Getting Back to You…or the new you!

Getting Back to You..or the new you-2

“So what is it that YOU like? What makes YOU happy?” she asked right after she’d sputtered off her list of amazing and fascinating accomplishments. My mind immediately went to folded laundry, sparkling counter tops, and freshly prepped meals. Was I serious? Were these really the things that brought me extreme joy now?  What happened to the girl who celebrated all month-long for her birthday, skydived to defeat fear, and kept a journal full of endless dreams and limitless possibilities. The reality is that yes, this was now my new form of happiness, but nothing on this list of duties was even about me. Everything I had thought of consisted of caring for someone else. It slowly dawned on me that I needed to be more intentional about who I was and who I intended to be. I made a commitmment right then and there to rejuvanate my now stagnate life as a mom because nothing just happens.

Old ways won’t open new doors…Be honest with yourself. When was the last time you tried something new? Go on… think about it….I’ll wait. If you’re still having to jog down memory lane, then it’s been too long! lol Step out of your routine for a minute and think of something you wish you could do….now do it! Is it learning to swim, booking a trip, or maybe it’s something as crazy as oh I don’t know…..starting a blog! lol Whatever it is you wish you could do, just do it. Shake up your mundane routine with something simple (or drastic) and add some spice to your life! You don’t have to scratch everything off your list in one day. You just have to start somewhere with something. There’s no telling what your hobbies or passions could lead to in life, so just get started.

Write the vision, make it plain….Most of us think of vision boards as a new year, new me approach to life, but that’s just not true! Vision boards can be used at any moment you feel moved to do something fresh and arousing with your life. Start off by using anything you can get your hands on to create a visual image of what you would like to achieve. Pinterest, Instagram, magazines, and websites are all a great way to boost your creativity, and they also offer endless ideas to expand on your orignial dream. Now let me caution you. I’m all for a good social media motivation, but using someone else’s lifestory to compare yourself for the worse is not healthy at all. That is not what I’m saying to you should do. If someone else’s social media influence has you singning woe is me, you probably need to take a step back and try again another day. Instead, I’m talking about grabbing a journal, poster board, or (if you’re tech savvy) a digital portfolio to collect images that inspire you. These images show motivate and remind you of who you really intend to be and what you really intend to do!

Help Wanted…. It was my thinking that when I became a wife and mom I had to do everything myself. For some insane reason, I thought asking for help made me less of a mom or wife. The problem with this is that either you can choose to slow down and accept help, or your body will force you to slow down and get help. Trust me, I know. My little plate is FULL. Yet in my mind, I feel like there’s always room for one more responsibility. This is when you need to be honest with yourself and say, “Girl I can’t do it all!” There is nothing wrong with asking for help! Reach out to family, use a cleaning service, or just have a heart to heart conversation with your spouse about how he can pitch in a little more. If you keep giving off the superwoman vibe, you’ll keep getting the superwoman treatment. You recieve the vibes you give, so choose wisely. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and sometimes you need to remind those around you that your cup needs to be filled.

Make it a Date (with your girls not your man)… This makes me think of Destiny’s Child’s  Jumpin’ Jumpin, “ladies leave your man at home..,” lol,  but that’s exactly what we need to do sometimes. Ladies, you need your girls. I absolutely love my friends, but I’m a true introvert at heart. Since becoming a mom, I’ve realized more than ever the value of friendships. As life evolves and experiences happen, your friends are not only your social companions, but they also become your life coaches and teachers. I certainly don’t believe in airing out all the dirty laundry of your household, but I do believe God surronds us with like minded people who may be able to share advice from similar situations. Sometimes we’re trying to create the picture perfect image for our life and someone right next to us is experiencing the same thing we’ve been praying about. Talk to your girls. Go out. Have fun! You may not be able to hang like you used to, but you can at least find a nice chill spot in town to laugh it up all night long! Everyone wins when mommy is happy. So leave the mom guilt at home, dress up, and go out! I promise you…you deserve it.

