Trying to Keep My Head Above Water
I’ll be the first person to say mommin’ ain’t easy. My life had been in complete chaos after baby number one arrived, and I was drowning. If you were an outsider looking in, you would think that I had it together, or at least I hoped that was what I was portraying, but in my home, I wasn’t the “Trendy Pinterest Mom” or the “Everything Comes Easy to Me Mom.” I was the “I Am Trying to Keep My Head Above Water Mom.”
I knew this whole stay at home mom gig would be hard, but for some reason I could not get a grasp on it. I felt like I had it easy; I had a great support system, a steady family income, and one baby. I repeat, one baby, not two or three, just one, and I could not keep it together. I was overly exhausted all the time, I felt like a could never keep a straight home, and let’s not even get on the subject of dinner time. The only things I had a grasp on were our family finances and raising our baby girl Magdalen, and that is a generous statement.
Becoming My Number One Priority
After seeing a doctor about postpartum depression and dealing with the effects, I was finally in a better mindset. Things were still not coming to me easy, but I was getting through the day. I decided to have a little come-to-Jesus talk with myself. The year 2016 had brought a lot of change, and 2017 would be no different. Runyan, party of 3 would soon be Runyan, party of 4. We were expecting! I needed to dig deep to find the part of me that could balance it all. At that point, I made the decision to focus on myself instead of obsessing over what I thought were failures. It was time to make me my number one priority. I needed to become the better me and that would take some work. I was not making this decision to be selfish. I was making this decision so that I could be selfless. If I could be a better me for me, and actually get to the know the new me, then I could be a better me for my family and friends. Plain and simple.
I had little time to spare, so I needed this whole self-betterment experiment to be as organized as possible. So, I decided to ask myself these 3 questions:
- What are some things that use to bring me joy?
- What are some new things that I may be interested in?
- What are some new ways to keep me healthy and active?
At first, I started answering the three questions in my head, but I knew I needed to put them down on paper. It was hard to find the time to explore the items on all three of my question and answers. After focusing on better time management and more communication with my husband about my needs and wants, I slowly started to make my way down those pieces of papers. I omitted some things, added some things, skipped some things, and most importantly accomplished some things. It was, and still is, an ongoing process. Those question and answers weren’t just question and answers, they were a reminder of what made me, me, and they were also reminders of what I could be. Basically, they were my small accountability partners.
My little partners made my day-to-day routine easier and much more enjoyable. Yes, I still had my daily housework to do, and the responsibility of taking care of my extremely mobile toddler, but I was delegating time to better myself, and it felt amazing! Working on my stay at home mom duties balanced with the working on me activities.
The days weren’t running into each other anymore. They were separated and scheduled for better use of my family’s time. Yes, I was leaving them for a few hours a week to work on me and only me, but I didn’t feel guilty about it. That little time I was taking for myself was making the time spent with my family so much more meaningful.
I wasn’t the “I Am Trying to Keep My Head Above Water Mom” anymore. Honestly, I wasn’t any type of mom. I was just Amanda, momma to two wonderful babies, wife to my loving husband, business owner, volunteer, and lifestyle enthusiast. I’m not saying my life is perfect. I have many days where I am still trying to keep my head above water, but somewhere in between all of the chaos, we have found our balance, and that is what life is all about … balance.