I have a big New Year’s resolution that I’m hoping I can achieve. It’s a tough one, and I’m guessing I’m not the only mom that might have this goal. So, somewhere through all the years of marriage and kids, I feel like I’ve lost myself. I am happy to give all my time and energy to my family, but along the way I have given up a lot of things that I love and I enjoy. I have a very supportive husband, and I know my girls want me to do whatever brings me joy. Losing myself is not their fault—it’s mine. As a mom, I have allowed myself to feel guilty if I am not helping kids with homework, if I’m not volunteering at school when I’m not at work, or if I’m not taking my kids to activities and events that they enjoy. As a wife of a husband that works many hours, I feel guilty if I make plans when Eric is home because that would mean not spending time with him during his off hours. Making sure he has plenty of clean clothes each week and making sure he has time on the weekends to get his to-do list completed without having kids in tow (even though he wouldn’t mind taking them along) has become super-important to me. I’ve gotten so caught up in giving to everyone around me and constantly helping them that I’ve forgotten to give to myself.
This year, I’m going to find me again.
I don’t completely know what all that will entail, but I do know that it will mean reconnecting with parts of my old self that I have been missing.
I’m going to write more. I have missed writing for a long time, and when it was suggested I start writing a blog, the idea of it brought me so much joy. I love, love, love to write. This blog is the perfect place for me to do something I enjoy. And I get to share my ideas with others that might feel the same way.
I’m going to exercise more. This used to be a big part of who I was. A few years ago before I went back to work, I was a bit of a gym rat. If I didn’t get a run or workout in each day, I was grumpy and angry. Exercise made me feel good, gave me more energy, and provided time to relieve stress. These days, I’m lucky if I can get three workouts in each week. Part of my resolution to rediscover myself is to work out more often. If this means some push-ups and sit-ups while the girls read books to me or if it means a quick ten-minute walk around the block while waiting for the school bus in the afternoon, then so be it.
I am going to make more time for my friends. I have some of the most amazing friends. They are my biggest supporters. They are always there to help—watching my girls if an emergency comes up, listening and encouraging me through challenges, and providing laughter when I need some cheering up. Unfortunately, kids’ activities, work and other commitments tend to take over my week, and I miss out on spending time with the people I love. This year, I am going to make an effort to get together with friends every couple of weeks, and enjoy more time with them.
I’m going to take care of me by doing more of what brings me joy and peace. If I want to take a nap one afternoon, I’m going to do it instead of feeling guilty that the kitchen isn’t clean. I’m going to read the book that’s been sitting on my nightstand for months, and I will be OK with letting the laundry wait a few more hours. If I want to get a pedicure, I am going to do it instead of worrying about spending $25 on something I could do sloppily at home by myself. I will do more things that bring me joy, rather than worry about chores or how clean the house looks.
Finally, while I’m finding myself again this year, I’m going to continue to keep my family a priority. They are my life and mean more to me than anything else. I also realize that occasionally saying no and signing myself up for less is perfectly ok so I can give some time to myself. I think that while reconnecting with myself and things that bring me joy, I’ll be more joyful around my husband and girls. It just might make our happy family life much more peaceful and happier.
I can’t wait to find me again this year.