I was so tired. I had started a new fitness routine, chauffeured kids back and forth to summer camps and been running myself ragged with chores, errands, dinner prep and grocery shopping, etc. I kept thinking, “Tomorrow. I’ll take a rest and catch up, tomorrow”, but then the next day would come, and something else would get in the way.
Why did that keep happening? “Life happens” was the common answer I would tell myself, but that really isn’t an excuse. Why would I not try and make my rest time a priority for me to help make things easier on myself? Was it because if I slowed down everything wouldn’t get done? Well, yes, but I felt the need to be in control of how things got done and I really cared about the perception of others on how I got things done. I realized that these two things were so important to me that I would make life seemingly easier for my husband, kids and friends, at the expense of my own joy.
Was I really giving everyone around me such a significant bonus that they couldn’t live without my extra effort or was my effort one of those things that was taken either for granted, or a fleeting “that was nice of her” thought?
Since analyzing this, I’ve started cutting back on doing everything, or my “mombligations”. It has taken some serious self control on my part to step away and not make sure every laundry basket is empty at the end of every day, or every dish and piece of silverware is cleaned and put away every time I walk into the kitchen. My son even said something that caught me off guard this week, when my husband asked if he needed anything from the store he said “I need some new underwear.”, and my husband turned to me and asked “Didn’t you just buy him some new underwear?” I said, “Yes, I did! What’s going on, T?” My son looked up at me and said “Well you don’t do laundry every day anymore, so I have to wear a different pair everyday, and I will run out.” It just struck me as odd that my son thought it was normal to have all of his dirty laundry cleaned, folded and put away everyday, so that he could wear the same pair of (clean) underwear several days in a row. I was clearly doing too much that was not necessary.
In that same vein, I have recently broken free from caring about the perception from others of what kind of mom I am. I am who I am. Why did I care if people have negative opinions about it, inevitably, someone, somewhere will have one anyway, no matter what direction I choose. I waited 10 years to get a mini-van because I thought that it would somehow change who I was as a mother.
10 years! If I only would have put aside those feelings of caring about other people’s judgement and even my own, I could have been living it up in STYLE for a while now. I was supposedly “happy” or convincing myself of it, driving around in a older, falling apart SUV where the automatic windows would no longer go down and up, the engine was so loud that I had to turn the radio up full blast to drown it out, my oldest son (who is almost as tall as me) was scrunched in the back, the radio was hit or miss, the trunk door kept falling on my head and the list goes on. I felt justified in my crappy car because it I thought “At least it wasn’t a “mini-van””. I knew I needed an upgrade and I knew I needed to stop acting like a high-schooler, caring about the nay-sayers. Right then and there, I stepped into being the kind of woman who finds what she needs, goes after it and thrives.
Being a stay-at-home, unpaid, uber driver has now elevated me to a state of heightened awareness. I can see the possibilities that I used to close myself off to previously. I can work in my car when I have that 15 minutes to kill before carpool starts, I can listen to enriching audio books or personal development while I’m picking up and dropping off, I can make phone calls and answer texts and emails that I previously would “wait” until a better time.
Why wasn’t I doing this before? I think it must have been my one-mindedness that I could only do so many things in a certain order or in perfect conditions for the action to be “worth it”. I’m taking so much imperfect action to make things happen now, because I truly believe that I was being held back by my belief that if it wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t worth doing, or if the product of my work wasn’t perfect, it was not valuable. I’m proud to say that I don’t see it like that anymore. I have stepped into my upgraded self as a mini-van owner, full-time mom, full-minded entrepreneur and even more of an empowered powerhouse woman.
I encourage you to analyze the things that might be limiting you in your life. Examine the dreams you have for yourself as a powerhouse woman, not necessarily a mom or a spouse, but YOUR life. Remember, kids eventually grow up and move on, what are you doing today that will still be there when they don’t need you constantly? What can you do to step into being the kind of woman who finds what she needs, goes after it and thrives?!