Rejuvenating My Life

Ok here it is, the topic that’s been most on my mind lately. Moms how do you do it? I always had this question in my mind, when I’d see moms go back to work right after having a baby tired, not fully recuperated, and definitely not together. I mean how could you be together? Someone just ripped a living human baby out of you. Whether labor, or cesarean, the resulting emotional impact is the same. More pains, more gains in each way of bringing a child into the world.

So how about the moms that decide, OK I am able to stay home, I’m going to do just that. Just that. Well it’s definitely not just that, it’s that and a lot more. These moms miss out on the regular social engagement of going to work, seeing people and having to step up quickly to get back into the real world game. Their homes become their office. And for a lot of moms that alone is isolating and a very hard switch of gears after leaving the never-off work place.

And for a lot of moms that alone is isolating and a very hard switch of gears after leaving the never-off work place.

My perspective, and this is mine, you do not have to agree or disagree, you have your own… is that they are both tough. Becoming a mom changes every little fiber of your being. You think different, you look different, you act different. A mom is a mom. It’s life changing. You will never be the same, in some way, always consumed by that little person that needs you, and even when they think they don’t, you still feel that way. It will never be the way it was before that first child. It can’t be. Moms are not programmed to return to normal. We adjust, we grow, we live the new way. We survive and God-willing figure out a way to thrive.

For me, I had the choice and opportunity to not work. In fact, having been laid off right when I found out we were pregnant (don’t get me started on that) my husband and I decided I would not go back to work, have no stress for my pregnancy and then be a stay at home mom. This in fact was my dream job. So I did that. Not working after twenty seven years of always working (or looking to work in the up and down economy), was a struggle. Plus we had a whole lot of things happen during that “non-stressful” pregnancy, that are for another time… But I did it, I left the workplace and didn’t look back.

Until about a year ago, after being a stay at home mom for a year and a half, I was yearning for more. When we had our child we also decided to relocate, so the community and all that came along with it was completely new to me. Trading open bay waters for lakes and rivers. Ocean accessibility for mountains. Fog, June gloom, the cherished indian summer of October and November, for crazy hot heat in the summer, snow in the winter and four seasons. We thought it was a great trade. We didn’t know a soul when we moved here. We moved for a life change, not a job transfer or a must do move, we did it by choice. As older parents, we don’t exactly fit any mold. We never will. But we knew we needed community to support us, because we didn’t want to leave our life out west. We love living in the California, Nevada are. It took time to get matriculated into the community but we found the people to be extremely welcoming and kind. And if I felt weird in any way at all, it was because I felt I didn’t exactly fit in. Before I was married in 2016, I had a very full busy driven life, complete with travels and adventures. I could settle into the decision of momhood easily because I honestly didn’t feel like I missed out on a thing. My experiences in corporate America and relocating several times from Florida to northern California, to southern California and back to Northern California, brought me multitudes of opportunity. When that part of my life was shut down, a part of me shut down. I went into full-blown momhood. And that was that. Just about the time my daughter turned one I started to become a little more me again. I mean for sure it took one year for me to be able to generate coherent full sentences and thoughts after having my daughter. Fair to say I’m still not 100% mom brain is a real thing. But when I got to that point, where I was feeling a little bit back to normal, I was like, OK what is next? So I began my search.

When that part of my life was shut down, a part of me shut down. I went into full-blown momhood.

I started by joining moms groups and found connections there for myself and for my daughter. It was great to have a legit reason to connect with people and get out of the house. I put myself out there and did what I needed to do to stay sane. Ever since my daughter was born, amazingly perfect in every way and a gorgeous soul from the start, she always had an issue with eating. My biggest challenge with her was eating. I’d spend at least one to two hours per feeding with her on this- that’s about eight hours of my days. This issue is only recently getting better. But when she was a baby it was my job, my only job, to make sure she stayed on the charts gaining weight. It was hard. She only took the bottle (after I breastfed for six months, when one day she just wouldn’t take that because all of the sudden she couldn’t do dairy so we moved to soy because I just couldn’t give up dairy again like I gave up dairy for pregnancy) from me, fed from me, mostly held by me, napped on me, rocked by me to bed, 95% of the time for about the first year and a half. I remember at one point thinking when she hit six months that, oh my gosh, this is going to go on with this bottle until we get to a cup and that’s not until one… how can I handle this struggle four times 1-2 hours per feeding a day? But I did, because that’s what every mom does. You get through it. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t hard, doesn’t mean I didn’t feel pressure every single day, didn’t mean I didn’t feel like a failure because it was so hard to get her to eat. All of those things apply. But you get through it! I’ll never forget that moment in time and now in looking back, those snuggles and hours in pajamas and doing nothing that was outside of our home, were pretty much a gift. God was telling me, you need this. Take this love I have given to you. It won’t be easy, but here it is. You get it all with this child. I prayed a lot.

I put myself out there and did what I needed to do to stay sane.

