I am a mother of three. One child is bubbly and outgoing, one child is cleaver and sassy, the other has a genuine heart of gold. I share the responsibility of creating these little people with my husband. My husband is an adventurer. He is not afraid of much really. Which attracted me to him in the first place.
Before my husband and children, I had a life. A different life. Not the one I have now. I had goals and dreams. I worked multiple jobs whether it was in retail or in customer service, and I went to school. I was bad ass. I had a standing appointment with Jose, my beautician, and I had a life.
Then I got married and had children. For some reason that changes you. For some reason you become a person you don't recognize. In the past I chickened out on foreign travel because I was afraid to have children outside of the United States. (Boy, was I uninformed!). This unrecognizable me is in the way and the unrecognizable you is in your way. We as mothers prioritize everything ahead of our own needs. You don't want to be that person but you end up being that person. The 3 main things we do to ourselves is...
You worry about the weirdest things. Your mind becomes an ongoing personal version of Final Destination. Thinking of the oddest most awful ways that one of these little humans can get hurt. Everyone's wellbeing becomes a trigger for a major panic attack.
You also worry about things you never worried about before. Money, or time, or having enough. I worry about worrying and it is utterly exhausting. We do this, worry, because we are wired that way, or society teaches us to wire ourselves that way. I haven't decided which one is true yet but it sucks.
The kids have the cutest fall coats and the best sparkly pencil bag because they have to have them. They have every experience you feel they should have and even the ones you did not receive as a child, all in the name of being a good parent. But while you are up making the 3 dozen Halloween cookies for their class and sewing the piece that came off of Barbie's dress back on, your hair is a mess, your nails are worse and you have completely forget what a spa looks like on the inside. To top it all off you haven't been shopping for yourself in ages and that secret project you want to work on if you had the time is always pushed to the few moments you have the time. Which leads us to.....
You feel guilty for having a secret project. Or wanting to take a vacation alone. You feel guilty about purchasing a sweater even though the children have an entire new wardrobe because it's October and a month ago you finally finished back to school shopping. You feel guilty for even wanting to take the time to do what you want to do and you either say no or push back your plans.
This is not all mothers, but this is me. And it's quite a few mothers I know. It has to stop now. I have lived in Spain for a year and I have a major bucket list that I have not even scratched the surface on. Yesterday my husband bought me a train ticket to Madrid and told me to go. Have fun and don't call. Of course I called. But I had fun and I scratched a major thing off of my list.
What I am learning is you have to value.....
YES, you do have a family and YES, you don't have the same amount of time, but you have time. If you can prioritize sewing the hole back into your son's favorite pair of super hero socks because he refuses to let you throw them away, then you can make time for yourself. Which leads me to...
Many American moms, including myself, don't work out on a regular bases. The one thing I have learned from Spanish women, no matter the age, is to take care of yourself. Go to a yoga class, do Pilates, run on the local trail. Do something! A healthy you is a better you, mentally and physically. Which final makes you focus on...
When my kids were small, I felt suffocated. I felt like the me that was was no more and they had to come first. I had to stop doing that. I had a life and goals before a family and a family should never be an excuse not to work on you. Take a little time to yourself everyday. Read a book. Polish your nails. Make an outline to take over the world. Your dreams are valid no matter the circumstance. I read a quote once. I'm paraphrasing, but it said that life/time is going to go by anyway, you might as well spend it doing something you love.
When you are happy, everything in the house runs smoother. Wanting the best for them is the most natural and motherly emotion, but you cannot stop wanting the best for you in the process. Thank you husband for my day trip. I will be home in an hour full, rejuvenated, and with a few new items for my closet.
Candice is an introverted extrovert who loves to read, wander aimlessly and is addicted to olives. She is a photographer and loves to share travel experiences. She is married to the best husband ever hands down and they have 3 wonderful creations.