Being a parent is not for the faint of heart. We often get so wrapped up in raising our children that we put ourselves on the back burner.
Well, at least I am guilty of that.
That's why this year, I am trying to learn to put myself first. Even though I feel a twinge of guilt when I think about it. My goal is to try to reprogram my brain to remember that I was an individual before kids and that I can only be a better mother if I am healthy in all aspects.
For a little background, I am a mother of two girls aged 7 and 13. Both who are incredibly kind-hearted, talented, intelligent, and just all-around GREAT kids. While they have their moments and sometimes more often than I’d like, they are pretty awesome kids.
I’ll keep it brief but, my back burner story began after I survived a bi-lateral pulmonary embolism. Instead of being more careful, I decided to go all YOLO. I wanted to give my kids experiences and be there for them whenever they needed me.
That meant keeping up my home, being there for school and extracurriculars, traveling often, indulging, and just trying to give them a happy life. Just like we all do, we all live to make our families happy and to see them smile. I don’t blame you if you are addicted to it just as much as I am.
Soon enough though, I found myself doing things I loved a little less. I didn’t read as much as I liked or I would ditch coffee dates more frequently. Gradually my schedule somehow melded almost seamlessly with a family schedule and by the time I realized there was no timeslot set aside for me.
I had stopped going to the gym, partly because of “time” and another because I have a hard time breathing. But, I know that I can push myself more.
Slowly, the weight has creeped up, my patience is shorter and while every single thing in my life is happy, I find that the joy has been lost a bit. I just find that with parenting, work, and being a wife—I’m always battling the clock.
Time, time, time… there never seems to be enough of it, right?
So, this leads me to where I am now. While being a mom is the best role I’ll ever have in life, losing a bit of me makes me sad. Being exhausted all the time doesn’t help. On top of that, I noticed that I have been feeling generally unwell more often. I have weight to lose, I developed a thyroid condition, and my health is not what it is used to be. The time has come to put myself first for once after many years of putting myself last.
I don’t know my plan exactly but, I do know that I will start off with eating better. Making more time to not only ensure the kids are eating a balanced meal but, that I am too. No more grabbing what’s easy or skipping meals. After all, the kids are watching more than we know. I plan to be more active, read more titles on my reading list, get my hair and nails done more often, and go on more dates. That’s just the beginning!
If you’re like me, and find yourself nodding in agreeance to some or all of this, make this year yours. I am not one for cliché #NewYearNewYou but, one thing we can all let go of is the mama guilt. Even my husband reassures me that an hour or two, heck, even a weekend away won’t cause the family unit to deconstruct. In fact, we will come back all the better. We are our biggest investments and it’s time to up the stakes, ladies!
Go to the spa, get the girls together, knit, read a book or two, sweat it out at the gym. Just do anything that makes you happy. Pencil in ‘me time’ into the family schedule, on second thought, girl, grab a pen!
Putting ourselves first can help us be our best selves—mind, body, and soul. It does not mean that we are selfish but, it means that we are making sure we are at our best. For our families, and most importantly, for ourselves.
Hopefully, we can all find that little bit of us that we forgot.
If you’re in my shoes, what are your goals this year? If you’re a mom who has mastered the self-care routine, can you share your wisdom with us?