When we asked about topics that you wanted me to discuss on the blog this year a big thing was about finding balance as a mom/parent. Let’s be honest that this is always a struggle no matter what life looks like. Deciding when to call a babysitter, ask for help, ask your spouse for more support, letting go of the idea that “I can do it all!” and overcome the constant mom guilt that reminds us that being a mom comes first. Obviously! We know that but it’s also important to remember that our lives and happiness are significant, too. I was actually talking to my mom about this and she reminded me that they took us to the gym kid’s club when we were younger, she had a weekly babysitter even though she was a stay at home mom so she could go play tennis, catch up with her girlfriends over lunch, get her hair done, etc. We also had our beloved babysitter Wendy who basically was like a second mom to me who watched us at least 2 nights a week so my parents could go on a date themselves and then out with friends. And you know what, I felt nothing but loved by my parents growing up and if anything they taught me that just because we are parents doesn’t mean we have to give up the things we enjoy. Happy parents = happy kids.
When I think about the new mom I was to Charlie and the new mom I was to Jack those two people are very very different. I basically didn’t leave Charlie’s side his first year of life (unless my mom or our once a week sitter Dani watched him – hi Dani!) and I wouldn’t say I was happy. I didn’t have a social life, I was insecure in my clothes, I was exhausted, I was floundering trying to keep up with work. When I had Jack I was determined not to let that happen to me again. That’s why I made plans. I signed up Jack for daycare 9 months before he even went, I made sure we had sitters on hand, I took him to the gym daycare when he was three months old, I signed up for a trainer, I made PLANS! And you know what, I am in a really good place as a mom now and I felt HAPPY throughout every moment of Jack’s newborn stage and into now. Your sanity is important, your social life is important and it’s important for you to hold on to the person you were before kids. I truly believe this!
I say all of this because I think all of the plans that I made the second time around have helped me find a social life again. I also think that our social life looks a lot different now that we are in the suburbs. We have made new friends because of our kids, we have a new little community that relates to the stage of life that we are in and we look forward to the future we have with them as our kids continue to grow! We have a couple babysitters who we love and rely on and trust with our kids so that guilt of leaving isn’t really there anymore. I think we are at a stage now where we feel settled into parenting and family life and it’s all about finding a balance. Does it take time? Yes! But just remember that your wellbeing and happiness MATTERS in the happiness of your home. Be proactive and fill the spaces that keep you from doing the things you want to do! The first time is always hard but it gets easier and easier. Then one day you start reconnecting with your husband, switching your focus from your kids to your spouse and it feels sooo good. Life is good.
I just wanted to share our experience in hopes that it encourages you to do the same! xoxo