Well, after almost five full days of uninterrupted thinking and planning and some serious soul-searching, I am feeling strong and energetic and ready to handle anything that comes next! I am still a little bit anxious to know what day-to-day life will look like with me working on a limited part-time basis and a little bit worried about how the kids will adjust to being away from me for those small pockets of time. But mostly I am excited and ready to embark on this next part of my lifelong journey. Here is what I have decided to do differently:
1. Hire a cleaning service. Wow. That still feels weird to say out loud but, at the same time, it is SO incredibly liberating to admit that I can’t do it all and that I need HELP! I don’t think I’ve ever fully admitted it to myself before but….I DO NOT LIKE TO CLEAN! There. I said it. I started to say “I H^TE TO CLEAN” but we are trying to erase that vocab word from our household so I held back. But I hope that you get how strongly I despise cleaning. All of it. The vacuuming, the dusting, washing the dishes, the laundry, the cleaning up pee from the bathroom floor and toilet and walls…yes, especially the cleaning up pee part. I can’t wait until my little men can hit their mark in the bathroom. (The oldest one, who is 5, actually forgot to open the lid during his early morning bathroom visit the other day and ended up peeing all over the outside of the toilet and the floor! Boy, was I ever glad that my husband walked in on that one instead of me!) To sum it up, I can’t WAIT to come home to a clean house that I had no part in cleaning. I have no doubt that it will be well worth the money and I will fall hopelessly in love with the person who scrubs my floors and dusts my light fixtures (something I can’t say I’ve ever done). I do realize that I will probably still be cleaning up pee but maybe that won’t be so bad if I wasn’t the one who just spent a half hour getting the bathroom looking spic and span before my little guy came in and hosed it down with his – ahem – hose.
2. Find “me” time. I plan to make more time for sleep, exercise, reading, sipping hot cups of tea, and maybe even some mindfulness and meditation.
3. Yes, definitely bring mindfulness back into my life. It doesn’t really take up any extra time and it is SO worth it.
4. Write myself a note of joy, appreciation, or gratitude every morning. My mothering coach suggested this to me a few months ago and I’ve been doing it sporadically with great results. I love the idea of talking to myself as if I was a good friend of mine (because I am!) and reminding myself of all the things that I love and appreciate about myself and why I am thankful for those qualities. Here is an example from this morning: “Maria, I appreciate that you apologize and ask for a “do over” when you mess up, that you stay true to your beliefs even when they are not popular with others, and that you did not raise your voice yesterday.” Or sometimes it’s as simple as saying “Maria, I am grateful for your hands and all of the diapers that they have changed over the last 5 and a half years.” These journal entries give me the strength and motivation to feel good about myself and tackle whatever comes my way that day.
5. Read something inspirational every day. I am the sort of person who benefits from gentle reminders every day to help me remember why I am fighting the good fight, per se. For example, I recently read these two posts that left me feeling so energized and motivated to keep up with the mindful parenting of my little ones. (And also a little bit sentimental because it’s so hard for me to imagine my little babies as teenagers or grown men…sniff sniff.) Thank you to these women because it is so helpful to hear success stories from the other side!
So, that’s it. My first attempt at a blog post and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be! Whew! It feels good to try new things 🙂
As somebody wise once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning but anybody can start today and make a new ending.” That’s what I plan to do.
P.S…I cannot post this without adding a huge, giant-sized THANK YOU to my husband who gave me the gift of finding myself again in the form of five days off from kids and household duties and everything that had been threatening to pull me under and erase my mind. I know…maybe a bit dramatic…but, seriously, I cannot thank him enough. He is truly my best friend and I love being on the same team with him in this game of life. And it’s a good thing because we are too competitive to be on opposite teams! 😉 Elephant Shoes