All I’m saying is if you’ve lost the old you, that’s fine. You can leave her right where she’s at, but you do need to find the new you. I mean, let’s just be honest. You’re probably not the same. Your priorities are different and becoming a mom makes you see the world through a completely different set of eyes. Just remember to stop and focus on you from time to time. You always give your all to everyone else, but it’s ok to save a little spark for yourself sometimes too.

Perfect Patty (1)

 

Perfect Patty Isn’t Perfect!

Every mom is doing it her own way, and every mom is constantly trying to find her way. As moms, we’re constantly comparing ourselves to one another as we scroll through social media. We see the Kodak smiles, the priceless moments and the gourmet meals all made possible by everyone else. Then there’s you (and me lol). You haven’t straightened your hair in days (ok, weeks), you’re satisfied with wearing anything that isn’t stained, and your little one knows just the right time to poop as you walk out the door.

Everyone’s situation is different and everyone’s support system is different.  No two moms are the same, so why are we comparing ourselves?! Some spouses travel for work, some moms travel for work, and then you have the stretched thin moms who are just trying to make it. So again, I’m asking, “Why are we comparing ourselves to one another? We put everyone else before ourselves, and we still lay our heads down at night concerned that we haven’t done enough. Yet, we’re the ones who have cooked dinner, given baths, tamed the kids, washed loads of laundry, and anything else that requires lifting a finger. We kiss the scraped knees, tend to the broken hearts, and provide the gentleness within our households that only we can provide. Trust me, you’re doing more than enough.

You may envy your yoga wearing, PTA president neighbor because she appears to have it all together. But honey let me tell you, everything that glitters isn’t gold. I’m pretty sure if we did a pop-up visit to Perfect Patty’s house right now, we wouldn’t find anything even remotely close to perfection. Patty only reveals what she wants you to see. Constant comparison only kills your joy and robs you (and your little ones) of precious moments that are reserved for you and your family.  You’ll never become Perfect Patty. Patty’s not even Perfect Patty. She might have figured out what works best for her, but that doesn’t make her mommyhood any better than yours. She’s just found her way.  Now it’s time for you to find yours, but you’ll never find it if you’re busy highlighting her showcased successes while dwelling on your failures. You’ll never be a perfect her. You’ll only be the perfect you.

Stop beating up on yourself. Know that you are already doing an amazing job. Look at just how powerful you already are at this point. You’re the glue that keeps it all together in your home. Without you, exactly how long do you think your household would last? Of course, there’s more than can be done. There will always more that can be done, but take a look around and know that you’ve already done enough!

Step by step. Let’s face it. We’re not going to change our entire lives overnight, but we can focus on one thing at a time. I’m very aware that I need to tackle the mountain of clothes that need to be folded, I also need to focus on my tardiness. Then there’s my frozen meal routine that my husband always thinks is made from scratch. Oh, and then there’s the fact that I don’t feel I spend enough time with my Livvy. Child, the list could go on, but I know I’m not going to turn all this around overnight. This week, I’ll start by focusing on my fashionably late trend by planning to leave by trying to prep Livvy’s bag at night.

Mommy Motivation  If you’re not using another mommy’s strong points as motivation, you need to change your mindset. If someone is making mommyhood work for her, let that be enough reason to say, “Hey, I can do this too!” It’s probably even a good idea to ask how she’s getting it done. Don’t hurt yourself by envying from the sideline. Get out there, talk to other mommies, and get stuff done!

Prioritize> Balance>Perfection. You’d be surprised at just how many moms are feeling overwhelmed with life. Prior to Livvy, I thought everyone was running households, careers, and marriages flawlessly. This was until I sat in on a conversation with a diverse group of women from my church. Our backgrounds ranged from single mothers to seasoned grandmothers. That’s when I was hit with the truth bomb. NO ONE had the answer to achieving a perfect life and having it all. This so-called “balanced thing” came with fine print, and the idea of perfection was a straight up LIE! On this day, the word prioritize became my best friend. By the end of the conversation, I’d realized there are different seasons in life, and different seasons require different attention. Life will always throw something new our way. It’s up to us to decide how to prioritize these curveballs on our list of life’s demands.