I’ve been doing a lot of reflection lately (see this post about my new morning routine!), and I’ve figured out that I am way to strict on myself, and that robs me of a lot of happiness. Just from talking to those around me (mostly women), I find that we all have these hard and fast rules about how we live, and the second life strays away from that, we feel like failures.
Take motherhood. For me, my rules look like this:
Feed them a hot breakfast each morning. Volunteer at their school. Be present, always. Never be distracted. Limit their tv. Play with them when they ask. Feed them organic food. Make them happy. Never yell. Stay off my phone around them. Have an answer for everything. Never let them down. Have fun activities planned. Create amazing childhood memories. Be crushed when they are sad.
I could go on! I take this motherhood job seriously, and I want to raise smart kids that are honest and intelligent and kind. I don’t take this job lightly, and sometimes the pressure is crushing. I won’t bore you how many nights I have lain awake regretting something I’ve said or worrying about them in some capacity.
Yet two things have helped me with this.
- I read an article once that asked one simple question. “Do they feel loved”” That is the ONE goal at the end of this whole parenthood journey. A million things can go wrong and we can all mess up, but at the end of the day, do they feel loved? This is my new benchmark for motherhood.
- I also laugh because often when my husband is away I do things very differently. Meal planning goes out the window and I make them either ‘breakfast for dinner’ or hot dogs and macaroni and cheese each night. We even eat it in front of the tv and have a ‘carpet picnic’, as they call it. I feel like I am being the laziest mother alive, but when I tell them this they cheer. They love it. Sometimes kids aren’t really complicated after all. They just want to feel loved and secure and the rest can fall into place.
Another place I have a hard time bending my rules is when it comes to my health and fitness routine.
Some of them include: work out hard on the days you plan with no room for excuse. Eat the meals you planned and make sure you hit your macros each day. NO wine on the weekdays, no excuses. Drink 3 bottles of water per day. Eat paleo as much as possible. Stress over extra meals or unplanned desserts. Worry constantly when life throws a wrench in your plans and you can’t do any of this.
I learned a lot over the summer when we moved and I had to let go of a lot of rigidness. I tossed aside my macros and just ate intuitively. I worked out when I could, and tried not to worry when I couldn’t. While I know I feel better when I DO have a routine and can work out regularly and eat as healthy as I can, the world does not stop if I can’t.
My new health and wellness rules include trying my best. Being more flexible. I try my best to work out when I plan to and eat healthily as much as I can. Each day and each workout I do is a plus. Every healthy meal or smoothie or bottle of water is a plus. It means I am trying, and that’s all that matters.
Tell me, what rules could you modify to make your life better? Are you rigid and controlled like me, or do you give yourself more of a break?