I wrote a blog post on November 30, called Parents, Let's Be Kind to Ourselves. Being a good parent is hard work and as much as we love it, it can be draining to us in many ways--physically, emotionally, and mentally. If we're always giving of ourselves and never letting ourselves be filled back up, we become burnt out. That goes for anything in life that requires our time and effort.
As parents, we sometimes feel like we're being selfish if we do anything at all for ourselves. I've been there and I'm still in that place sometimes. However, I decided at the beginning of this year that I'm going to take care of me---and my family. I don't have to neglect them to take care of me. They're not missing out on anything. I'm just adding myself to my schedule.
On January 1, I started exercising every day. I have to live in this body while I'm on this earth and I'm going to make it a healthy one. I'm going to chase my kids all over creation while they're growing up. I'm going to pick them up and swing them around, play tag with them, go swimming, ride bikes, and just be present. Then, I'm going to chase my grandkids all over the place and do the same things. That's my goal. Not to get a six pack (though I'll take one if it pops up) or look good in a bikini, but to be here with my family. I'm taking care of me and taking care of them at the same time.
Last fall, I decided I was going to cover up my grays. I hadn't ever had my hair colored because I didn't want to spend the money to do it and it's hard to find time away from the kiddos for hair appointments. I went for it, though! I feel a lot better about myself and my hair and hey--I also never have any trouble finding someone to stay with my babies. I also spent a little more money on some nicer makeup and products to take care of my skin. There's no need for me to neglect myself on the altar of "My Children Come First". I don't go into debt to do these things; I've just purchased them when I can. And I'm going to keep doing it!
I'm trying to make time for things that keep me healthy mentally and emotionally--journaling, blogging, playing the piano and guitar, having conversations with friends. All of these things keep my brain working and make my heart full.
I'm pursuing my dreams. Last year, I published my first book. Everyone who knows me knows my love for all things Disney. I've considered being a Disney travel planner before, but have always backed out of filling out applications. I would say, "Oh, I don't really have time to do that! I just need to take care of the kids and the house." In reality, I need something for me. I need something besides housework and homeschooling that makes me tick. Disney is my thing! When my best friend sent me the application to apply with Kingdom Concierge, I decided to go for it. I received an email the next morning requesting a phone interview and all of the pieces just fell into place. Kingdom Concierge is an amazing agency and I am so honored to be talking Disney with clients and planning magical trips they'll remember forever! I was working this morning and Kade put his arm around my waist and said, "You really like your new job, don't you, mom?" I felt guilty for a split second, as if I should only like being a mom. You know what, though? I can enjoy many, many other things and still be there for my family. Yes, I do like my new job! (And if you'd like me to help plan your Disney vacation, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org; I'd love to plan your vacation for free!)
It's the year of ME--and my husband and children. When I feel fulfilled, I can pour myself and my energy back out into the people most important to me. And what could be better than that?