Guest Post by: Kamsin Kaneko
I have been a mother for 21 months now, but I have been living and breathing on this planet for 40 years. I have spent those years growing, learning, exploring and sometimes getting lost.
I have wrestled with who I am and what my purpose on this planet might be. I have traveled and made my home in a foreign country. It turns out there might not be a place I truly belong this side of heaven. But I built a life and a place to call home.
A New Season and a New Chance
Life has many seasons and once more I am a season of newness and beginnings. As an older mom it feels disjointed to be starting a new way of life when I’d already invested so much into the life I had.
Early motherhood is a time of slowing down to the pace of a small child. The daily rhythms of eating and sleeping, playing and resting cannot be rushed. It makes for long, slow days which will stretch into years.
The first year of my son’s life whizzed by in a flash. My time and attention was taken up with naps and feeding. I watch him smile, roll over, crawl and then walk. I watched him sleep in my arms, wishing it would be over soon and that it would last forever.
It all seemed so big and important, but I had gotten lost. I wanted there to be nothing as important as keeping this baby safe and happy yet I strongly wanted my life back too.
My return to work didn’t live up to what I hoped
I left my job as an EFL teacher when I was expecting, only to go running back a little over a year later. The desire to pick up the life I had before was strong. I needed solid ground. A potent mix of approaching mid-life crisis plus the disorientation of loosing myself in the care of small child, made me look for security in the familiar.
The time away from him, just two half days a week, proved to be transformative. I started to ask what I wanted the next 18-20 years to look like. I begin asking myself who I wanted to be both now while he is small and 20 years from now when he was living his own life out in the world.
I began asking questions:
- Do the goals of the career I have made align with the type of mother I want to be?
- Are there other dreams locked away inside my heart?
- Who do I want my son to become?
- How can I live my life as an example of the kind of life I would like him to lead?
The questions made me realize how easy it could be to drift through my child-rearing years and I didn’t want to lose myself.
I don’t know what the future will hold but I know it starts today
And so I find myself now in a season of reflection. Becoming a parent opens many possibilities and comes with many challenges. I am at the start of a new journey waiting to see exactly what God has planned.
I want my son to grow into a strong and committed leader who will change Japan (his father’s country) or England (mine), or some other country of his choosing. I want him to know his talents and have the grounding and the self belief to use them for good. I want him to be a committed and loyal husband and father one day.
I don’t want him to experience a broken home the way I did. My parents did their best with what they had but I want to rewrite the end of this story. I believe a mother who can lead her family with love and compassion can help make those things happen.
There’s a lot of work to do. There are choices before me and I don’t yet know what the outcomes will be. I know I want to write and use the voice that God has given me. I want to touch the lives of other women to help them build strong families and to know their own self-worth.
God has always taught me to treasure the questions I have. Reflection is the precursor to action and a story He wants to tell through me.
Meet the Author:
Kamsin is an Englishwoman living in Yokohama, Japan with her one year old son, her Japanese husband and an American Shorthair cat. She writes about parenting, travel and living a purpose-filled life. You can follow Kamsin on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Go check out her blog, Life In the Key of E!