As I sat awake last night at 2am, my teething 2 year old snuggled soundly in my arms after 2 hours of gut wrenching screams; I had a moment of clarity.
It was ok.
The fact that I had a hard day of work ahead of me, that I had stayed up too late watching Sons of Anarchy, or that I had planned on getting up early to go to the gym was no longer important. My little guy (that I fought HARD to get out of bed for) was finally asleep. Don’t get me wrong; I love him with all of my heart, as I’m sure you all can understand. But once you are out of the newborn ‘waking every few hours’ stage, you certainly don’t want to go back there. He wanted to be snuggled but I wanted to sleep. It was a dilemma but at that moment I decided it was ok.
So why did I smile and pat myself on the back for reaching this point of sanity?
It wasn’t because I finally got Zayne to bed (ok maybe that had something to do with it) but more so it was because I felt a sense of relaxation that I haven’t felt in a long time. I had been focusing more on myself, and in turn, I was more at ease when the going got tough.
When you have children you are told you have to make sacrifices, you change who you are, your relationships change, your friendships change, even YOU change. You accept that, it’s a natural part of parenting and growing up. What I never thought about, and still to this day struggle with is how little I focus on me when all of these changes occur. My priorities tend to look a little bit like this: (1) husband & kids (2) immediate family (3) work (4) extended family and friends (5) me. I’m #5!! If you are anything like me, you have a hard enough time getting to#4 let alone passed that. I stopped becoming important in my life and focused on everyone and everything else around me. And I suffered because of it. I knew it was time to make a change, I wanted to be happier, I wanted to feel full again, and I wanted to feel like I had the chance to be “me” again.
In a recent post “The Top 5 “Mom Resolutions:” Why they never work, and simple solutions to succeed this year” Meghan speaks about how we set goals too high for ourselves and end with disappointments. So I took her advice and resolved one thing for this year.
This Year I Resolve to Focus More on Me.
My biggest issue to focusing on me is that I come last, and I think I always will unless I change the way I am motivated. So I set out to put goals in place that will make me accountable, thus forcing me to take the leap into Mommy time. Here is what I’ve been doing:
- Working out: As resolutions go this may be the most cliché of them all. But what I have found interesting in going to the gym is that as a mom it is no longer just about losing weight. Don’t get me wrong, that is an awesome perk, but the time I get to be out of the house, getting exercise, stealing some extra time to spend in the sauna, and taking a shower without someone banging on the door is extremely relaxing.
- Joining a Book Club: I joined a book club with some close friends in the area and unlike high school homework assignments I actually enjoy being accountable to reading! If anyone is interested in joining in the fun please share in the comments and I’m happy to send you details!
- Meeting new friends: I have always been someone who thrives in great (I mean stars align and you are kindred spirits great) friendships. After moving to VT 6 years ago (and getting pregnant in our second year) my husband and I had not had the chance to get out and meet lots of new people. We have been unbelievably lucky to have amazing neighbors who are now some of our closest friends, but outside of that we are relatively closed in. I am so fortunate to have been selected as a contributing writer for the Burlington VT Moms Blog and already see such an amazing network of women that I can’t wait to get to know!
- More date nights: I am that woman that replies to threads that we are lucky to have a date night every few months. In fact, we have only had 3 overnight trips away from the kids (in 5 years) and co-sleep with our 4 year old. Suffice it to say we need a spark in our relationship. Don’t get me wrong, my husband and I are happy and fighting the good fight of parenthood head on together, but it’s not just about me. It’s about us. This is a priority that will be harder to meet but I’m happy to say we already have 2 dates planned this month!
Overall I am looking forward to this year and all the fun there is to come. I am thrilled to see my boys continue to grow into the amazing people they are. I am also thrilled to finally have a plan in place to focus on myself again for the first time in 5 years. It should be interesting to learn who I’ve become! I would love to also hear from you.