I had shared a post on my IG account right when the new year started, about making 2019 the year of self-care for me. After sharing that post, I felt strongly about wanting to elaborate on that topic, to make sure I was clear on what I had meant. I put it on the back burner for a couple weeks, talking myself out of writing it many times. But, on January 20, 2019, I had the privilege of attending the Mad About Style ambassador brunch, where the topic being presented by the guest speaker, Jessica Janzen, was all about “goals for 2019”! Coincidence? I KNOW not! I am a big believer that we have nudges on our heart to do things and Jessica appears to share a very similar mindset. I also believe that connections in life between people occur in various forms to help form our paths. Hearing her speak was the kick in the pants I needed to commit to my original thought: write out my goals for 2019 in more detail; something I had clearly been putting off. I had been feeling compelled to not only share my goals in more detail, but also the WHY behind them, as I believe that if I/my husband are dealing with these things, that other couples are likely going through the same thing.
That last sentence is really the whole reason I started this blog back in August, 2015. I wanted this space to be a place of connection; a place that I could find relation with other women/moms, who were living similar lives as me. Secondly, I wanted this space to be a therapeutic means for myself; an outlet where I could write. Thirdly, I wanted it to be a place where I could share some of the things I had learned about along the way. Not because I am an expert in these areas, but because I want to share my trials, errors and tribulations with others, in hopes that others could benefit and possibly learn from what I have experienced.
Now back to the WHY behind my goal for 2019 of self-care and what caused me to determine that this needed to be my goal. This past fall, I found myself in a very busy and overwhelming season. Prior to this season, I liked to think of myself as a fairly organized and structured person. I was especially this way prior to having kids but I think that after adding two littles into our lives, I still did a pretty good job overall in this area, while on maternity leave that is.. This fall however, the adjustment to life with two as my husband started to work again in September (his work follows a typical school year calendar, therefore he was off during the summer) and I transitioned back to work part-time in October, definitely kicked my butt, to say the least. Simple things like bathroom cleanliness and laundry piled up around me, which didn’t bother me all that much, as I knew I would get to it eventually. However, I share those things not to guilt others, because I know they are trivial in life and something we all face daily, but rather because what started there and seemed simple enough, gradually snowballed into a lack of groceries in the house which lead to unbalanced meals (ie. pasta way too often with no signs of fresh vegetables or fruit), which then led to drive through stops or ordering in pizza once a week. To be clear, if this is the way you choose to live your life and you are happy with those choices, then that’s wonderful! And if it’s not the way you want to live and you’re in the same boat as I was mentally, then this is the time to reflect on it, together. Either way, I don’t make any judgments. Eating that way just wasn’t what I wanted for myself and wasn’t what I wanted to teach my kids. Other things then started to give too. My sleep per night decreased significantly as the hours in the day seemed much shorter than they previously had and I guess in some ways they were. Since both my husband and I were no longer available almost all day, everyday as we were during the summer (him being off work and me being on maternity leave), the panic in the evenings to get things done was greater. As that occurred, so did any signs of doing anything for ourselves. Even on our days off together, we would both wake up at 8:00 am, when our daughter would wake up herself and enter our bedroom. We raced around in the evenings and found ourselves exhausted at 9:00 pm when both kids were finally fed, bathed and asleep; leaving not much “quiet” alone time for ourselves. We would attempt to do some things around the house and pull out our individual activities that we enjoy, but most times would give up as we were too tired to focus. That resulted in watching too much Scandal on Netflix in the evenings and ultimately us then going to bed too late, only to start the chaos all over again the next day. Because really, what’s just ONE more episode? After a couple of Scandal episodes, which I find slightly scary and gross quite often (So WHY do I even watch it you might ask.. and I really don’t know?! lol), my mind was NOT ready for bed and in fact, I would often feel more alert because of the impact the scenes had on me.. this really wasn’t good for me, obviously! I would then get a second wind sometime around 11:30 pm, causing me to feel hungry which would result in eating another snack right before I hit the bed, which we all know is great for metabolism/weight management.
Through this process, our marriage also declined. We no longer had our self-fulfillment from individual time and we also no longer were prioritizing talking and spending time together (without Netflix playing in the background). We had friends during Christmas ask us how often we go out alone since having our son and we both looked at each other sheepishly, saying “not enough”. Our excuse was: It was easy to arrange for someone to watch one child but since having our son, we had a guilt as parents to ask other people to watch our two children. Both of our parents provide childcare for us often during the week so asking them to watch the kids on the weekend felt like we were burdening them. To ask other family or friends, made us feel guilt because we knew that two kids who were in very different life stages, needed a lot of attention and can be overwhelming for someone who is not used to it (and even for those who are, hah!). We realized in those few moments of silence in the evenings alone, once the kids were asleep, that our marriage wasn’t as strong as it had once been. Even the trip we took alone to Minneapolis this past fall, which we had booked purposely to spend some alone time together, had proven to not be as successful as we would have liked it to be. To sum up that trip: we missed our kids. In part, that scared me. Why couldn’t I just be happy and content alone with my husband on vacation? Is this a sign that things are going in the wrong direction? Are we destined to be divorced down the road like 50% of the rest of the population? Luckily the answer to all those questions was: NO. Through many in-depth conversations together, we knew this wasn’t the case for us. What we also learned during those conversations is that we both felt the same way about the situation, which was relieving in itself. Being on opposite pages would have been more upsetting, for me at least, as I would have thought there really was something wrong me, in respect to my marriage. But, we both felt that Minneapolis is fun with our kids and serves a much greater purpose as a family trip for us then it does as an alone trip for us. We talked about it and know that we still want to do trips alone, as I have previously declared here on the blog. We are eager to explore a few different cities on our travel list together, just the two of us, but we know now that Minneapolis isn’t the right place for us to do that anymore.
