To be honest I don't remember what I did before I had kids. I know I cooked... a lot. I know I had a lot more friends and my Friday nights were much more eventful. My nails were usually done, and my house was usually fairly clean. Then came the kids. Becoming a mother is BY FAR THE BEST THING that has EVER happened to me. I never knew such tiny little people could fill my heart with so much love and joy. Just thinking of my kids makes my heart feel like it is going to burst wide open!. Are my nails done? HA! Is my house clean? HA-HA! I have lost friends along the way and a good Friday night means I am in bed by 10pm! Nothing makes me happier and I wouldn't have it any other way.
BUT, I feel like something happens to a lot of women after they have kids. We lose ourselves. I don't necessarily mean this in a bad way. Our kids always have and always will be our priorities and that's what we WANT and how it should be! However, we become so occupied with nap schedules and never ending laundry and lunch preparations for the week that we lose a tiny bit of who WE are as a person. I was and still am one of those moms. What I said before hasn't changed. My kids will always be my heart, my priority and world...however I am just slowly learning that it is also just as important to take back a little of my identity along the way. I AM a mom, but being a mom doesn't define who I am as a person.
What do I like to do? What makes me, well ME? I like to cook, I like to bake, I love photography, I like to dance, I have a small group of BEST friends that I love, I like to shop...the list goes on and on. After having kids all of these things faded away and became things of the past. The truth is, these are things that make me happy. These are things that make me who I am as an individual. Do I have time to cook and bake cupcakes? Excuse my french, but HELL NO! I end up baking during nap time or late at night after the kids go to bed in between loads of laundry. Do I have the luxury of editing pictures from a photo shoot one afternoon over a cup of hot coffee? NOPE! Again, I have learned to be creative and fit my business schedule into my personal schedule. Between working full-time as a nurse (at night) and being a mom... it is absolutely CRAZY that I would even entertain the idea of adding a cupcake and a photography business to the mix. The difference here is that I LOVE IT. My kitchen and my camera define who I am; they are what make me...ME.
There have been plenty of times that I questioned my ability to juggle all of these different aspects of my life. Maybe I should wait until the kids start school to focus on my business? But the reality is that is not fair to me...as well as all the other moms who push their hobbies and passions aside to raise kids. It isn't easy. Actually, it's SO hard. BUT I am so much happier because of it. I learned to say NO to the things I don't want to do as much to be able to say YES to the things that I do. Yes, I may lose an extra hour or two of sleep so I can stay up late to write this blog post or edit that photo shoot or frost those cupcakes...but when I see the finished product I am SO happy. AND I get to do all of these things while still being the best mom I can be to my favorite two little humans!
What makes you happy? I am not saying go out and start up a part time business but I am saying... maybe that extra hour of sleep isn't such a big deal when you can finally paint that picture you've been thinking about, or try out that new recipe you saw on TV. Maybe enroll in that dance class you've seen advertised. Think about saying YES to the things that make you...YOU! :)
Just a few of my favorite things that make me the happiest... :)
Thumbnail picture/maternity photo/friends photo credit: Picture This by Dawn.