Make a Life OUTSIDE of Your Kids
The title of this blog is really a call to action. It's hard in a normal situation. When you compound it with the current state of COVID, it seems impossible. However, hear me out. If you read my last blog, you know that I have been working through my own challenges during this time. Reclaiming my time (little by little) has become a priority. My ongoing journey, started with changing my perspective about what I deserved as a person; not a mom. The pursuit of happiness is an inalienable right that most moms forfeit in good faith to make someone else’s life better. We often wrap our own happiness around the likes of our children because somewhere along the way we got the idea that that is the only way to declare ourselves as a “good” mom. “Good” is subjective to whom you ask. Therein lies the problem. Stop asking people!
“But HOW?” That is often what we all say when we are told to form a life outside of our kids. We instinctively create this opposition and most times we don’t even realize the barriers we have created for ourselves. Finding your place back into your own life should not be frowned upon, but encouraged. Let’s look at a few ways that you can start the process of creating a life that is exclusively yours.
- Start small. Over time you have been making small withdrawals from your interest. You’ve made excuses as to why you can’t do things anymore because you now have kids. Take the time to reflect on what you loved to do. Those small moments of joy that you can account for will lead to full circle moments.
- Carve out the time. This is easier said than done. However, this may require that you bend your own rules a little. Fold the laundry tomorrow. It’s not a bad thing to have leftovers. A little extra screen time won’t hurt. The point is altering the routine to prioritize yourself is necessary. The suggestion is not to run off for hours at a time. I’m suggesting 20 minutes here or there. That’s less than 1% of the day. You are worth more than 1%, but the idea is to get you to understand this concept in a more digestible way.
- Intentionally commit. Just as you would commit to losing 5 pounds or mastering a new recipe, you will have to do so for your happiness. This is going to feel weird in the beginning for some and that’s okay. The more you practice doing this, the better you will feel.
- Communicate what is happening. Now that you are rediscovering what fills your “self tank”, those around you will need to know what your new quest is and how that translates for the family. This is a great time to create the boundaries and set the expectations. You know your family better than anyone else. How you choose to communicate what’s going on should be in a way that they can understand. My kids are small. So, I tell them that I’m going in my “Mommy Bubble”. They understand that while I am in this bubble an emergency is the only way they can pop it. I set the timer and reconnect with myself. Is it a spa day? Not exactly, but it gives me a chance to realign my thoughts. It becomes routine and they adjust. That’s when I add a minute or two to the timer.
- Gratitude goes a long way. I often thank my kids and stress just how awesome they are for giving me those few minutes. By doing so, they feel appreciated and a part of something that was helpful to mommy.
It is absolutely okay to have desires and wants that go beyond the scope of being a mother. This season is temporary. We have to work our way around the mom guilt. Being a complete person does not start and stop with your kids. Your kids come along for the journey. Truthfully, they will grow up and develop lives and interest of their own that will not include you. So, I highly encourage that we all get back to the basics of what we want as women for our own lives and incorporate that into our lives as a mom. Give yourself permission to be you.