For The Mom Trying to Regain Perspective On Herself
Another summer rolls by, over half the year is complete, and new beginnings for our school-aged children are underway. With the start of school, it’s back to schedules, activities, planning carpools, etc.
Amongst this comes new goals for our kids, dreaming of what they will accomplish this grade. We ask many questions. Which new friends they will make? What will they learn? What challenges will they face?
However, there is one question we too often fail to ask…
“What Do I Want Out of This Year?”
So often as Moms, we get lost in planning for our kids’ futures and taking care of their needs (which is needed absolutely), that we sometimes fall short of continuing to also do the same for ourselves. After all, shouldn’t we always be growing and learning? Don’t we need to also feed our minds, our souls and realize our own potential? Absolutely.
Whether you are a working mom, a stay at home mom or anywhere in between, you likely have a routine/checklist you are mentally and physically going through daily. We may not always make time, reserve time or have time to do all of the things we want to be doing. However, does that mean we completely sideline or forget about them? Save them for when the kids are older? Does it mean we should continue on auto-pilot and forget that there may be a voice inside saying “If I had time, I would read this book, or go hiking or start a blog”?
No, Moms. It doesn’t.
Through the years, I personally have seen a change – a shift, if you will – in many of the women I have known as they go through motherhood, myself included. Their careers become jobs and their hobbies too often become non-existent. As time goes on, it becomes more and more difficult to prioritize those things that came so naturally, those things that make each of us who we are.
If so, and you are thinking, “I can’t take any time for myself because all my free time goes to my kids,” then think about this…
Our children are growing into their own unique beings. We are encouraging them to find their strengths and go after their dreams. We want them to love themselves and contribute, to nourish their passions. Now, after teaching our kids to do that, why do we as moms forget that, at some point, we had those same ambitions for ourselves? Don’t we owe it to our kids to at least dedicate some energy to ensuring we still keep those aspects of ourselves alive?
Yes, Moms, we do.
This year, I challenge you – my mom tribe – to think about yourself, even a little. Make this year “The Year of Me.”
What Is The Year of Me?
The year of me is a commitment, that is unique to you, and only about you. It is a conscious effort to say, “This year, I will get to know myself, what I enjoy, what I want to do more of, and what I want to achieve.”
This isn’t meant to be a large planning session, but just exploring life through the eyes of not just “John’s mom” but as Linda, who happens to be John’s mom. It is a chance for you to dream a little more about what makes you unique, and to focus on the things you yearn to do better, more of, or have a passion for. Believe it or not, there are ways to sprinkle those elements through your existing life as a Mom.
How Do I Create The Year Of Me?
Talk To Yourself – Get Reacquainted
Take some quiet time by yourself. Leave the dishes, ditch working over your lunch break, use a bit of time to just talk to yourself. Ask yourself that burning question, “What Do I Want Out of This Year?”
Do you want to be able to run longer? Do you want to get back to reading, to start painting, to get a promotion at work? Whatever it is that you truly want for yourself – ask and listen. You need some real quiet, alone time do so. Be selfish, ditch the guilt and find that time.
Make a List
Saying it just isn’t good enough. Write it down and keep it somewhere where you can reference it often. I recommend using an agenda that shows the full year and putting these ideas into different sections of the year so it’s not overwhelming.
Set Realistic Goals
With each item, there may be baby steps to achieving it. For example, if you want to run a marathon, and haven’t run in a year or more, set small goals at first such as running once a week and then slowly increase that until you are able to make running a habitual part of your routine. The marathon will come in time, don’t rush it.
Set a Time to Re-evaluate
For each goal, give yourself a time to review. So, if you said by 3 months you want to finish reading a new novel, mark that date down on a calendar or agenda (treat it like an actual event). When that date comes up, see where you are at. If you haven’t achieved it, don’t worry – just reset and try again.
Don’t sell yourself short. Prioritize a goal by taking some time in a week to really test the boundaries, at least once a month. Try to go the extra mile and make a dent in one of them. Once you start and make progress on one goal, you are more likely to continue.
Tag Team with A Mom Friend
Moms are the best support for Mom goals. It’s simply true. Find another friend that may have similar interests and see if you can talk about it. Share your goals and timelines, and support one another. Touch base to help encourage each another and keep on top of it.
Listen to Your Heart
The most important thing is to love yourself and let that amazing soul shine! Doing so will not only make you a better version of yourself, but also a better Mom. Listen to all the things that make you happy and stay true to being that beautiful you.
Happy Me Year!
Mother of toddlers, foodie at heart, city-loving, blogger, writer, marketing specialist, and overall busy-bee, that is Christina Chandra in a nutshell. Christina lives in Vancouver where she is a freelance writer & marketing specialist, and also blogs at ChristinaChandra.com. In her spare time, you can find her exploring local eateries, cafes and local hot spots.