All progress in our lives is the result of a conscious choice to take action. But, that’s easier said than done. The key to improvement is the ability to think beyond the moment and ask yourself, “What will this choice ultimately create in my life? Where will it lead? Who will I become as a result?
Tony Robbins, Unleash the Power Within
Since becoming a working mother, I have been on a journey to find myself. I lost myself when my oldest daughter was born in a sea of new responsibilities. I was thrust from a young, untethered law student/wife into the worlds of big law and motherhood simultaneously. In my life “BC” (before children), my biggest responsibility was making sure all of my needs were met. And, quite suddenly after having Mary Pat, that was no longer the case. I had a baby. An 8 lb., 15 oz., beautiful, crying, hungry little baby that needed her mom all of the time. I also had a position at a large law firm, and that came with demanding assignments, long work hours, and a virtually unending list of responsibilities to my clients and colleagues.
It was hard. Some days, it was all I could do to get out of bed and put pants on in the morning. In the early days of motherhood, I felt as though there was no time anymore for the things I enjoyed doing–yoga, meditation, happy hours with my friends, date nights with my husband, sleeping in on the weekends, etc. Every day I would wake up with a laundry list of things to accomplish and, when I reached the end of each day, I would collapse into bed for a few short hours so as to try and rest up to do it all over again.
My life began to feel like a seven-day-a-week job. I wasn’t joyfully cherishing my moments outside of the office as a new mom. I was stressing out my husband and everyone around me. I felt as though everything in my life–all of these new responsibilities–was happening TO me and not BECAUSE OF me.
Looking back now on those early days of motherhood, I realize how selfish and naïve I had been. I was missing out on days that I would never be able to get back with my daughter because I was too stressed and angry at how out of control I was of my life and schedule. By never stopping to take care of my physical and emotional health, I was wasting those precious moments.
I read the above-mentioned quote this morning and thought that this topic would be an excellent blog post for the week. A lot of the working mothers that I know feel exactly the way I did. Their days are terrible because their jobs are terrible. They are exhausted because of their clients, the fact that they’re breastfeeding, their commute is too long. They are miserable because they feel like they’re living their entire lives for other people.
I want to empower you to know that you always have a choice to live your best life. You always have the choice to make positive changes for yourself that help you to live joyfully as a working mother. Sometimes those positive changes take very drastic and difficult steps. Sometimes you’ll need to leave a job, switch to a flex week or find a better at-home support system. Sometimes your choices will bring up negative emotions for you; you’ll feel selfish for needing a moment for yourself away from your partner and kids. To that, I would tell you that it’s always worth it to make the change. I’ve taken some difficult steps myself: I’ve moved law firms. My family made the choice for my husband to stay home with our children. We moved to a town that’s 20 minutes away from family members that can help us watch our children. I’ve asked for help at work when my schedule became too out of control. It wasn’t easy to speak up, but it was worth it.
I want to encourage you this weekend to sit down and think about what it would look like for you to live your very best life. How do you spend your days? What do you feel when you think about living it? I want you to also think about what steps you can take right now to make this life possible for you. Daydream about the possibilities. Talk to your partner, family and friends about changes you need to make. Bring yourself closer to living this life by taking one step towards it, and feel accomplished for having taken that step.
I am choosing to live my very best life at any cost. I hope you also choose to do the same. And, if you need some help to get there, know that Mommy, ESQ. is only one e-mail away.
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We’d love to know what your dream life looks like. What would make you the happiest? What are some of the things you’re going to do to make that dream a reality?
We look forward to hearing from you!