Passionate About Iowa City
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Mama’s Journey for Balance

I talk a lot.  In almost all of my school report cards there were comments about how much better I could do academically if I spent less time talking to my peers.  I can drive for hours with no radio and just chat with my fellow passengers.  I don’t discriminate; I’ll chat about anything.  Not only is it how I pass the time, but this is how I learn and process things I am unfamiliar with.

Looking back now, before I was a parent I would discuss parenting styles, cosleeping, breastfeeding, and more.  I thought I knew what I was going to do and for sure knew the things I would NOT do.  I wish I could go back and tell myself to zip it.  You just don’t know what you are going to do until you are in that situation.  Becoming a mother changes you in so many ways.  I hope I didn’t cause any mamas to want to cut me with my uninformed opinions, and if so, my profuse apologies.

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One thing I remember saying I wouldn’t do was to leave my baby overnight before he turned a year old.  I have no idea why now, likely an article I read stated some dangers of doing this, so I was going to follow it and be sure not to leave my boy overnight until he was at least the big #1.

With parenting, I have learned a lot.  A LOT.  But here is the most important thing I have learned: you do what works best for you and your kid, period.  You know them better than anyone, and there isn’t a right or wrong answer.

You cannot do what works for someone else–you can only do you, Mama.

What was right for me?  When my boy was about 10 months old.  I went away with some friends overnight.  Now I didn’t get too crazy.  I was gone for about 24 hours (to a wine tasting and Hot Air Balloon Race in Galena, IL. If you’re wondering, it was fabulous and I’m going again next year!).  Did I miss my boy?  Yes.  Did he notice I was gone?  Maybe.  Is he completely traumatized from his mom abandoning him? Nopers.  What will I do next time? Try to slow down and not be Judgey Mc. Judgerson and realize everyone is doing what works for them.

After my return to a big smile and sloppy kiss, I told my husband about my trip and was reminded how spending time for myself makes me a better mom.  For the same reason I eat well and exercise; this time away gave me energy, keeps me mentally healthy, and is just another reminder how I am a whole person outside of being a mama.  If I don’t take care of me, I cannot take care of him.

I need to find balance, and it is oh-soimportant.

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I want to model so many things for my son, because I know he is watching my every move.  I want him to see how important friendships are.  I went on this trip with my closest girlfriends. These are women I have laughed, cried, and shared my life with, as I have known them for over 25 years.  I want him to see how family is not just who you are born into and those with whom you share DNA.  I want him to see how you need people in your life besides your spouse, children, and parents to help mold you, inspire you, and define you.  I want him to see how people and experiences are what make life important, not material things or status symbols.

Finally, I want him to see me, as a whole person, not just a mom. So someday when he is a dad, he will know how important it is to take care of himself and find his balance, too.


 

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2 Responses to Mama’s Journey for Balance

  1. Jill September 12, 2016 at 6:45 am #

    So beautifully said. And so so true! I needed this reminder! I am trying to focus more on me so I can be the best wife, Mom, friend and person. Thank you for sharing such true words!

    • megan
      megan September 12, 2016 at 12:17 pm #

      Thank you Jill! I appreciate your kind words! ~ Megan

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