Do you feel like life is just one big blur of family, work and chores? When did you last do something for you, something that you really enjoy doing? Perhaps you have forgotten how to take time out for yourself or maybe you have forgotten what things you actually like doing just for you. As a mum we get so caught up in what our children are doing. We have to prioritise their needs when they are young and we just keep doing it because overtime we forget how to put ourselves first.
If your kids are now a little bit more independent and you are ready to claim your life back, then follow these 5 steps to reinvent your life.
- Let go of being needed
There is no doubt about it. It is nice to be needed. However often mum’s in particular base their worth on being needed. Do you find that you put yourself at the back of the queue in your family? Does your husband/partners needs or your children’s needs come before yours? There have been many times in my role as mother and wife that I have put myself last. When my kids were young I would rush to the shop and back so that my husband wouldn’t have to look after them for too long. I would stay up late doing the washing and be sleep deprived so my husband didn’t have to do it. I gave up my sport because my husband was a shift worker and couldn’t be home to look after the kids. Now …..we can complain about this. Yet we have often let it happen over time, until our family members just expect us to give up what we are doing to help them. In some ways we need to take responsibility for being in this situation. When our children are little they are needy and that is ok. But as they grow up we may find it hard to let go of being needed. At first it makes us feel good when we are asked to help, but overtime this can wear thin if we are not also doing something positive for ourselves. As our children get older and need us less we might feel, lost and unsure of ourselves. Perhaps even worthless. If this feels like you, then perhaps you could do with some help to boost your confidence and self-esteem.
- Clear the clutter from your mind
Have you ever noticed the little voice inside your head? The one that tells you off when you drop something or the one you have a little fight with over the piece of cake. “I deserve the cake”, “no you don’t need it”, “but I love cake”, “yes but you decided not to eat cake anymore” and so on! From now on I want you to take close notice of what your inner voice is saying. Notice if it is a negative comment about yourself. Did you know that this inner voice is just bringing to your conscious awareness the way you feel about yourself? So if you find that there is a lot of negative stuff going on, then this is your sign to make some changes. It is time to work on your self-confidence and self-worth. Right now you can choose to be more positive. When you notice your inner voice being negative you can do one of two things. You can choose to delete the comment. For example: When you drop something, you might notice your inner voice saying “you are an idiot”. Because you have noticed the negative thought you can also notice yourself deleting that thought. I like to think of a computer keyboard and I see myself pressing the delete button when I notice negative thoughts that are unhelpful to me. The second option you have is to rephrase the negative into a positive. For example: Instead of “you are an idiot” you could rephrase this to “whoops, I didn’t mean to do that” or “ accidents happen”. From now on, take notice of your inner voice and choose to either delete the negatives or rephrase them into positives. Before long you will notice that your inner voice becomes more positive, so make sure you celebrate this too!
- Boost your self-confidence
Find something other than parenting to be good at. Sit down and brainstorm all the activities that you like to do, all the activities that give you a buzz. You may need to think back to some of the activities you did before having kids to help you. Once you have a list of activities then prioritise them in order of what makes you feel the best when you are doing it. Look at your number 1 activity and find a way to include it into your life. Allocate a time in your diary to get started on this No. 1 activity and have fun doing something that will boost your confidence and give you happiness!
One sure fire way to reinvent your life is to find a way to contribute. This may be through volunteering your services within the community. At the kid’s school, the local retirement village or through another organisation. It may also be finding something that you do well and helping other people to do the same. This can be paid or voluntary work but you can be guaranteed that you will feel worthwhile by helping others. Dr. David Hamilton (author of Why Kindness is Good For You) explains that when we offer kindness we can significantly change the wiring of our brain. The more acts of kindness we do, the more we alter our chemistry and the structure of the brain positively. We also produce more Oxytocin which Dr David Hamilton calls the love drug! This helps us to see others in a better light, helps us read others emotions and helps us trust more. This will reduce fear and anxiety and improve our relationships with others. You can read an excerpt from his book at this link http://drdavidhamilton.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Prediction-Aug-10.pdf
- Know your purpose
Rick Warren author of The Purpose Driven Life says “Knowing your Purpose gives meaning to your life”. He also goes on to say that it simplifies, focuses and motivates your life. Most Mothers will at some point find themselves asking what is life all about? Mum’s work hard for at least 20 years to bring up their children and they often sacrifice part of themselves along the way. It is not until the kids are older that we realise that we have given so much of ourselves over and over again. That we now need to stop and look internally to decide what is important to us right now. What is my purpose, what else am I here for? I was confronted with this whilst my children were still young. The life I had created with my husband and children was shattered through divorce. My goals and dreams were no longer relevant because they were all family centered and I had to stop and ask myself some key questions. What was it that I wanted in my life? As a single mum with young children it would have been easy for me to have continued to sacrifice my own life and put all my time into rearing my children. But I realised that I had already done that with my marriage and it hadn’t worked. I decided that I needed to ensure that I was always doing something for myself. that I had a purpose that included being a mother but also a purpose solely for me. My purpose has changed and morphed as I and my kids have got older but I can say to you all that since discovering my purpose I have always been motivated. My realisation that I wanted to help women to love themselves, gain confidence and to be motivated to look after themselves has given me a focus for my life. It led me into small business, owning and running a Women’s gym. Whilst this was a CRAZY time in my life, it just helped cement that I love working with women and improving their wellness. This passion then led me to helping people, particularly women let go of their negative pasts and focus on a positive future. So my question to you is this. What get’s you going? What are you passionate about? What can you do that will give you a reason to get up each morning, to have the drive that will excite you? As Rick Warren said “Knowing your Purpose motivates your life”.
Tags: life change positive living reinvent your life