Once I became a mom, it seemed that so many balls were thrown in the air all at once. Breastfeeding, working, lack of sleep, diapers, laundry, toys, advice from those I wanted it from and even more advice from those I didn’t. The feeling of needing to have it all together felt overwhelming and unattainable, that is until recently. I decided it was time for a change in the way I was approaching things and so I began to raise the white flag, it was time for me to give up.
I’ve never been one that enjoyed quitting something I started, but I felt it was time for an overhaul in my life. I have tried a lot of things when it comes to diets, parenting, marriage, friends and my faith. Sometimes I have succeeded, but there have been a lot of times that I have failed. Instead of focusing on my failures and dwelling on the things that I couldn’t change, I decided to give up.
Give up being a people pleaser
I have lived most of my life wondering what others think of me, trying to say the right things and act the right way. As moms, we often fall victim to what we perceive others are judging us on. We wonder how we should answer questions regarding working, breastfeeding, vaccinations, co-sleeping, parenting, marriage, tv watching and more. We are afraid that the “wrong” answer will cause others not to like us. Sometimes we grieve over playdates or moms nights that we are not invited to and internalize it by telling ourselves it must be because people don’t like us. Instead, I am choosing to be thankful for the amazing, quality friendships I do have with the people who are pouring into me as much as I am pouring into them.
Give up the scale
So if I am being honest I will probably never truly give up my scale, but I have given up the idea of being a slave to my scale. I have realized that it is so much more important to feel confident in my skin and strong in my body, than it is to see a certain number on the scale. After 3 babies and 3.5 decades, I have come to grips with the reality that my body will never again look like that of my 18 year old self and the reality is that is okay. The scale is a number that does not get to define who I am.
Give up striving for perfection
When I became a mom, I had so many ideas of what it would look like and all the things I would do to give my kids the best life ever. Pinterest inspired birthday party ideas and Facebook photo albums filled with vacations and seemingly perfect lives tend to fill our mind with the idea that everything we do must be perfect and over the top. I have learned that even without the fanciest parties and the perfect matching outfits, the love that we show our kids is exactly what they need. The reality is even when my 16 month old is out running errands with me in her jammies and crazy hair, the world is still going to be okay.
Give up the unrealistic expectations
I have learned to lower my expectations to be within a more attainable region including areas of my marriage, my kids, my health and my career. Since I am not a morning person I will probably never make it to the gym by 5am. For years, as the new year rolls around I set making it to the gym a priority and I fail again and again. So instead of letting this get me down I am giving up the unrealistic expectation of making it to the gym before work and celebrating the fact that I am making it 2 nights a week.
Giving up the things that bring me stress and replacing them with a new perspective has helped me to focus on my word for the year. By looking into each area of my life separately, I am able to choose joy in many of the areas that once brought me stress.
What are you willing to give up this year?