First and foremost I want to send a special ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ to each of you amazing moms out there. I hope you truly enjoyed your time and took time to reflect on how special motherhood can be.
My oldest is almost 5 years old and although most of my first year of motherhood is grainy because of the massive loss of sleep, I have precious memories of every milestone, holding my babies hand, her first gaze in my eyes and her first ‘love you’.
I also remember the ups and downs. Feeling ecstatic and loved one moment, overwhelmed and anxious the next. One day to wake up and realize I had really lost myself and with that – had lost sight of my marriage, friendships and happiness.
How could I be an amazing mother – while still keeping my own identity, nurturing my marriage, and not completely neglecting my friendships? Oh yeah, and all this while working full-time?
I was washed over by guilt and shame.
If I was out with my husband I felt guilty leaving our daughter. If I was out with friends, I felt guilty I wasn’t with my family.
If I was with my daughter, I felt guilty about not putting enough in to my job – or worrying that I was losing my husband and friendships.
Then I had the mental and emotional breakdown…
One Friday night I went out to a vision board workshop to plan my future and make visuals of my deepest desires…but honestly, I was too riddled with guilt and shame to be able to see 2 days ahead of me – much less years into my future.
...so then, I just started crying in front of a bunch of strangers bringing them down from their own high of finding their life dreams.
If you know me at all, I’m a strong, sensitive and caring woman – but certainly NOT the “cry in front of a bunch of strangers” type.
I knew then – something had to give. I needed to let go of all of my guilt and shame, and the only way to do that was to figure out what was most important to me in my life and then shamelessly let go of everything else.
Are you ready to rebalance your life and let go of the shame and guilt looming over you? Grab your journal and follow these three steps to get your moving in the right direction…
#1: Determine what is important to you.
Write down the top 5 – 10 people, ideas, beliefs or things that are important to you in your life.
For me it is: God, Husband, Children, Family, Friends, Health (Mind, Body & Financial)
#2: Re-Discover your core values.
Core values are your internal beliefs that dictate how life is to be lived. I also believe that your core values lead you to your purpose. So it’s extremely important to be clear and aware of your core values. Start by writing down all of your core values and if you get stuck try this quiz: http://www.onlinepersonalitytests.org/corevalues.
For me it is: Quality relationships, responsibility, trust, joy, challenge & personal growth
Identifying these areas truly helped me to start prioritizing what is important to me so that I could CHOOSE to let go of the other crap filling my days.
#3: Let Go of the SHOULDs
Take note of all the tasks you do throughout the day. Are they fulfilling one of your core values? If not – this is a SHOULD. Get rid of as many SHOULD tasks as possible.
For example, I used to think “I SHOULD run today”. Honestly, running is NOT fun to me but everyone told me it was the best exercise, so I thought I should do it.
Once I realized that it was not my priority (it was other people's) – I removed that should from my list of guilts and anxieties and instead added something that closely aligns with my values “I WILL work-out with my husband 3 days a week."
I challenge you to do the same. Stop feeling guilty about what you can't get done and start removing the ‘SHOULDs’ from your life & your vocabulary.
Count how many times you say SHOULD today, or how many times your find yourself doing things that don’t fit into you values or priorities.
ACTION CREATES CHANGE. I would love to hear what action you are taking to create change, comment below and I’ll make sure to reply back to personally!
Valerie Kolick, therapist and relationship expert has created this blog to help couples and individuals create happiness and joy in their marriages and lives. If this is your first time here, LEARN MORE here and don’t forget to Download Your FREE Extraordinary Relationship Workbook.