From the minute our first born takes their first breath until we take our last, we as parents are all in. Their every cry is attended to, their every tear wiped and their every need fulfilled. We are all in. Our identity can easily become wrapped around theirs. So, what happens when we forget our own?
It’s going on three years now that I’ve been a single mom. Others have come before me and many have been on this journey for much longer and we all found this journey by different roads. My road was becoming a widow very suddenly and I’ve struggled the last almost three years silently. I’ve buried myself in schedules, work, the kids, sports, dance and have zero sense of who I’m supposed to be outside of that anymore. Honestly, some days I don’t even remember what brings me joy anymore. I’ve let myself become buried by the “day to day” of being a single parent and most days it takes every single ounce of my mental energy. There’s nothing left at the end that’s just for me.
Please don’t get me wrong, I love every minute of being a parent, have fun with my kids and am fiercely proud of them every day, I just feel like I’ve lost my road (or at least it’s blurry).
I know this is not a course traveled alone. Many parents lose themselves in the day to day of getting by and raising their tiny humans, many of whom are also compounded with sleep deprivation.
So, for me, and all the sleep deprived, all-in, and fiercely proud parents who have lost their sense of self, this is for us.
‘You can’t be happy unless you’re making yourself happy’ Gary Vee
What are you doing TODAY to find happiness and joy?
What are you doing TODAY to remember who you are?
Maybe we can start here:
- Write a list of things we used to enjoy
- Write a lite of things we enjoy doing
- Write a list of things we are good at
- Learn something new
- Be creative
- Start a book we’ve been dying to get our hands on
- Make a list of friends we haven’t reached out to in a while
- Book a coffee date (no kids!)
- Book a date night (yeah, no kids here either)
Now open that never ending calendar and find some space. Book time for you! Seriously, it’s not going to just happen when there’s kids around. Maybe it’s an overdue date night where you actually do your hair, make up and put on a sexy pair of pumps, or it’s ten minutes before the kids wake up to read a chapter in a book you’ve been wanting to read or a 30-minute late night Yoga session via YouTube. I don’t know what this is going to look like for you but find yourself again in the small fleeting moments that you do have!
Once you’ve locked in some time, keep it sacred! You can’t drink from an empty cup and we all remember the airplane analogy about putting on the oxygen mask yourself first, right? Spending some time on ourselves will help us be a better parent, friend, partner and more.
Keep it sacred and get your joy back!