After I joined moms groups, I started to realize I needed a more peaceful center in my life, so through a local day spa, I met a person who was to become a very close friend, who told me all about the bible studies locally at a church nearby. They offered free childcare!!! What??? At this point, less than three people had ever spent any time with our daughter. We just didn’t want to have care for her most of the time, because she was just part of us all the time. Which meant my time with her was all the time. No breaks. My daughter was just shy of one and a half and ready for more. We signed up for two programs. She loved going to the bible study childcare and I loved the break. I could finally focus on me. And think about how all these messages and studies I was doing in the bible groups were speaking to me.

I kept asking, praying, seeking what is it I am supposed to be doing God, I know I am ready and can handle and need more. Since in this “meantime” my husband also retired, we both were in transition. We thought about buying a business, that didn’t work out. My husband entered us into some housing development projects. There was no space for me, I couldn’t connect with it. We had some other ideas, but nothing felt right. I interviewed for a handful of jobs. I didn’t want to do that again. I wanted to be there for my child and did not wish to have the life I had walked away from. A life that was good when I was single, but not so great for being a mom who did not want to miss a beat with this child we worked so hard to have. I was also approached to join up with several direct selling companies. I didn’t feel they were a fit. It was a gut feel, but I’ve learned to follow my gut. I kept looking and then just really let it go.

What is it I am supposed to be doing God, I know I am ready and can handle and need more.

Then shelter in place happened. My entire world, like everyone else’s, changed. There was no outlet to go to. I never even left the house with her, unless it was for a walk or to a park just her and I. There was me in my kitchen, feeling like a cook and a waitress and I started to detest it. I needed inspiration. I found that in Chef Symons’s Facebook live shows. Daily at 5pm. I got inspired again. I tried new things. I was mostly happy in the kitchen again.

Then in May an opportunity that didn’t look anything like an opportunity by way of being invited to a virtual party, literally landed in my lap. As a pillow would land on you, it didn’t bother me much at first. A light went off in my head, I shopped the party having specific purchases in mind. I thought about the party and what was going on some more. And then it hit me in a such a way it woke me up in the morning five days in a row, it was all I could think about. I didn’t really ask or tell anybody about it. I just decided to do it. I knew it was a message from God saying hey Jenn I heard you, this is for you. So I couldn’t ignore it anymore, it made perfect sense. Goodness I had this cooking blog since 2014 and have been sharing my cooking journeys since then, with no real destination. Just to share. But it is a passion of mine to help people and bring JOY to their lives. Could this possibly do that?

And then it hit me in a such a way it woke me up in the morning five days in a row, it was all I could think about.

I joined up with Pampered Chef as an Independent Consultant on May 22 of this year. I’ve been going full steam since. I’ve hit every single reward for being a newcomer. I had my business up and running the same day. I am blown away by how much fun this is, and I love talking to people either online, in person or on the phone. Connection is what I was seeking. Not small talk. I am doing something I never dreamed or wanted to do. But if I’m honest, if I think back to childhood, I always wanted to a have a platform to share on. Perhaps as a kid, I imagined this as a reporter or a broadway star, which neither came to pass. But God brought to me a new platform to share on. I feel good about helping my family, my friends and those people I meet with their kitchens, challenges and stories about their families and lives. I feel great about educating myself again and learning new things about myself and others and about how to do improve what I am doing. I feel super great about my daughter being able to be a big part of this. My family is eating better and healthier too. We were on that path anyway, but this just made it even easier and better. I’m happy my daughter won’t know the stressed out corporate fighter, she will know the mom that chose to do something she loved. I’ve waited my whole life and have been getting ready for the opportunity to do something that can make an impact in people’s lives in a positive way. And for me, that is bringing JOY into your kitchen!

I’m happy my daughter won’t know the stressed out corporate fighter, she will know the mom that chose to do something she loved.

Hey, I’m not going to say it is easy to work with a toddler who is absolutely into everything around her. It’s not. I have that mom guilt every single day. I am trying to do my best to be both a good mom and good to me. I am going to say it is possible to be both, and if you want something for yourself, really for you, you make it work how it can work for your family. That’s what this is to me. My chance to be really be myself and have something that can benefit my family’s lifestyle and fulfill me. And I’m not going to say I don’t work! Of course I work, a lot, but I work when I want to and because I’m doing something I absolutely love and believe in, I don’t feel that tense feeling. I feel light about it, I love to talk about it and I truly enJOY it. I make it what I want it to be. Just like you can, make it what you want it to be. I have a number in my head set in my mind. It’s a big number, but I’m focused on making it happen. And when I do that, just like I just achieved the number I never thought I’d get to in just 64 days, I’ll move on to the next goal. That’s how I used to roll, and I’m rolling with that again.

But, the caveat is, I am different, because what I do now is about my family, and it is for me. And there is nothing selfish about that. It’s a good feeling to know you love what you do, because it becomes a part of who you are.

It’s a good feeling to know you love what you do, because it becomes a part of who you are.

I hope if anything at all, I inspired you with my story. My journey is mine, just as yours is yours. Rejuvenation means something different to everyone. For me it means reinventing who I am, now with being a mom in mind. You put your mind and your prayers out there and great things will happen for you. Don’t ever give up!

I’d love to share the business opportunity with you or host one of your parties! I promise you, it’s all about enJOYment and fun.

Let’s bring more JOY into our lives!

Jennifer Marie Pelfini
Jenn Marie Cuisine, Pampered Chef Independent Consultant

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