I have always been very driven, focused and efficient. All during school and college I prided myself on having these qualities and enjoyed being recognized for being this kind of person. I was flattered when we were assigned group projects and many classmates wanted me in their group because of my work ethic and determination to do well.
Up until I had children I took these personal characteristics for granted. It was easy to be successful and efficient when I only had to take care of myself.
Now, 9 years and two lovable sons later, I struggle to keep ahold of my “old self”. Just like you, I am trying to balance a lot of different aspects in my life. Staying focused and efficient is now very difficult for me. I find myself getting overwhelmed by all the things I want to accomplish because I have so many things I have to get done, and I want to do it all well. (I should mention that I’m also a bit of a perfectionist.)
For a long time I felt like if I was striving towards a personal goal, (like running my first half marathon in under 2 hours) that meant I was being a sub-par mom. I felt guilty and selfish when I took time to work on myself and go on those long runs. Thanks to my husband’s encouragement, he showed me that I can be both a top-notch mom, and also be very successful in my pursuits.
The more goals I achieved, the more pumped up I was each day and the more energy and enthusiasm I had. I think my kids really noticed this new high-vibe mom and before I knew it, I heard them talking about their own goals and dreams.
My oldest son, who is now 9 years old, has a daily goal sheet on his bedroom wall. It includes all the things he wants to accomplish each day (reading Harry Potter, doing 20 push-ups, 20 sit-ups, 10 pull-ups). He also loves to participate in 1 mile fun runs and always has a time goal to reach.
My youngest son, who is 6, is currently doing extra chores to earn money for a Big Shock Nerf Gun.
It makes me happy to know that the time I spend working on myself to reach my goals ends up benefiting them as well. I have finally learned that we don’t always need to be physically present every minute to make a huge impact in our children’s lives.
If we sacrifice ourselves for the sake of our children, we are actually doing them a disservice. Our kids deserve to have us at our best, so be very conscious of the effort you are putting towards working on yourself and your goals. As moms, we love it when our kids make us proud, but let’s make them proud too!!