I am sure we have all had these thoughts or feelings at some point (No? Just me? Please tell me I'm not alone in this.). We all have good days and bad days but we have to be careful when wishing away too much of our lives because life passes far too quickly as it is....no need to speed it up by our desire to skip through the tough stuff. I know for myself these moments come much more frequently when I feel out of balance. When I am focussing too much on just getting things done, or on everyone else's needs but my own.
"He who whittles himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away" ~Raymond Hill
When we got married (almost 8 years ago...wha?!?) we talked about how important it was for us to maintain our individuality within our marriage. We were creating a life together and a new family, but we wanted to make sure that we also had time to do the things we love, nurture other important relationships with friends and follow our own individual dreams as well as our shared ones. There have been times where we have been really good at this and times where it was more of a struggle.....turns out it is easier than I thought to lose a part of yourself without even realizing it's gone. As a mother now, it seems that I have to hold on that much tighter to myself so that I don't become so consumed by caring for others that I forget my own needs and desires. I knew that motherhood would change me, but I didn't want it to change me without my knowing it. I don't want to wake up one day and realize that I have slowly chipped myself away and have forgotten all the goals I've had or things that make me happy. The only thing that will stop this from happening is being aware of it's possibility and doing everything I can to prevent it. This past month I have taken some time each week to reconnect with some of my past goals and made some new ones. I've also started to think about my definition of success, my strengths and what I need most in my life. I won't bore you with the details of those lengthy reflection sessions.....but it has definitely helped me embrace my true self and has been a great reminder that who I am is the exact right mother for my baby girl. One of the biggest take aways though is that although personal pursuits may look different than they did before I was a mom, it doesn't mean it is any less important to find time to fit them in. Alexis and I have been doing toddler yoga. Yep. Toddler yoga. It's been so much fun sharing something that I love with her!! And who knew that 'namaste' would be part of my almost two year olds vocabulary!?!
Motherhood is busy and it definitely takes effort to hold on to ourselves especially with the lack of free time that comes with the territory, but with a bit of creativity I can still find time for personal pursuits. I think that making a commitment to do a daily check-in with myself, to recognize when I am out of balance and decide what I am missing or what I need most will really help me to become the best person and best mom I can be. I have already started to notice that I am not as worried about just getting through the day or concerned with how busy life is but more embracing that life is busy and it's up to me to carve our time to create moments that matter to me and my family.
This chapter really reminded just how important it is for our kids to see us being ourselves, seeing us light up when we are doing something we love and most of all seeing us do and be our best self, so they are encouraged to do the same.