Complacency is not one of my weaknesses. In fact the exact opposite is true. I tend to find so many areas of my life that I want to improve on right away that I often get overwhelmed which causes major setbacks in my advancement. In the middle of February this year 2013, just after Chloe was born I entered one of these restless phases and it hit hard. It was hardly a month after Chloe was born, I was not yet cleared for exercise and not fully healed from my C-section (I hadn't even made it past the six week mark yet!) But I became utterly repulsed by my every day activity and had a very strong desire to improve. I wrote a journal entry on February 14th talking about how I wanted to regain purpose in my life. I wrote "I feel like the last nine months (pregnancy) and the arrival of Chloe has thrown everything upside down and everything is so mixed up I don't even know where to start to pick up the pieces and put my life back together in a meaningful way." Just to give you a tad bit of insight, my pregnancies leave me very sick and excruciatingly exhausted. When I was pregnant with Chloe my husband thought I had major depression because I would just lye on the couch all day while Lily watched movies or played with the I-Pad. I'm talking Zero energy. So for nine months my life was on hold and by this time I was ready for something to change.
I am sure many people have gone through similar crisis-es. Feeling like your whole world has fallen apart or that life has just gotten away from you. I remember making several lengthy lists of different areas in my life that needed improvement. One such list is as follows: Nutrition and fitness, Family Home Evening, Motherhood (getting Lily off of all the movies I had her watching), Housekeeping, Flute, Craft Time (cross stitch, knitting, crochet), Hair and Clothes, Working part time, Improve Pampered Chef Business, and the list goes on. Now my problem is that I wanted to tackle all of these categories at once and I wanted to be perfect in all of them right away. I immediately wanted to be Super Mom who does crafts and activities and takes their kids to parks every day, and cook healthy, and exercise, and still have time to practice my flute and do my crafts and immediately change the way I look. Needless to say, it blew up in my face and after about one week I came to a screeching halt.
What I discovered is that I needed to take a large breath and SLOW DOWN. I needed to pick just a few things that were really bugging me and change those first, and know that it would take some time. So I cut my hair short since that was really bothering me, and I focused on nutrition and fitness. I also thought that getting Lily off of all the TV was very important so I found a site called www.overthebigmoon.com which offers free Pre-K packs that you can print and they are full of fun activities for toddlers. I purchased a magnetic white board and a laminater so we could reuse them.
Over time things slowly improved, but I had to set priorities and realize that I couldn't do everything at once. I had to realize that I am not a college student with no kids, and this is my life now. Life with two kids is crazy busy but it is also slower. I do not have time to do a million things. It is now October and I still have not touched my flute since I made the list. I have pulled out my knitting once since February when both the girls were in bed and I actually had a little bit of spare energy for it. I will just have to save those things for a period of my life where I do not need to supervise my kids 24/7. Maybe once they start school I will rediscover those simple pleasures. So if you are facing a similar crisis or similar feelings where you think everything in your life needs to change, the first thing you need to do is realize that it can't all change at once. That is a hard but vital step towards improving. I am still working on nutrition and fitness, and in fact that one category takes up nearly all of my free time. I spent the rest of my time just trying to be a good mom. Lily and I are making Halloween crafts during Chloe's nap time, and we work on the Halloween Pre-K pack together. I really try to give each child some one on one attention each and every day, but that doesn't mean I am perfect! Far from it, I still feel the need to improve in each of the areas I listed, but things are better.
As long as I keep working to better myself, keep learning how to be healthy and lose weight, keep trying to be the best mom I can be, then I am a winner. I recognize that I have progressed and I am better now than where I was. Take a moment to acknowledge your success. Celebrate! Then move on and continue doing the best you can and continue working towards your goals.
Setting specific goals is so important. If you don't have goals then how do you know you have reached what you were trying to attain? If you just say "I want to be better" then how do you know when you are better? So here are some of my specific goals.
1.To weigh 150 by January 1st, losing another 20 pounds by the new year
2.To have craft time with Lily every week
3.To read a book a day with Lily
4. To be able to differentiate between healthy foods and unhealthy foods without needing to look them up (to do this I will have to memorize the lists of healthy food choices in each category)
5. Start having a Power Hour once a week in my Pampered Chef Business (once I achieve this, I will increase it to two times per week.)
6. Have Family Home Evening every week, even if it is short.
So there you have it. What are your goals that you are striving to achieve by the end of the year/month/week? And remember, you only fail if you stop trying.