The details from that day are a bit foggy. I don’t remember what started the endless cycle of meltdowns and arguments, only that I was completely exhausted by the time my husband walked through the door. I can’t even remember if we exchanged the, “How was your day?” pleasantries before I rushed downstairs to do a load of laundry.
That day as I was folding clothes, I remember thinking, “There has to be more! Something, anything! Is there a piece I’m missing?”
In that same moment, a wave of guilt washed over me. I should be cherishing EVERY minute of this time with my children. I shouldn’t want or need anything more.
So, I did my best to push those thoughts away and focus on my children. But as the weeks went on, those thoughts continued to pry their way through the iron door I was trying so hard to keep shut. Until, finally, I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I needed to figure out what piece was missing. As I sat there, examining my thoughts, I came to the conclusion that I was the missing piece. Not my mommy hat or my wife hat, but MY hat – my woman hat.
I needed to do something for myself. I needed something that would recharge my batteries or refill my mommy cup, so to speak, on a regular basis. Believe it or not, that was the easy part. The hard part was finding it.
I never anticipated that this quest to find my missing piece would become a four-part journey, but that’s exactly what happened.
“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” -Arthur Ashe
First, I started with an online book club. I love to read and I have always wanted to take part in a book club. It was a win, win! Or so I thought… The book arrived promptly and there it sat, untouched, on my kitchen counter. Instead of feeling excited to read another book, I dreaded it. It felt as though I was just adding another thing to my “to do” list.
That didn’t work for me, but here’s what did.
4 Ways I Found Myself in Motherhood
After some thought, I decided to give podcasts a try. Although I found the idea of basically listening to a “radio” without music over the phone utterly ridiculous, I figured, “What the heck!” Worse case scenario, I would have wasted 30 minutes of my time. And really, what is 30 minutes, if it means helping me feel more centered?
After some searching, I found a positive, uplifting podcast about moms, for moms. The host and her guests fill my mommy cup regularly. Listening to these positive, inspirational stories sits well with my soul. This podcast didn’t just recharge batteries, it showed me that my journey was just beginning.
2. Gratitude Journal
A gratitude journal was a foreign concept to me. As I became a regular podcast listener, I found it gave these inspirational women perspective and balance. So, I dropped an $.88 cent notebook into my cart and never looked back.
3. Moms’ Night Out
A moms’ night out is something I have always done, but not regularly. For me, this was key. Whether it meant roaming the aisles of Target by myself or meeting up with fellow moms, I needed to make this a regular occurrence.
4. Going For A Walk
It sounds simple enough. I have done it many times as a family. But this summer, I gave into the idea of taking a walk by myself every now and then. As a mom, to be alone in the quiet is a true recharge. I am able to walk back into my noise-filled home with a renewed sense of love and joy as I chase my children down the hallway.
I never imagined my journey to finding “me” would take a combination of four parts. But having perspective and balance isn’t about focusing solely on one aspect of our lives. Through my journey, I realized in order to flourish as a wife and mother, I can’t forget about myself. Success is a journey–a constant journey.
What do you do to remember yourself? How do you keep your batteries charged and your life balanced?