I have this elderly lady who lives in my building, and whenever I run into her in the elevator she always gives me a random bit of life advice. Now that might sound a bit annoying, but she actually has the best advice every time. Once, years ago, she told me her motto in life was to “be a warrior, not a worrier,” which I love.
I saw her a few weeks ago. I was on my way to the gym and her daughter who was with her commented that it was the first time she’d seen me without my toddler tagging along. The lady spoke before I could and said “well I think it’s wonderful that you’re taking time for yourself. The expectations on mothers are ridiculous these days. If you take time for yourself you’re selfish, if you don’t take time for yourself it’s your own fault. But remember this – you can’t live your whole life for another person. You still need to be you.”
She’s right of course. Both with the advice and her assessment of the judgement that surrounds all choices mothers make. Hell, I judge myself for the choices I make.
You still need to be you is the part that stuck out at me though. This is what I’ve struggled with most since becoming a mother. Everything that I want to achieve personally is pushed to the bottom of my to do list in favour of doing things that my family needs or that keeps the house running, but I’ve suffered because of it. My physical and mental health is at probably one of the lowest points in over a decade.
Next year I need to prioritise me. Even writing that just now I can already think of a million reasons not to, but more than anything, I want to be a good example to my daughter. I don’t want her to put herself last. I don’t want her to think it’s okay to forget about your hopes and dreams. Not ever. Not for anyone.
I’m currently working on my goals for 2018 (which I’ll share with you in the coming weeks). I think that achieving these, and finding myself again, will be the direction this blog takes in 2018, and I hope you’ll join me.