2016 was the year of the “rut” for me.
I have always dedicated myself to my family and sacrificed my needs for theirs. But at some point in 2016, I stopped meeting my own needs so much so that I was not fulfilled anymore. So, my decision to focus more on me in 2017 comes without guilt. It’s time to refill my cup.
As 2016 came to an end, I began to reflect on the year that has been a roller coaster of emotions for me. I love being helpful and accommodating, and understand the sacrifices parents must make. So, I have no regrets. But this year will be different — Bye, bye 2016, on to the next phase of my mom journey.
Thankfully, my time invested has helped to create a “machine” that is self sufficient — for the most part. My youngest will be transitioning to day care in the next few months. My partner has had some freedom to pursue his career passions while I decided to stay-at-home (which really means that I work part-time, instead of full time). My kids have a reliable routine and are full of confidence, happy, and thriving.
My kids need to see a “new” me too!
They need to see that I am happy and fulfilled. They need to know that I am living my dream and can guide them in living theirs. They need to trust that I know how to live life to the fullest. I am a role model. How can I show them to love life if I am not in love with my own?
They should admire me as their mom who is loving and caring, but also see a person that is experiencing life and also growing and evolving. I don’t want my kids to think that I don’t have a life, too. I need time more time to socialize with friends. And most importantly, my partner and I need more than 2 date nights in 2017.
This year, I will work on myself, and return as a mom who has a strong identity inside and outside of the home.
Here are the first things that need to change this year:
I Need New Clothes!
I would like to dedicate this next year to rediscovering what it means to want to look nice when I leave the house.
I wish they still had that show “What Not to Wear” so someone could just nominate me and I could be done with this day to day battle.
In 2015, I had committed myself to joining a gym and working out, only to not lose any weight. I had more energy, but my physique did not change much. I spent the year wearing mostly maternity clothes.
At the beginning of 2016, I had finally bought new clothes in acceptance of my new, more voluptuous post pregnancy body. I started looking and feeling good in my new body.
Then guess what? My metabolism decided to speed right up, and there goes the inches (or centimeters — who knows, I didn’t measure myself). I didn’t lose enough for my pre-pregnancy clothes to fit, but I lost enough for all of my new clothes to look droopy and baggy.
When my 11-year old son asked me why I am constantly pulling my jeans up, and that they obviously don’t fit, I decided I’ve had enough and resigned to wearing sweats. ALL OF THE TIME!
I need a “new” normal everyday wardrobe!
Learn to Remind Yourself This Year!
Aside from the weight fluctuation, 2016 was also the year of the reminders. It’s exhausting and frustrating to keep going behind someone to give them a reminder. Even worse is when I receive pushback instead of being thanked for my helpfulness and patience, as I’m doing them the favor, after all.
The extent of reminders I plan to give in 2017 are posting it on the calendar or leaving a post-it on the bathroom mirror. That is it!
“You people are on your own in 2017.” I need a year off of being the nag. Hopefully by 2018, they can remind themselves, because now I am forgetting my own things. It’s just too much.
Resign From My Unpaid Job as a Housekeeper
First, I plan on reestablishing my bedroom as a sanctuary. It’s currently an extension of the laundry room and a mail dumping ground.
Then, I will lay down the law in 2017, especially with my two middle schoolers. If my kids want friends over or want to go out with their friends, they will know what they have to do: Clean up your room or no. Don’t even ask me because I won’t hear what you are saying. The same will go with their technology: “Oh, you are on your phone [or tablet]?… Great, that must mean you are finished picking up all the clothes you took off this morning!” If not, hand it over.
Lastly, this year, I am going to set more realistic expectations for doing housework, and prioritize my efforts. I have said this many times, but this year I think I really mean it.
Or maybe, we will stumble upon some extra money and hire a housekeeper. Or maybe not.
What Else is On My To-Do List:
- Spend more one-on-one time with my kids, since no one ever wants to do the same thing. Trying to get the older ones excited to see Paw Patrol or trying to get the little ones patient enough to sit through whatever movie the older kids want to see is not worth it this year.
- Prepare to finish up my Masters.
- Have more girls’ night outs with old friends.
- Hang out with my mom friends outside of playdates.
- Create a self pampering schedule.
I have to make this commitment to myself, and I believe that my family will respect and admire me more for it. The thought of this is pretty exciting. This doesn’t mean I will abandon my priorities to my family. It just means that I have to make more time to becoming an improved me.
Wish me luck!