2014 was my very first full year as a mother of two, and it taught me many things. Like how to cook dinner with one kid on your back and the other one clinging to your leg and that every time your newly potty trained child will have to poop is the exact second after you have sat down to nurse the baby.
All jokes aside, the number one thing I learned, and am still working on daily, is balance.
To start off the new year, I have taken the Hands Free Mama pledge, from the talented and inspiring blogger turned author, Rachel Macy Stafford. The stories she tells of life before her epiphany were all too familiar and I did not want to go any further down that path.
I have always been a bit of an over-scheduler, and to be honest I believe that everything I take on is a part of me and denying that would be stifling my true self. But I don’t want anything to come at the expense of my family. That’s where balance comes into play.
For the past week, I have been rising a full hour before the kids in order to get a few pressing matters out of the way, allowing me to be fully present during breakfast and our entire morning routine. Of course for this to be successful, I have to start going to bed an hour earlier, which I haven’t quite mastered yet.
Some days I could use a nap by lunch time, especially since going back to work a few weeks ago (I’ll blog about that exciting news later in the week), but it’s a small price to pay for the feeling of accomplishment that I get without having to compromise time with my loved ones.
I’ve found that I’ve had to become more organized and more conscious and protective of my spare time (i.e. no getting lost in news feeds or spending 45 minutes trying to find something to watch on Netflix). I realize I need to maximize my free time to include the things I truly value. Some days that might be writing, some days that might just be doing something nice for myself like taking a bath uninterrupted. That and lowering my expectations. This is the year I will let go of mommy guilt for good, slow down and allow myself to fully experience the things that bring me the most joy. It is only then that I can be the wife, mother and woman who I strive to be.
I want to be a hands free mama, but I also want to be fulfilled as a separate entity and I wholeheartedly believe that if you want something bad enough, you will find a way to make it work.
It’s all about balance.