Beyond “Mom”: 5 Ways To Start Living To The Fullest
Sitting in the living room one lazy weekend morning, my little one, my last born, came over to me. I sat him on my lap and hugged him. For a moment I just wanted to hold him there forever. “I want to go play now, Mama.”
As I let him go I remembered all those times I just wanted my children to grow up so that I could sleep, or not have to nurse, or be able to go on date nights. Well, it is here and as it arrives my little ones’ childhood flees me.
I want to hold on to them, but the truth is that although I will forever be their mother and - if I am lucky - they will forever look to me as a source of love, comfort and security, happiness and warmth, they are doing exactly what their father and I are preparing them for: they are growing up, moving away, little by little finding their own way.
All our children will. Which is why it is so important that we, as mothers, as women, keep sight of our own dreams, prepare ourselves to pave our paths – find it again just as we did when we left our own mother’s lap. We get so caught up in our roles as wives and mothers that sometimes we tend to believe that this is all we have left, this is all we are born to do. But being mothers, and raising children is but a chapter in our lives. Our story is meant to be much longer than that. Motherhood is but a small part of our greater being. It may be the greatest thing we do, but it doesn’t have to be the only thing we accomplish.
While I hold on to every second I have left with my little ones and every kiss they will give and every extra long hug, I am finding myself making sure that I live my story to its fullest as well. Here are some ways you can do the same:
Take time, even if its just a few minutes a day to think about what it is you want – apart from what you want for your family, for your children. Find a few minutes to think about what makes you happy. Sure it’s hard, but it’s not impossible and you are worth it.
Say It With Me: “Nothing is Forever”
Remember, though we become consumed with the sleepless nights and other moments in our children’s growing phases, nothing last forever. They will outgrow it and as they do you will find more and more time to pursue the things that fulfill you as an individual. Don’t dwell on the “I just can’t because this is constant!” Believe me, it never is…and you can if you want to.
Find a Hobby
It’s often easier to find a passion in a hobby or in something we do simply for pleasure or entertainment. Though there is no denying that we often find our passions in our careers, I have found we are more likely to do so in things we discover through the carefree process of trial and error, when we have nothing to lose and when what is lost doesn’t really matter. Depending on the hobby, it might even be something you can later share with your children.
Accept What’s to Come
Your kids won’t always need you, because you’ve raised them not to and if you are not raising them to not always need you, well, then you might being doing them a disservice, because you won’t always be around. Accepting this realization will make it easier to accept that it’s ok to do for ourselves and take care of our own needs when no one else’s need the attention.
Make a List
Nothing is too ridiculous. Whether it be taking pottery or learning Japanese. Write a list of all the things you hope to accomplish one day, the day when your life isn’t cluttered by dirty diapers, school recitals and play date schedules. Make a list, and as your time frees up – and it will sooner than you know if - start checking those items off.
One of the best ways to instill and teach happiness in our children is by being living examples of it. Be the example of joy and self-fulfillment you want your children to become. And never feel guilty for wanting to hang on to that hug just a little bit longer, cause no matter what they say, they will never be too old for that.