Finding Myself Again
Motherhood is a rollercoaster. Thank god I love rollercoasters! The excitement, the nerves, the constant adrenaline, the heightened attention – it’s spectacular… and yet exhausting.
The thing is you get off a rollercoaster when the ride stops. Motherhood won’t stop for us, so we need to make it stop; not permanently, not when our kids need us, but when we need to for our mental health (and physical health, for that matter!)
It took me 8 and a half years, battles with anxiety and worry and battles with mommy guilt to realize that I was losing myself on this rollercoaster ride and that I was starting to not recognize myself anymore. This wasn’t me! I never doubted myself. I never lacked confidence! Where did Lauren go? I needed to do something about this.
What changed? I looked at my daughter’s faces. I saw love, joy and light in their eyes and came to a stark realization. They needed me. They needed me to be the best version of myself. To combine the best of me now with the best of me from the past so I’d be ready to empower them and teach them all the lessons I want them to learn.
July 2016 was a turning point for me. I decided.
I decided to find the woman I used to be – determined, proactive, and joyful.
I decided to live in the moment.
I decided to reevaluate my eating habits.
I decided to use the gym membership I was paying for each month.
I decided to find ways to foster a peaceful mind.
What I did.
I spoke with my husband about time and we decided together how to manage our time to be able to grow as a family and foster ourselves as individuals.
I played with my children. We spent real time together – playing, walking, swimming, reading. I devoted individual time with each of them as well – even if it was only 15 minutes a day.
I read – about why I was feeling down, about how anxiety can develop at my age and about how worry can grow and fester and what I can do to stop it.
I stopped binging on chips every night and traded them in for an apple, a yogurt, a salad.
I got off my couch and got my heart going. I went to that gym and jogged, I went outside and jogged with my daughters, I started swimming laps. Before I knew it, I lost ten pounds and felt exhilarated, awake and happy.
What I learned.
I learned it is ok to trust my instincts again.
I learned that I don’t have to be perfect. I must be present.
I learned that each interaction with my husband and children will influence them.
I learned to accept my strengths, and that it is ok if they are not in the areas of cooking, crafting and creating perfect kid parties!
I learned that I can create new goals and dreams for myself.
I learned to, in the proverbial words we all know and love, let it go.
It took about six months or so to get to where I am today. It wasn’t easy. There were bumps along the way and it still takes consistent reflection and reassessment, but every minute of the journey is worth it. By finding myself again I have grown (and am still growing!) to be a better mother, a better wife and a better friend.
Take the time to look at yourself and find the best you. You have so much to share with your family and the world! Stop the rollercoaster, if just for a minute.
Related Posts – 3 Tools for a More Peaceful You