Do you ever have the feeling that, between driving your kids to all their “enrichment” activities (ballet, baseball, karate — you name it) volunteering at school, working, doing laundry, arranging play dates, etc., etc., etc. that you’re doing the right thing by your kids, but that your own life is somehow slipping away?
I’ve had that feeling lately, and it’s a tough thing to admit because we’re all afraid of sounding selfish. Right?
Sure, we signed on to do all this, and much more, when we became parents. And we do it willingly (OK, most of the time) and with love. But while you’re watching your kids grow, experiment, learn and spread their wings, do you feel that your own life might be dying on the vine just a bit?
We’re not doing our kids any favours if we end up exhausted and resentful.
When’s the last time you had a mom’s night out and just yucked it up with your girlfriends? Took yourself to a movie YOU wanted to see? (Harry Potter and Transformers don’t count!) When’s the last time you signed up for an improv class, jumped off the high dive, got in the car and had an adventure of your own instead of just heading to soccer camp for pick-up time?
Some days I look at my schedule, and between work and family commitments I have just about enough spare time to walk the dog. That’s not healthy. So I’m making a different kind of commitment: to saying “no” to that next volunteer opportunity or to-do list item (anybody wants to call the fencing company about our rusting one-year-old metal gate?) and saying “yes” to doing something that makes me feel more alive.
My son will still get where he needs to go. My work deadlines will be met. We’ll still get dinner on the table. And no one will leave the house naked. But I will carve out more time for myself. For my health, friendships and dreams. The funny thing is… That will also make me a better mom.
Care to join me?