One day I woke up and realized how burnt out I was from being a stay-at-home mom, but the problem wasn’t my children, it was me.
I had let myself come to this point. I thought I didn’t need a break, that I could do it all and that this was simply my life now.
But one morning I woke up – for real! With my girls starting school this year I found myself having some time to think, to be, to sit in silence with myself.
And I wasn’t happy with what I saw – my body overweight from having 2 babies, a marriage that we haven’t worked on, debt, struggles, and moments of bitterness. Yes, if you know me this might come as a surprise to you because I’m always the happy, helpful person.
But in my darkest hours, I was suffering.
I have to add, I wasn’t suffering completely alone – I have an amazing best friend who listens to my cries, who cheers me up, who celebrates my accomplishments with me and who has been there through it all… Many times I wondered what my life would be without her, because she is more than a friend, she is my soul sister and the reason why many times I was able to snap out of my funk.
As I had more and more time to myself, I realized that this cannot be the rest of my life. I am only 34 years old and life is meant to be enjoyed and not to live in suffering.
So, I did the only thing I could do and started working on myself – I started meditating, listening to podcasts, youtube, reading, I started surrounding myself with love, positivity and hope. And although the circumstances in my life haven’t changed, I feel happier, and most importantly, I learned a very important lesson: there’s only one person who can turn my life around, and that is me.
So, let’s back track…
When I had my children I was very clear on the fact that I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and that my kids would be my #1 priority, and so, for almost 6 years every second of my life revolved around them, which was amazing but also made me lose track of who I was.
Do I regret that I put myself last during those years? I honestly don’t and I would probably do it all over again because my children are my everything, I love every second I’m with them and I know how important are those first years in a child’s life.
But if there’s one thing I should have done is found time for myself, like real quality time. I should have asked my husband more often to step in and watch the kids or I should have gotten a nanny to give myself a few hours a day.
My self-care/self-love bucket emptied and I never took the time to refill it…and how can we give the best of ourselves when we’re not feeling our best?
The day I lost myself, I started struggling.
Sometimes life gives us shitty cards and sometimes we get amazing ones, but what matters is not so much the circumstances you encounter but how you react to them. I had no control over some of our struggles, but I had 100% control of how I choose to react to them.
The day I lost myself, I stopped seeing the positive and got too caught up on the negative.
The problem with this is that if you focus on negativity, a lot more negativity comes into your life…or at least that’s what it seems like. So when I choose to change things and focus on the good of it all, I started seeing more good things and more positivity around my life.
I spent the last 5 years not even realizing I was feeling this way. It was only this year, when I had some true alone time that I realized I was not the living the life I had envisioned. I let myself get lost, I sacrificed too much, and I let some things spin out of control.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my children and they’re my all. They are the reason my life is filled with happy moments and they give me so much joy. But I am more than just a mom, I am a person, with goals and dreams, that go beyond being a mother and a housekeeper.
I have dreams that don’t entail me having to clean a house, make meals, run errands, do laundry, the list in endless. In fact, most of my resentment comes from being in charge of all these things and not from parenting my kids. My kids are perfect but all the other things that come with being a mom are so freaking overwhelming.
Many times I gave up and then my house would look like a war zone that I would eventually have to clean, which was worse than if I would have cleaned right away.
Mothers are just expected to do so much more, so much more and this caused me to start disliking some parts of my life. It is simply too much for one person to handle, yet, most of us do it.
I grew up with a mom who had a full time job, kept the house spotless and cooked very healthy meals all made from scratch. I’m seriously wondering if my mom is even human because I have no idea how she pulled it off. Maybe she too suffered in silence, felt lonely in silence and felt overwhelmed many times. But just as I don’t know if my mom ever felt this way, my kids don’t know that sometimes the responsibilities that come with running a household overwhelm me to the point of freezing.
I don’t know what the solution is here – all the ideas I come up with, like hiring housekeepers, require me to have massive amounts of money that I don’t currently have. But I do know one thing, we can focus on what we lack or we can focus on what we have.
We have the power to change how we react to things, how we perceive our lives, how we live in this world.
So now, when I have to do a task that burdens me, I see the good in it. When I’m cleaning a disaster zone I focus on how beautiful the room is going to look when I’m done, when I’m facing a giant pile of dishes, I focus on how grateful I am that I can feed my kids an all organic diet, when I find myself arguing with my husband, I focus on the fact we are a good couple – just one that’s been overwhelmed with every day life, and when I feel like I can’t do this anymore, I take a break.
Yes, I take a break because it is only by reconnecting with my inner self that I can find a way out a funk. I let myself not care about what I have to do and I sit in my room, in peace and quiet, and do something that uplifts me, like meditation, reading a book or writing. I remind myself how truly blessed I am to have a beautiful home, a wonderful family, my health, and how this blog has helped me connect with so many amazing mothers.
We have the power to focus on the good or the bad…but something happens when you choose to focus on the good. Life feels lighter, happier and easier.
It takes work – it takes discipline to focus on the good when you’re overwhelmed, sad or frustrated. But if you do it enough times, focusing on the positive will become the new norm and will be your go-to reaction/feeling. Living this way is so worth it – it makes the wonderful moments even more wonderful and the hard moments a lot more tolerable.
Something I like to remind myself of is: I got myself to this point and I can get myself out. Yes, when we acknowledge that we are in charge of our own lives, we have to power to change it or improve it. And, in the meantime, we have to focus on the good parts and be grateful because no one’s life is entirely a disaster, everyone experiences good moments and that’s where our focus should be.
There’s only one person in charge of your happiness, and that is YOU. Life is about happiness, joy, enjoyment, believing and creating the life you want to live. And it all starts by connecting with yourself!
Find something that inspires you, recharges you and uplifts you. A happy mom is a better mom, so this will not only benefit you but it will benefit your family.
So now do me a favor, mama, take some time for yourself – guilt-free alone time. Because you DESERVE it!
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