Recently I’ve thrown myself into training for my upcoming half marathon and committed to practicing yoga at least 5 times or more per week if possible. Friends have been asking, why the sudden obsession? What prompted this need to exercise everyday? The short answer is I decided to do a half marathon and when I commit to something I follow through (barring any outside forces). But really it boils down to my love of running and yoga and how they’re the only real places I get space to think, meditate, be on my own, and restore my mind. Basically, this is something for me, and me alone. Yes, my “me time”.
As you progress further along the journey that is motherhood, you begin to fully grasp the necessity of earmarking time that is just for you. If you don’t, you will undoubtedly be discontent. You cannot sustain living for others without any respite. It’s simply too difficult. On my recent trip away from my children and my husband, this requirement became glaringly obvious. There was such a feeling of relief to have a break from the continuous demands of the people in my life. To only have to think of myself for once. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about them at all. It’s a glorious part of being a mom, these little beings who need you so. But every now and then, you need a day off, or a vacation where you can just concentrate on yourself.
We certainly cannot take a vacation from our lives very often so it is very important that you have moments, minutes, or an hour or 2 per day where you get to do something that’s for you. For me, I find my joy in exercise, most especially in running and yoga. I actually only discovered my love for these two sports once I became a mother as I was looking for a way to shed those post baby pounds I had stacked on. I had practiced yoga a little bit before I got married to tone up for my big day, but didn’t really get obsessive about it until after I had my first baby. Running came into the picture at that time as well and I haven’t looked back. The gift of health from motherhood! This year I decided that I wanted to really dedicate myself to both and I have loved having an extra sense of purpose with my training. There’s something so fulfilling about it.
So, that’s one of my pieces of advice for you mamas out there. I know when you have your first baby, he is your whole world, and you get swept up in the euphoria of being a new mum (as you should). As the years pass you might realize that you need to do something for yourself. It may not be exercise/sport like me. It could be something completely different. It can be anything, as long as it’s something that makes you happy. I’ve always maintained that in order to be at your best, you need to take care of yourself. I mean, this is a universally agreed upon concept. This is always a very big challenge for mothers, as our natural instinct is to take care of everyone else before ourselves. But I can’t emphasize how crucial it is to give yourself a timeout so that you can be an even better mom to your kids and a more centered version of yourself.