIS, meaning find within myself who I used to be and not lose myself. Then, it crossed my mind, could I handle the tough derby girls? Well why not? I am a strong, independent, and persistent woman. I have given birth to two children and have chosen to not let the curve balls life throws at me to keep me down. I can do anything I want to do, not just what I need to do! I had let life take that thought away from me, and I wasn’t about to anymore. I figured, I do what I need to do, my family is taken care of, why don’t I deserve to do what I want if it doesn’t take away from that?

I do, you do, we all deserve to be happy. “Life” has happened for many of us. Whether we choose to let what happens in life define us or whether we step back and say, “Excuse me? I DESERVE to be happy along with everyone else” is up to us. The actions we take to not let what we think are our limitations keep us from fulfilling our dreams is all up to us. I have realized that I can take care of my motherly duties and take care of myself at the same time, and I will let you know, I have never been happier! I look forward to my roller derby practices and look forward to being a part of such a wonderful group of women.