November is always the month I start reflecting on my last year, what I'm thankful for and the direction I hope my next year goes. I'm always amazed how much change actually happens in a year!
Last year my kids were testing me and my major concern was the twins starting Kindergarten and finally having time for myself. As you know not only did they stop full day kindergarten, my 17 yr old got pregnant! So far the hardest thing for me has been letting go of the "whys"... Why now? Why can't I ever get a break? So it's been a very different year than I expected. What I've learned this year is that I've grown in ways I didn't even know I needed to. Am I still left with questions? Yep! The main one is, what am I supposed to be doing? I've been home with kids for 23 years. Just when I thought it was my time now, my daughter is having a baby! So I will still be home with a baby! Of course I'm watching the baby while she goes to school. She is on track to graduate in May, and then I will watch the baby so she can go to beauty school. What I'm learning is that being a mom is about balance. You don't always have to put your kids before yourself. It's not selfish to take care of yourself or go out without the kids! They don't have to always be a part of everything. When you take care of yourself, by doing what you want at least some of the time, you are happier which makes you a better wife, mother and person to be around. Honestly I wish I realized this years ago. I spent a lot of time and energy on things that weren't important. That's why now I've made it my mission to not only share my journey but I've made it a point to teach my girls the importance of not losing themselves. This is the first year in probably 20 that I have met my personal goals! I wanted to lose 20 pounds, I lost 22! I wanted to get healthy, I started clean eating and I'm loving it! I wanted to start working out. Not only have I lost a ton of inches, I have muscles and am in the best shape of my life at 43!! I wanted to find myself. I realized I'm right here, where I belong as the center of my family. I didn't lose my joy of mothering, I forgot to do for myself, do things I like, do things just for ME. I realized I am enough just being me even on a day I yelled too much, didn't shower or cook dinner. My self worth is not the success of my children, or how clean my house is. I have found I was given my life because I am strong enough to live it. My oldest moved back home, my son got in some serious trouble and my 17yr old daughter is pregnant, but you know what? I'm still a good mom, my kids love and respect me, and my marriage is stronger than ever! That is what I'm thankful for.
Where will 2016 take me, I have no idea! What I do know is there is joy in the journey even when it feels like hell. I also know I can handle it, and that being a mom will always be the best part of me.