Somewhere along the way I lost myself taking care of others and it’s time I take back control of my life.
As a woman, I feel like I’ve lost myself these past few years. Without even noticing, I’ve given up so much of myself and it’s time to be a priority and redefine myself. I’ve gotten lost in the never ending to do list and the pressure I’ve felt to meet everyone’s expectations.
Somewhere along the way I started to sacrifice my own needs and priorities, just to take care of one more person. Other people’s emergencies became my emergencies and I started to lose myself in the pressure to not let other people down. Whether it was pushing off a workout, not giving myself time to write, going to bed even later, not taking a lunch break, using dry shampoo just another morning, working on weekends, or not speaking up when I needed help, I stopped making myself and my wellness a priority. I won’t glamorize it, I haven’t been taking good care of myself and I’m worn out.
Somewhere along the way I convinced myself that this was how my life was going to be as a working mom and it’s time to stop giving into that lie. I can regain control and be my own top priority. I can say no and not feel guilty for my decisions. I can choose who I give my time and energy to. I can choose to make myself a priority over others. I can advocate for myself and not feel bad.
These past few weeks have been my tipping point. These past few weeks reminded me that if you don’t make yourself a priority, no one else is going to either. That you have to put yourself and your wellness first, because if you don’t, you’ll lose yourself.
Somewhere along the way I continued to add, add, add without removing anything from my plate. Somewhere along the way I started to sacrifice my own needs in order to take care of just one more person and I lost sight of myself and the things that really mattered to me.
It’s easy to say that I lost myself to motherhood, but that’s just not the case. I can’t blame my kids for the imbalance in my life, as they bring endless joy, even in the difficult moments of parenthood. As I look back on the past 4 years, I realize that I lost myself every time I added something new to my plate and didn’t take something off. When I added just one more thing and either didn’t remove something or thought it was ok to remove something that mattered to me. I lost myself when I allowed others to take advantage of me. When I gave others the power to use my strengths and not see the value of my time and sacrifice.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time these past 2 weeks thinking. Thinking about what got me here and recognizing the behaviors that will need to change. I’ve taken the time to refocus on what matters to me and have consciously made decisions to let go of very specific tasks and responsibilities. I’ve opened my eyes to the areas of my life that need healing and have made deliberate decisions to stop putting band aids on those things. That I deserve to heal and deserve to be a priority again.
I’ve looked at not only what I need to remove from my plate, but also at what I need to add back to my plate. I’m so happy to write again, to go on walks with my family again, and to bring my own goals and dreams back into the spotlight.
I’ve felt so alone these past few months, despite working hard to help others in my personal and professional life. I hope that by sharing my experience that others will find strength to change their situation. That others will know that they are not alone and that they have to fight to be a priority. If you’re worn out, run down, or taken advantage of, you can regain control.
If feels good to be back.