A few weeks ago I opened up an old journal:
24 April 2003, THURS
My birthday was THE coolest.
…and I realised it’s been a long time since I’ve felt exuberantly happy. All I’ve ever wanted was to be a mother but let’s face it, the job has its up and downs. The uniform involves spit up milk and food splotches, the colleagues aren’t exactly reasonable, and you work all day and all night with no pay or day offs.
My kids have become my life and I’m realising it’s probably not the healthiest perspective. Yes I love them and they are my world, but I need to work on me because I cannot run on empty. Even though you might feel terribly guilty putting yourself before your kids, you have to realise that putting yourself first actually helps you become a better parent. It doesn’t mean abandoning them. It just means making a conscious effort to work on yourself and doing the things that make you happy. And in doing so, it actually helps you to be more present and engaged when you’re with your kids.
So the new priority list is:
1. Me (which includes the spiritual aspect which is God)
I’m starting with the little things: putting some effort into my daily appearance by dusting the cobwebs off my makeup bag and developing a 5-minute makeup routine, being sure to spend quality time with the husband after the kids go to bed, reading books instead of wasting time looking up Facebook etc.
I’ve been working on digging deep and figuring out what my personal issues are. What parts of me are really down to personality and what are simply a reaction to my negative childhood experiences? Why do I parent like I do and how can I parent better? What issues am I bringing to my marriage? How can I grow into the best version of myself?
In the next couple of years, I want to get back to dance classes and start dancing again. I want to start cycling again. I want to earn my own money. I want to write without feeling the need to censor myself. I want to live in truth without the fear of offending or hurting others or worrying what other people might think. I want to have relationships that are honest and connected.
With all this new revelation as to who I am and what is important in life, I decided to just spend my birthday very simply with the people who matter and you know what…it was a fantastic day just because I felt connected with myself, my family, and life.
Happy birthday me.
I promise to always look after you and protect you and to never lose you again.