There are days when being a mom is the best thing that I could have ever imagined in my life. Then there are days when I want to run screaming into the night… no not really, I’m too tired for that. I would probably just hide in my closet. When my children were little I poured myself into their daily lives. I wanted to make sure that they were physically active, emotionally nurtured, and academically prepared. I wanted them to grow spiritually, to be confidant socially, and to see the value in a deep family connection. But somehow as they grew and became more independent, I found myself lost in my own expectations for how things should be. I wanted a cleaner house, a smaller me, a better future. Somewhere in our journey of raising our children we put ourselves aside and lose our own sense of purpose. It is nothing for me to stay up into the wee hours of the morning cleaning. It is expected (by me) to still take care of the family when I’m sick. I hold myself to an incredibly unrealistic expectation of how much I should do and accomplish for everyone else, and in doing so project those unrealistic expectations on everyone else. I am learning to stop. I’m found that as my children have gotten older and more independent, rather than enjoying my new free time, I am bitter or angry about how things still aren’t perfect. I find myself questioning everything that I have done and wondering if my life has been a life well spent. And as vain as it seems, I am the hardest on myself when I catch a glimpse in the mirror. Who is that middle aged overweight woman?? Someone said that curves are in… well, hot damn! I’ve got extra!
So I find myself wanting to reconsider my priorities. When did I let myself go? Why? How do I get back on track? I have all of the credentials and education necessary to teach someone else how to eat right, get stronger, and take care of their bodies… it is high past time I use this information on myself. So I begin a new journey. A journey where I can focus more on taking care of myself and creating an atmosphere in my home that my college kids want to come home to. I have new plans for exercise. I’m running again. I’ve signed up for 2 half marathons in the fall. I’ve researched how I should be eating to lose these 20-30 pounds that I don’t need. I’m reading for pleasure and taking time to write more. I’m still working full time, but I’m not taking any classes or studying for any certifications. I’ve chosen to spend this summer learning to breathe. I want to find myself, my pleasures, and my own direction. I don’t want to abandon my family, or my role as mom, but I want to rediscover myself. I want my grown children to know who I really am. I want to be honest about my desires and transparent about my struggles. I want them to see the woman I am deep inside. The woman who wanted to give everything she could to her family, but also has her own identity and gifts to bring to this world. I want them to know that we all make mistakes. I want my children to know that life is richer when you take chances and dream bigger. I want them to understand that I tried my best, and sometimes just couldn’t. I want them to love me as their mom and respect me as a person. And I want to feel like I have lived my life on purpose, with integrity and a grateful heart. I want to accept my limitations and use my strengths. I want to be the best ME that I can be. It’s my turn.