HARD LIFE LESSONS I LEARNED IN 2018
I am going to take a moment to get real with you here, because I don’t like sugar and I don’t like sugar coating anything. 2018 was a pretty challenging year for me as an individual. I fell short in a lot of ways, but I truly feel like it was to teach me some serious life lessons. And what good would a life lesson be if I couldn’t pass it on to help someone else along the way?
I am going to break this blog down to three sections for you, because there were different lessons learned in different areas of my life.
First let’s talk about motherhood. I am by no means a perfect mom. I do the best I can, but sometimes it doesn’t feel like enough. If you’re like me, your kids are your world. You give everything you have tirelessly to make sure their life is as wonderful as it can possibly be. You feed them all the healthy foods, you show up for all the school functions, play dates, etc, you put their every need before your own.
The life lesson I learned in 2018 was that this is a mistake.
First let me fill you in on a little bit about me, then I’ll explain how I came to this conclusion.
My mom was a single mother, usually working two jobs. I spent a lot of time with a baby sitter or my grandma, but not a lot of time with her. Don’t get me wrong I don’t blame her for doing what she had to do, but because I wanted so badly to have that quality time with her that I didn’t get, it inspired me to do everything I could to be as present as possible in my own children’s life.
So fast forward to 2018, I am a work from home mom. I do school drop off and pick up. go in to eat lunch with them, I volunteer at the school, on the school’s PTA board, coaching cheer while my husband coaches football, and on the board of my kid’s football/cheer organization. I make sure that I am invested in their lives in multiple ways. In every sense of the word I am there for my kids. Probably overcompensating for my childhood desires.
I do love all of these things and I am so grateful for the time freedom to be able to volunteer and give back in the ways that I do, but for awhile all of these things came before me. I made them higher priorities than I was. I got burnt out on parenting, coaching, volunteering, wife-ing (is that a thing?). I was done.
Now on to the conclusion, one day I woke up and decided to change it. I decided to put me first and then give what I could. It was almost miraculous how much better I became at being a mother when I decided to show myself some TLC and not pour from an empty cup anymore. If this sounds like you and you haven’t already read my blog about taking care of yourself, do your family a favor and read it right after this one!
Mom’s put yourself first!
Ok next up is marriage. I feel like I should preface this by saying that 2018 was an incredible year for my marriage compared to 2017, but that doesn’t mean it was perfect. If you have been following along my IG for awhile, you know that 2017 was almost the end of my marriage. We had a super rough year and couldn’t seem to come to agreements on anything. Through all that we decided to choose love over anything, and I am forever grateful that we did. My husband and I love one another immensely, we are both super passionate people. We love hard, and we fight hard.
Anyway, moving forward into 2018, a lot of changes were made in our marriage to help us get through all of the bad times and we were both trying our best to keep the other happy. But when you parent together, and work together, and spend every single second together, that gets pretty challenging. I ended up reading this amazing (but very long) book called “Should I Stay or Should I Go” (don’t let the title scare you) that helped me work through our reoccurring issues, cater to his personality type in disagreements, and so much more. This book really changed my perspective about marriage and ultimately taught me that when you think you have given it your all, tried your best, done what you can, etc, there is always something that can be done differently, there is always more love to give, more communication needed, more respect and understanding to have. Just like life, marriage takes growth. It’s hard, but totally worth it.
You either grow together or you grow apart.
This is quite a sensitive subject for me because I am always my own worst critic. If I don’t hit my goals or feel like I am making progress, I question my every thought, my every move, all of it. So many times throughout this year (that I was not hitting my work goals) I asked myself “Is this really worth it?” “Should I do something else instead?” “What if I never hit my goals?”.
It took me a few months, ok basically all year to realize that those thoughts weren’t serving me. I realized that sometimes it’s not all about the end result or destination, but more about the journey along the way. So this December I did a lot of self reflection and self forgiveness, and showed gratitude for my journey and who I am today.
I am still very much a results kinda person, but it helps to change my perspective to acknowledge that progress is still being made and I am continuously working towards becoming the best version of myself. And that is what it’s all about!
It’s not all about the end result or destination, but more about the journey along the way.
And that is about all the wisdom that I have to pour into this blog post today. The moral of my story is that we are all living life, doing the best we can, and it’s hard. It doesn’t ever stop being hard, so we need to do what we can to help change our mindset and our outlook about the cards we are dealt. Always be learning, always be growing, and always working towards our best selves.