With the new year well underway, resolutions come and go. Maybe you have been sticking to them, maybe not. Perhaps you didn’t bother to make any this year and decided to work on some goals at your own pace instead. Whatever your hopes and dreams are for the year, I hope you achieve them. I also hope that maybe you are well on your way to living your best life. I personally can get overwhelmed with all the million things on my plate and after some soul searching I have come up with a few things I feel it’s time to move on from.
Comparing yourself to other moms
Comparison in general is not the best idea, but especially comparing yourself to other moms. Everyone has their own style of parenting, not all styles work for every family and you never actually know what’s going on behind closed doors or within another person’s mind or spirit. Do your own thing and move on from comparing yourself to what everyone else is doing or their situation. Create your own life that you love and share in the joy you see from others around you.
Worrying about what others think about you or your parenting
Move on from being concerned with what others are thinking of you or if they are judging you. Remember that people judge sometimes, so what, let them. Also remember that others probably are not as concerned as you think. I know personally I am very busy and rarely have time to think about or be concerned negatively with what anyone else is up to unless it affects me directly. Don’t give in to brooding over someone else’s POSSIBLE thoughts of you, and free yourself from the negativity. Be confident with the choices you make. Give your precious time and effort to your family and conserve your energy. Don’t be concerned about what you can’t control, which is other people’s thoughts.
Always checking off your to-do list
Know this, there will ALWAYS be something new to add. Your list will continue on as life continues on. Yes, it feels good to complete the day to day tasks and feel accomplished, but being consumed by finishing it all is not always a realistic goal. It’s like running on a treadmill that keeps on going, eventually you have to get off and rest. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t get to something or if the list isn’t all checked off. Your priorities will change as you go throughout your day anyway and sometimes things not on the list will need to take precedence. Take your to-do list, prioritize, but don’t go crazy over checking off every item. Tomorrow is another day, save your sanity.
Following what you’re “supposed” to be doing according to your parents, in-laws, friends, social media, etc ...
I often envy those who seem to move through life doing their own thing regardless of outside influences. I try hard to listen close to my inner voice and follow my own path, but more times than I like to admit I have agonized over choices in life, not because I didn’t know what I wanted, but because outside influences were putting on their pressures.
There are little moments in life you never forget and often times they aren’t huge but send a huge message. As a child I always valued and loved art. I was always creating. I enjoyed the work I put in and was proud of the finished product. When I was in fourth grade, during art class, we were assigned a project that I wanted to complete slightly differently than the cookie cutter way it was explained. I recall raising my hand and running my idea passed my teacher who basically told me she didn’t think it would look good, but if I wanted to do it then I was allowed. It was that moment that I felt doubt about my choice. It felt awful that someone who was supposed to be enriching my creativity was putting doubt in my mind about my ability for success. So, what did I do? I went and did it my way anyway, and GUESS WHAT? She ended up loving how it looked and even re-iterated how she doubted the end result, but was pleasantly surprised.
I learned something that day. I learned that the most important person to listen to is your inner voice and sometimes what you think you’re supposed to be doing, is not always the best way. Sometimes thinking outside the box or doing your own thing creates something beautiful. There are many ways to reach your goals, you don’t have to follow what you’re ‘supposed’ to do. Add your own touch on the world and do it proudly.
Worrying doesn’t solve problems and excessive worry, without a doubt, makes them worse. It’s easy to say not to worry, but as I know well, when your thoughts start to roll and take over your mind, putting on the brakes takes some effort. The reality though, is worry does not make anything go away. Believe in yourself, in your ability to handle any given situation and remind yourself that when you feel worry, think of action instead. Many situations will play out how they will and if you can do something, you should, and if you can’t, worrying won’t help or prepare you for what’s ahead. Worry if you absolutely must, but work hard to not let excessive worry take over your confidence of knowing you will and can handle what may come.
Self – sacrifice
Moms sacrifice themselves all the time. It’s what we do. It seems as if our sole job is to put everyone first at the expense of our well-being. I know we’ve all heard the saying ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’, and I’ve come to learn this is true. How in the world can you serve your family when you have nothing left to give? Putting yourself last sets you up to give less than your full potential. Your family, your friends and this world, deserve the best of you. You deserve to feel your best. Do for those you love, but also remember to replenish yourself too. Move on from running on empty.
Ahh distractions! They come in so many forms, social media, computers, phones, magazines, music, alcohol, material items, work etc. All these things can be wonderful in moderation, but don’t let them distract you from what really matters, happiness, family, simplicity, joy, peace, feeling centered. The world is full of distractions that take us away from our focus. Move on from letting the distractions prevent you from truly being present in your life.
Being too proud
This year make it a point to move on from being too proud to ask for help, too proud to say sorry, too proud to admit when you’re wrong, too proud to express true feelings, too proud to make that long overdue phone call, too proud to admit you don’t know it all. Move on from limiting your growth and your relationships by being too proud. Instead, connect with those around you by being human, embracing what you don’t know along with all your faults and recognize that it’s ok to be human.
No one knows guilt better than moms. Guilt can creep up when our children are up too late, if they don’t eat enough vegetables, for saying no, for saying yes, discipline, for missing that play for work, for working, for staying home, for not saying the right thing, for not measuring up, for missing a friend’s phone call, answering a text days later, forgetting a birthday, forgetting to sign that important paper, for saying the truth, for expressing our feelings. The list can truly go on and on and it often does. Move on from guilt. Recognize that each day we can only do our best with the best of intentions and let that be enough. Let being a human doing your best be enough.
Move on from expectations. There is no part of being human in this world that is flawless. Sometimes if you feel you are behind in one area, you may actually be excelling in another. The scales of life are constantly fluctuating and sometimes balance is sacrificed for the benefit of a laser focus on something more important. Sometimes you just have to let some balls drop in order to keep the circus going but it doesn’t mean you can’t go back and pick up the balls again. With so many facets of life, so many relationships to manage, duties to carry out, jobs to do, children to take care of, having unrealistic expectations on how you look, how you feel, what you think you should be doing, how others perceive you doesn’t serve you in being successful. Having expectation puts your inner power in something you can’t control, before it has even happened. Expectations are just that, what you expect to happen, not necessarily what is happening. Take things for what they are and roll with it without expectation and I think you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised or unaffected by life’s curve balls.
So now, as I attempt to move on from the above things that hold me back from feeling my best, I already feel a weight lifted off my shoulders. The pressure to meet everyone’s ideals is not most important to me. We are all in this life doing what we can and my best includes not being so hard on myself. Allowing myself the grace I need to recognize my human side and work toward filling in what needs improvement.