So as a FULL TIME Mom I think it’s important for us ‘Mother’s’ to stick together on things, mostly because every day is not the bowl of giggles and happiness you’d like it to be. Being a Mom is difficult and we tend to live in the now rather than the future. I started making my new years resolution on January 1st ‘to raise my kids without any major set backs’ but as the day progressed I found myself thinking ‘if I just make it through the day’ without any major set backs. We tend to think that we are it, there is no one else more or better qualified to care for our children and to some degree there is truth to that. I tend to feel guilty about having time to myself, it was worse when I only had one child, now that I have 3 under the age of 6 it has become a light at the end of the tunnel… if I can make it 3 more hours I can go to the bowling alley for 3 hours of ADULT time. Although, if I have to leave the kids at my Moms for the day to run errands and then have bowling that night I feel terrible about not spending any time with them that day. They Need me right?! It is VERY normal to feel this way, every Mom goes through this.
At the beginning of last year I had finished up breast-feeding and my husband and I had decided that we weren’t going to physically have more children together that we would adopt when we felt the time was right (that time for me is when my 2 youngest are out of diapers for a few years…hate the diapers) Being a Mom is psychically demanding on your body and your emotions & your mind, I really felt like a bean bag that everyone kicked around and I didn’t have a name. I was simply, ‘Mom’, the maid, the banker, the chef… you know how it goes. While struggling with all of this my best friend sent me this saying and it struck me hard:
It was me, I had put every characteristic of myself that people criticized me about and put it in a box. I was once fit, loud & flamboyant, happy & smiled. I read a lot, I liked scarves, jewelry & hats, I scrap-booked & made crafts, however to see me I wasn’t that person anymore, I really had just become a title. So last year, I made the change for me, BABY steps for sure but they have helped me get back to ‘Kamay’ and not just ‘the Mom/Maid/Chef’ & with that I added to the quote & it’s now hanging in my office to read every day:
“Don’t put yourself in the box and become nameless, fight for you and the person you are. Dump the box out! BE YOU, BE HAPPY!”
1st step was to dress more like me, not everyone agreed my fashion was up to ‘par’ but did agree that it was ‘more me than ever’ which equaled winning in my book.
2nd step was to take more time for me to do the things that I liked doing (FTR – diapers is no where on that list). JUST YOU time is SOO important when you are Mom, hard to find but important. My ‘me’ time keeps me sane, sanity is important when raising kids. I started reading before bed & having coffee with my husband before he went to work, setting a few hours aside every couple of weeks to scrapbook and do crafts. In 2011 I scrap-booked all of my own greetings cards, which felt GREAT! I also started scheduling a sitter from time to time so that I could enjoy my friends more & have a support system.
3rd step was on my road to better mental health came the physical desire to be fit also. I started walking in the mornings which was hard at first, getting up before God is not on my list of things I ‘like’ to do either, however once up and walking I felt great!
Sometimes I couldn’t get out of the house in the morning. I have three small children & my husband is a farmer so sometimes his days start before God and end after God goes to bed so, finding time to work out became difficult with three little ones running circles around me, all day & under my feet.
SO… what to do?! There was NO WAY I was going to give up, I had come so far, despite my worries as a Mom feeling like I couldn’t find the space and time, I incorporated my children into the routines. I used them as a weight to add to my work-out or would simply take a long 20 minutes chasing them through the house tickling and romping with them, they are boys they love that! After a while I started feeling and seeing the difference as I had really started gaining muscles and losing the inches. It’s great for me because I can use my children to push me and make my workouts harder, as they grow and gain weight my strength increases. PLUS, it’s spending time with them, which I don’t have to feel guilty about going away to the gym and they get enjoyment out of it as well because they feel like they are just playing with me. There are MANY places online to find whole workouts centered around using your baby in your workout from getting rid of pesky post partum baby fat, yoga with your baby, to walking aerobic routines with a stroller & places to find friends to have a support system. I will list a few here:
Don’t let ANYONE hold you back, most importantly You!
“Every time you are criticized or put down as an adult or as a wife/mother, you take a piece of yourself and put it in a box, until all of you is in the box and there is none of You left. Don’t put yourself in the box and become nameless, fight for you and the person you are. Dump the box out! BE YOU, BE HAPPY!”
Remember: You are your Child’s Greatest Example.