I’m a mom. I spend most of my time caring for our three children, the oldest of which is four. I take kids to appointments and therapies and play dates and preschool. I make lunches and dinners and get snacks and milk and juice and water all day long. I wake up way before the sun and I go to sleep way too late every night. I always say I’m going to bed right after the kids do, but the next thing I know it is late and I still haven’t gotten the house totally picked up or my posts written or my work done. Most nights the baby is still waking up for feedings, so I truthfully can’t remember the last time I slept through the night. Maybe five years ago?
And it’s glorious. Please don’t think I’m whining, I’m not at all. In fact, I have lost a child, so I have deeply ached for these days of busyness with my children and a house full of chaos and lots of noise. I’ve ached to have my arms full, so to have them overloaded right now is beyond my dreams. The truth is that my days are full of raising little people, and it’s a lot of work and it’s worth every minute.
Being a mom to three kids four and under, actually even when I was a mom to one child, has made me put myself on the back burner. I used to think it was selfless and a natural act of a good mom. Your children are more important and you sacrifice yourself for them. I think that’s so very true, but I’ve been learning that I’m important, too. As moms and wives our priorities are usually people other than ourselves, but what if we took the time to make ourselves a priority, too?
For the last year, I have learned to be a mom to three young children. I have delved deep into it, and now that we’ve reached a new year, I’m reflecting. I’ve been really frustrated with myself lately. With my food choices, so little exercise, and my completely lacking healthy lifestyle. I’ve driven myself crazy because I KNOW better. I’m a Registered Dietitian, so I know a lot about nutrition, exercise, and healthy living. I KNOW it, so why have I not been doing it?! I’ve been stuck. Stuck in that awkward hard place of wishing I was making different choices but not at the place of making those different choices, of just doing it. Nike really knew what they were talking about all those years ago when they came up with their “Just Do It” slogan. I’ve come to realize that making the decision to change is the hardest part.
It involves a lot of work. It involves change. It involves shaking up the routine and the children and quite frankly, that’s a hassle. It means that I have to admit that I’m not where I should be. That I need some help. That I’m not a perfect mom, cook, or dietitian. But as I have mulled over this for quite awhile leading up to the New Year, I’ve come to realize that I have to do it. I have to make the decision to change. I have to take that step, make the plans, and do the hard things. I have to take better care of myself so I can take better care of my family.
By treating myself better, I will be a better mom to my children and a better wife to my husband. While 2015 was truly a year of survival mode, I’m ready for 2016 to be a year of thriving. And part of thriving means making myself a priority, too.
I’m not normally a person to be big on New Year’s traditions. I enjoy evaluating where I’m at and setting new goals for myself and my family, but I do that throughout the year and not just on January 1st. However, this year I need a chance to start off great. I need new goals. I need to make them habits and part of my life and not just January 1st words.
In this New Year, I wanted to share this with you. I wanted to encourage you to remember yourself. To make some goals and cast some new visions. To make yourself a priority.