So, back to where I was going with this! After the fall changes for our family, we had Christmas holidays which added in an additional level of chaos as the Christmas holidays always do. We also had our vacation to Hawaii which changed routines slightly and caused our focuses to shift. Distracted, on the go and chaotic was the monthly themes for September to January. Not how I want to live my life!
After Christmas was over and I still had a week off from work, I took time to reflect on myself, my needs and my desires/goals for 2019, away from social media. I actually typically don’t set new year goals because I have never felt like I needed a new year to be the reason to set goals. I am one of self-reflection at all times and see each new day as an opportunity to change. However, this year, it’s just the way it worked out in terms of timing. So I figured, why NOT create some goals for 2019 and share them publicly?
After the Christmas break, what I realized is that I wanted to be so much more for myself. In personal aspects, I wanted to carve out more time for myself and time with my husband. I also wanted my daughter to make sure she got 1:1 time with her dad more often, as they used to go on daddy-daughter dates quite frequently before our son was born. I wanted to take care of myself with better eating habits (and no longer cook only kid focused meals which they don’t always eat anyways) as well as start to work out again. Because, let’s be honest, the weight from baby brother’s pregnancy has not fallen off as easily as it did after sisters! I also find that I am always pulling muscles and I really believe that if I spent a little time working out and strengthening my body, I would hurt myself way less often. My boy is a big babe and I need stronger muscles to carry him, hah! I want to be a more patient mom and not lose my cool when my daughter doesn’t listen to my requests for the fifth time or pushes her brother to the ground for the tenth time that day. I want to be more present when I am with my children and more focused on their needs. This means more sleep at night for myself, so I feel more awake and aware when I am around them. It also means less holding my phone in my hand in their presence. I want to be more dedicated as a psychiatric nurse and continue to learn and grow in my field. I also want to shift back to the extremely positive person I know I am in terms of my attitude and perspective on life. I had wished that others might feel compelled to share their own learning experiences back when I started this blog, in a form of women community, so we can all progress and succeed together! But I’ll admit, that’s something I haven’t asked of other women enough, so that is one of my blogging goals for 2019: For you to share your experiences with me on here as well. The things I have learned from other people’s IG posts and blogs have been extremely beneficial for me and my family and have definitely helped me to feel not so alone in this journey. I want to influence in a meaningful, positive way, continue to share my everyday experiences and radiate care and perseverance, while building community, as I originally intended to do when I started out. I want to get back to writing on here more frequently. My minimum up to this point has been two posts per month but I would love to do one weekly. For now, I’ll say three posts per month is my goal. I know if I set things too high, such as work out five times a week, I won’t accomplish it and essentially set myself up for failure. I feel for me, these goals are quite reasonable!
Some of those goals may sound like a lot of common cliche ones such as eating better and working out.. but the way I see it, they are just part of a larger equation. I know that if I take care of myself a bit more this year, (hence my goal of self-care), that it will overflow into the lives of my husband and children as well as everyone else around me. The word “CARE” in general is what my focus will be this year. I want to care for myself, care for my family, care for my clients, care for my friends, care for my acquaintances and followers, as well as anyone else that crosses my path, with intention everyday. I also want to care more about the WHAT and the WHY when I am posting on social channels.
Do you ever meet someone and think, whatever she has, I want! That’s the kind of mentality I want to go into this year with. I’m still human, I’ll have bad days and miss a work out here and there. I also will end up ordering pizza often, because I still LOVE PIZZA. But, I know that the overall effects will be great if I can commit to this plan.
So here’s a summary of all my goals for 2019:
- Carve out alone time for myself doing activities I enjoy – Daily
- Plan out a date night with my husband (not in front of Netflix!) – 1x/month
- Encourage my husband to create a daddy-daughter date – 1x/month
- Make meal plans for each day weekly and order in 1x/month
- Work out 3x/week.
- Put down my phone when my kids are around me
- Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep most nights
- Engage in work related self learning activities 1x/3 months.
- Pray for focus, patience, positivity, intention and care – Daily
- Post 3x/month on the blog and open up the conversation
I’ll share my how and why behind these goals and the progress I have been making, as well as the bumps in the road I’ve encountered so far in my next post, but for now, let’s start with number 10!
QUESTION: I’m wondering, has anyone else made or is making similar goals as me for 2019? Anyone else living a life like I was back in fall: slightly chaotic? Please share your thoughts, goals, dreams and progress below and let’s start learning from each other! A lot of this is new to me so I would love to hear other people’s thoughts/opinions! 🙂