I have a confession to make, I’m terrible at doing stuff that brings me joy for just myself. I always feel like my family needs me and that I feel guilty about going out and doing things that I enjoy on my own. My boys don’t make me feel that way, its all in my own head, I always have a serious case of the FOMO’s. I have them when I cruise my social media, seeing my friends out doing fun things, I feel them when I’m out, thinking I’m missing out on family time. Then every once and a while I do go out and do something that sounds fun and brings me joy, and I remember why this is so important. It really does fill my bucket for days afterwards. As a Mom to a teenager I really feel like the time I have left to hang out with my son is dwindling. But I also want him to appreciate that even as a parent, its important to have your own life, interests and friends. I think it sets a good example for his future relationships as well. The challenge for me is getting out the door, while fulfilling all of my regular household and family responsibilities. My hubby works long days and my son has equally long days with school, after school sports & homework I try really hard to make it easy for them. I try to have dinner ready, usually a crockpot meal of sorts, which I know I would appreciate if the tables were turned. I too work late so I am usually rushing out the door like a crazy person. This one particular night I worked till 6 and had to be at the function for 6:30. I was running to get changed, throw a bit of food down my throat and get out the door in a few minutes flat, all in the name of fun! (insert eye roll here) All of that rushing around, I found myself second guessing myself about the extra effort in getting out the door. This particular night I was going to a baking class and was going to be meeting up with some of my new mom blogger friends for the first time face to face. I am so glad that I got out, we laughed and laughed. For days I would giggle to myself about that hilarious evening. So I say to all of you Mom’s like me, when you’re second guessing the effort, know that its totally worth it!!!!
Here’s why it’s important that we get out and have fun with friends. Besides the obvious fun factor there are a few scientific reasons why its good for us. A recent Harvard study concluded that having solid friendships in our life even helps promote brain health. Friends helps us deal with stress, make better lifestyle choices that keep us strong, and allow us to rebound from health issues and disease more quickly. Friendship is also equally important to our mental health.
Its so true, those people at Harvard are pretty smart. I know that I feel this way when I include my friends more in my life. I’ve really come to realize that its all about ‘balance’. That famous word that we all strive for on a daily basis, the topic of many articles and books. It seems so illusive at times and when we have it its like magic, even if its just for a day. When you have ‘balance’ your days and life just flow, its an amazing feeling. I find the best way is to set intentions. For me I’ve made a decision to stop just talking about doing more for myself (which I’m really good at, lol) and actually making solid plans instead. If it’s in my calendar, unless I’m so ill I can’t get out of bed, I keep my commitment to myself. I keep striving for that illusive ‘balance’.
So take the time for yourself, surround yourself with friends, do things that bring you joy. Laugh, love, be silly, find your inner child. It will make you a better parent and spouse and your family will thank you for that.