A New Year’s resolution for moms

I’m not super into making New Year’s resolutions, but I like reflecting back on the previous year and starting fresh into a new year.  I do think of goals for the year and things that need to change.  Self assessment is never a bad thing.

While there are the ever-popular resolutions like losing weight and getting in shape (I’m on board with that!), there is one resolution I think all moms need to make: take some me-time.  Being a mom is hard work.  It can be draining physically and emotionally.  I continue to struggle with a bit of an identity crisis.  I’ve had a lonely feeling of late.  I realized that I’m missing Stacey.  I love being a mom.  I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.  I love being the person to whom my daughter turns for comfort, love, laughs, food and play.  But for 30 years before I was that person, I was Stacey.  And I was part of Chris and Stacey.  Sometimes I miss both of those things.  I am still myself.  I am still my husband’s wife, but way too often I get stuck in mom mode constantly.

So, my goal this year is to step back and take some time to myself.  I may take a whole day or two out of the year and do something just for me that doesn’t involve errands, work or other responsibilities.  I did it once last year and it was glorious.  But, mostly it will be small chunks.  It will be taking time after we put the kiddo to bed to sit quietly and read instead of watching mindless television or surfing the Internet.  It will be regrouping myself.

One thing I know about myself is that I am an introvert.  That means I re-energize and refuel with quiet solitude.  And quiet solitude is hard to come by these days in my house.  I have a 2-year-old constant chatterbox who gives running commentary every minute she’s awake.  It’s adorable.  It’s sweet and funny, but it’s certainly not quiet.  I’ve been missing my quiet.  I get too distracted with other things that aren’t actually quieting to me like the computer or television.  And my stress level starts increasing.

So, me-time is important.  I’m realizing that when I don’t get it and my stress level rises, then I end up getting short with both my husband and my child.  And they are the people for whom I work so hard to take care of.  After God, they are my most important relationships.  I have this idea in my head that I have to always been there for them and be on.  However, nobody can do that all the time.  Or at least I can’t.  Perhaps it’s my introverted nature.  But, I need some Stacey time to refuel.  And then I can come right back and be the wife and mom they most need and deserve.  I don’t have to apologize for needing me time.  I don’t have to feel bad for it.  I just have to understand that I really do need it and be proactive about taking it.

I also know I’m not the only one.  I think this is a struggle for all moms.  We all get so wrapped up in what we need to do to take care of our families — work, errands, cooking, cleaning, loving — that we put ourselves at the bottom of the ladder.  And that can only last so long before something breaks.  When something breaks in us, then it breaks in our families.  The very thing we are working so hard for suffers because we forgot that we occasionally just need to be ourselves.

I’m realizing that I can’t be the wife my husband needs or the mother my daughter needs if I’m not the person I was made to be.  My goal is to get reacquainted with Stacey this year.  Right now I am thinking one evening a week after the kiddo goes to bed will be my me-time.  My husband will entertain himself, I will entertain myself and seek some solitude.  And I will remember that I am more than a mom.  I am a woman.  I am Stacey.  And it will be very nice to meet me.

How will you work to carve out time for yourself this year?  Join me!

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