I have four young children ages 10, 8, 4, and 2. They keep me busy. Sometimes just keeping their fingernails clipped feels like a full time job. Those things grow fast! I love being a mom. I love being the CEO of my home and the primary caregiver of my kids. Being a mom gives me purpose and there is nothing I would rather do. Yet at the same time being a mom is also the hardest thing I have ever done. It stretches me to my limits daily. Those little people that I would move heaven and earth for also drive me to insanity and get me angrier than I would like to admit. I have found it hard not to lose myself entirely in motherhood. The yoga pants, quick showers, grocery shopping, house cleaning and owie kissing take up my days. When I let those things define me I find myself depressed. Not that I don’t appreciate that I have people to do those things for but I drown myself in them. Every once and awhile I go out to dinner with girlfriends and I get my head above water. I do something that I used to make time for and the passion for life awakens inside me.
Two weeks after I had my fourth baby we went on a spontaneous family trip to Moab, Utah. We went because I was tired of being in the house with my boob out nursing my constantly hungry baby. I figured I could feed my baby on the red rocks of beautiful Moab just as well as I could on the couch. That trip wasn’t easy. Between sleeping on a chair in a camping trailer and waking up every hour to nurse I was sleep deprived and uncomfortable. I wondered if the trip was worth it. Then we went exploring. I enjoyed myself and changed my attitude. I was glad we came. The struggle was worth it after all.
While we were driving and enjoying the sites of the beautiful red rocks I had a moment that changed the way I live my life. God whispered to me. It was an undeniable moment that I have played over in my mind a thousand times. He told me that I needed to get out and play. I had one life and I needed to live it. I needed to get out and enjoy the things that made me feel alive. I came home from that trip determined to play more, to go on more adventures and do things that made me happy. No more excuses. However, I had a couple of very good excuses.
I have four kids and a busy husband, who as much as he supports me in getting out of the house has a thriving career of his own. To solve this I decided to start getting a babysitter more. Instead of waiting for my life to settle down and arrange itself in a manner where I had time to get out of the house I made the time. I got on Care.com and started interviewing babysitters. I hired a few of the ones I loved and I started getting out of the house weekly. I didn’t wait for my husband to be home and watch the kids. I didn’t feel guilty about the money I was spending on the babysitter. I changed my perspective and knew that it would make me a better mom and wife if I took care of myself as well as them. And you know what? It has. This past year I have felt more alive and have done more of what I love than I have since I became a mom 10 years ago.
I also still take care of my family. In fact, I would argue that now I do it better than ever. I am happier, more confident, and better able to take care of my family and keep up with household tasks. Instead of surviving life I am thriving in it. I don’t wait for opportunities to come to me I make them happen. My advice to all moms is get the babysitter. Your kids won’t be abandoned if you leave for a few hours. Do them a favor and let them see the light for life ignited inside you. Let them see you thriving at life instead of just surviving it. By doing that you actually give them permission to thrive in life and do what makes them happy. Be their example of work hard, play hard. Live your best life. You only have one. #OneLifeLiveIt #GetOutThereGirl #Adventurette #GetTheBabysitter