It is an adventure to be a mom working full-time with three boys born 21 months apart. It might seem crazy to some. I noticed that I was stressed out and overwhelmed during my infant/toddler years. After the birth of my third child, I experienced clinical post-partum Depression. I was unable to get out of bed or do basic tasks. It was very debilitating.
Parenting was the most difficult, draining, and thankless job that I’ve ever loved. I was so consumed in being a mom that I forgot to take care of my own needs.
Although I was still a person with hopes, dreams and needs, they were all on the back burner. I realized that I needed to find outlets that allowed me to be me while also being a mom, wife, and homemaker. Problem was, I didn’t know how.
To be able to cope with the parenting challenges, I needed my own time. While it seemed noble to not take time for myself, I was ill-equipped to deal with the emotional and physical toll of child rearing. I found myself yelling at the boys and becoming emotionally unstable. I was unable to cope with the sadness and despair that it brought on.
My children, my husband, and me had to learn how to live a healthier lifestyle. I started to take small breaks for myself. First, I had to admit that I needed some time for myself. I purchased uplifting audio tapes to listen to while walking outside. My mind was kept active while my body got the exercise, sun and fresh air it needed.
This was a welcome respite that set the stage for future activities. While I was juggling parental duties, I started to look for creative ways to express my creativity. I found my first outlet by taking small breaks to read, walk or do hobbies. During those moments, I didn’t have to be a mom, caregiver, or provider. I was just me. This allowed me to nurture my spirit and soul, which helped me become a more complete person.
Next, you need to develop “now” thinking. A tendency to focus on the future or behind can cause anxiety and stress. Keeping calm and focused on the task at hand is a way to keep calm and focused. My mind would drift and I would feel helpless and overwhelmed again. You can keep your thoughts in check by thinking now.
This awareness was crucial to my ability to refocus my thoughts and then create this awareness. To keep my mind, body and spirit connected strong and healthy, the last step was to find a calming and centering exercise. Yoga and deep breathing were not the right choice for me. This, along with guided imagery and relaxation, provided a balance to my hectic family life. This time was something I enjoyed and looked forward to. It was also a very valuable emotion to anticipate.
It was not enough to know how to do these things. I realized the true value of them when I put in the effort to practice them. It was also clear to me that if someone wants to do something they really want, they will make the time. Although it wasn’t always easy, I realized how important this was to my health and was able make sure there was time.
Although it took time, it happened. I felt more connected to my core, and I realized why I wanted to start a family. In small steps, I learned to appreciate the years of growth by creating purposeful balance. I can get back to a healthy place in my body, mind, spirit, as well as in my emotions.
When you become a parent, you don’t have to stop being yourself. When I make time for my own needs, I’m a better mother and wife. My example will help my boys to see that it is possible for them to do the same. Be true to yourself!