Thriving for Me and Them

We have big jobs being parents.

I can remember the moment my water broke with my first son, and me saying out loud, “oh my god, I am not ready for this.” And I wasn’t. I don’t know if anyone is really ready, or what being ready even means. Up until you have children, your main responsibility is to take care of yourself. Now you have a little person that requires every moment of your time and energy. You are not longer the most important person, and your needs suddenly are not as important either.

This big job of being a parent now comes before everything else. It is most definitely the most challenging yet most rewarding job I have ever had. To look at these two little people and to think that I created them is so incredibly beautiful and powerful in its own way. Sometimes I try to visualize and to try to feel what it was like to exist before having kids, and I honestly cannot. I would imagine most mothers feel this same way, too.

While the beauty in becoming a mom is like no other, the loss of self can feel incredibly scary and isolating. Bring in all of life’s other challenges; the upkeep of a home, a career, a marriage, other family demands, friendships, and the list goes on. Somehow without even realizing it, keeping ourselves and our needs, wants and desires a priority can become almost non-existent. I know I can say that it did for me.

Being divorced, while still one of the most painful experiences I have gone through, ended up giving me so much power in my life. It was not until I was single parenting within my own house, working on discovering and re-discovering parts of myself, did I realize how important it is to still be a person aside from being a parent.

I have always been someone who is extremely active and athletic. I have played soccer and been a skier since I was 5 years old. I started lifting weights in high school and always went to the gym from then forward. When I had my first son, I was still working out, but inconsistently. When I had my second son, it was much harder to get back into, and later that year I broke my leg, which left me unable to workout for quite a while.

About a year ago, I got serious about working out again. I knew that I needed to do something for me, that in turn would benefit my sons. The benefits that I get from working out are incredible; my body is strong, my mind is more sharp and powerful, my energy is through the roof, I make healthier food choices, I am more productive and satisfied at work, I feel positive almost all of the time, and the list goes on.

The most rewarding thing of all however, is that my sons are watching their mother make herself a priority. They are seeing me making healthy choices, and valuing my own worth. They are also learning that while they are the light of my life, that they are not the only important ones. In order to be a good provider for them, I also need to be fueled by things that make me happy. It makes my heart smile when they watch me workout and then start doing my workouts with me. Just one of many valuable things I will teach them over the years.

Photo by Wilder Zandonella

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