I set out this 2017-2018 school year with one word in mind-BALANCE. A word in which I failed miserably at last year. If my life last year manifested itself as a scale motherhood would be at the bottom and work would be at the top. I knew I was not balanced, but I had no idea how to find common ground. Between being a single mother, Athletic Director, Head softball coach, and Doctoral student I wore many hats. Unfortunately being a mom took the backseat to this new transition- I CHOSE WORK.
I knew going into this job would be difficult, but I underestimated the amount of time necessary to develop a changing culture. If I can be completely transparent, I often found myself being frustrated with my son for interrupting my work. Crazy right? All I thought about was work. All I wanted to do was work On my days off I wanted to work, in my free time I wanted to work, because…WORK. WORK. WORK had my attention.
I was constantly tired. Constantly looking for a break. Constantly frustrated because I could not find the balance. I knew my son needed more of my time, but I also knew I had a job to do. I was engulfed in guilt always. I felt guilty when I put him to bed at night knowing that I didn’t devote enough attention to his needs. I felt guilty for being tired when I got home knowing I gave all my energy to work. I felt guilty when I was at work because I knew I needed to be home and I felt guilty when I was at home because I knew there was so much work to be done. My life was spiraling and I knew A change was needed. A change was necessary. And that’s exactly what I set out to do this past summer.
I knew that when I got a better grasp of ME I would be able to know what balance looked like in my life as a leader and a mom. So I set out to do just that. I spent time reflecting, traveling, reading, writing, BEING QUIET and BEING STILL. At the end of summer, I decided to implement these changes in my life:
Limit my travel during the fall
Open days are for REST
NO is a complete sentence
Laugh and Have Fun
I knew if I implemented these things it would free me up to be a better mom. And as I approach week two of this new year, I cannot help but to have so much joy. I have stuck to my plan and have enjoyed every minute of it. After school, I STOP whatever work I am doing and save it for the next day. I clear my schedule to be available for my son. We have gone to the park more, worked on baseball at the fields, and just spend quality time together.
With these changes I have noticed an upswing in his behavior because he no longer has to fight for my attention; he knows he has it. This time last year I was already getting little notes from his teacher about his behavior. While the year is just getting started, I know that his better behavior is directly correlated with my ability and commitment to spend more time with him. He is more settled. He is happier. He is better.
I know I am only going on week 2, but I feel good about the balance. I am not weighted down by guilt, and on days where I fall short, I have already given myself permission to let myself off the hook. Now, if my life were manifested as a scale I would be be BALANCED. I have a plan going into year 2 and I CHOOSE MOM.
Reborn. Renewed. Recolored.