Make time for who you were, before kids (B.K.)
Before Kids, (B.K.) I was a slightly crazy professional, who could at the drop of a hat go out for dinner with friends, jump on a plane and go on a holiday, go on deployment or do just about anything I wanted to, unless of course I wanted to go into space, which I most definitely did NOT want to do...
I would go to and from work as required, with no real rush to get home, no real need to cook dinner if I didn't want to, and definitely no need to get up before 0830 or even 0900 on a weekend.
I could go to the shops by myself, and buy what I wanted and absolutely NOT have to share it with anyone else. I could get in the car and blast the radio as loud as I wanted to, without any recourse. I could eat chocolate for breakfast if I wanted to. Did I? Absolutely! Why? Because I could!
B.K., my life was spontaneous!
Then I had two beautiful amazing children. I said goodbye to my professional career, I said goodbye to dinners with friends, jumping on planes for holidays or deployments, goodbye to the casual return from work. Goodbye to the trips by myself to the shops, and loud radio in the car, and most importantly chocolate for breakfast!
You see, having children changes everything. Those two little people are the absolute most amazing things that I have ever created, but they most certainly change your life. People who think they won't are either naive, or have a full time Nanny, 24/7!
Apart from creating life, another huge thing that can come with having children, is the loss of identity. The loss of who you were, B.K. As a new parent, this can be extremely hard to deal with. Whilst not only adjusting to the life-long role you have just entered, you have little to no time to focus on yourself. The person everyone knew and loved can disappear. Let me tell you, from experience, this feeling is horrible. After just 5 short years into the parenting experiment, I have FINALLY come to realise that this doesn't have to be the case.
I know everyone says that you never have time to yourself when you have a new baby, and that is absolutely true, when they sleep, you sleep "they say" but what if you have a toddler? Yeah... not going to happen. As time goes on, and you find yourself lost in the endless sea of "number 3" think about how you can make time to remember who you were B.K.
A good friend of mine finds herself in painting, or doing something creative each day. Personally, I like playing back in my band again. It brings me great joy and reminds me of the fun Kelly that I was before. Am I saying that I don't have fun now? Not by any means. It is just a different kind of fun, and it is necessary to be so. You brought your kids into the world and you're absolutely responsible for them, BUT this doesn't mean you have to lose yourself in the process. It might be 5 minutes a day, or it might be a lunch date without the kids once a month.
Just like Mufasa says in the Lion King...."remember who you are". It is ever so important to remember your passions, and your past achievements and how they created the person that you are; their Mother, their Father. Let them enjoy the things you enjoy, let them jump around the house singing "Livin' on a Prayer". But it needs to be one of your priorities, you need to MAKE time to do this, otherwise you can get lost amongst everything else that NEEDS to be done. Remember the crazy, remember the fun, and MAKE time for you, and do something you WANT to do xx