About 9 years ago, I definitely would have been rolling my eyes over this topic. The hubs and I had one of our biggest arguments over this very topic. It started out pretty innocent…..
I was pregnant with the fashionista and we were about an hour and a half into a three hour ride home, to my parents, in Maryland. We had decided to drive down in the evening, so the kiddos could sleep the whole way. I had just began to doze off when the hubs wanted to “catch up”.
After a few funny stories about the kids over the past few days, the hubs says:
“So…let’s chat about what your goals are for the next year? I don’t want you to feel like you are “just a mom”. I want you to feel like you are growing in every area of your life. What goals do you have? – I kid you not…the man was smiling with support.
All I saw was red.
Instead of something loving, he got something along the lines of:
“Goals??? Goals??? are you freakin’ kidding me right now? “um…yeah…my goal is to not hear my name called for the next two hours.
My goal is to get a quick nap in before this baby cramps up under my ribs again making sleeping impossible. My goal is that Sweet Pea will not wake up crying because she peed her car seat or has to pee when there is no exit in sight…..
My goal is to allow my mom to watch the kiddos while I take naps and “sleep in” at her house.
My goal is to eat great food and laugh a lot.
(insert look of horror from my husband)
Yeah…it wasn’t my best moment but it was a honest moment. Sometimes we have these honest moments because we can’t see beyond the murky fog that we live in.
Let’s be honest…murky fog was an understatement for that time in my life. I was living in a tiny two bedroom apartment that we were quickly outgrowing. I found out when DDD was 7 months old that I was pregnant with the fashionista. It was the summer and I was 8 months pregnant…huge and uncomfortable…..
My husband hated his sales job and was always annoyed. We were barely skating by financially and I was always tired.
So…yeah….I didn’t want to be discussing goals.
I was so tired that I didn’t know if my brain could process anything more intelligent than a grocery list or the most recent Barney episode.
If this situation, describes your current frame of mind….don’t read on! Just stop right here….take a few deep breaths….and go take a nap.
You do not need to discuss your personal goals. At this point, you are in survival mode.
Most likely you have little children who occupy every waking moment of your time or maybe you are in a tough place right now…..take solace in the fact that, most likely, this blog post is a future read for you. Maybe “pin” it for later.
Your only goal is to surround yourself with great woman who struggle in “survival mode” like you do. Meet up with them at least twice a month. Sip some tea and laugh while the children destroy the house and you can have some adult conversation. Or…keep your house clean and go out for margaritas…either way…in the words of “Hitch” (Will Smith)…”this is where you live”…survival mode.
Now…for those of you who have a few hours in your day…maybe you don’t have any babies in diapers…or you have enough time to process more than a grocery list….the rest of this post is for you…
So how do I know that I’m ready to set new goals? How do you go about knowing yourself?
For starters, you spend time thinking and talking about what you want for yourself.
I just recently (like a year ago) started meeting with the hubs over tea/coffee in our sitting room on Saturday mornings. After I make a big breakfast, the hubs and I retire into our sitting room and chat. We leave the children to clean up the breakfast table and put away the extra food. It has been heavily communicated that the children are not to interrupt us. We often have planners out, and agendas prepared.
We chat about our week…our frustrations…and things that make us truly happy. We play “footsies” and snuggle under throw blankets. We talk about interesting topics of the week, and things that we want to add to our bucket list. We discuss everything from the birthday present for our godchild…to the newest restaurant to check out.
We talk about where we feel like we are lacking….and what our heart yearns for.
We don’t care about commitments…we make this time happen whether it’s early in the morning or later in the day.
How do I know I’m ready to talk about goals?
Well…my “baby” is four…soon to be five this November. She can play by herself or off with her siblings for long periods of time without requiring my assistance. Am I “done”? I hope not…..but that’s another blog post. It took us three years to get pregnant with Sweet Pea, and instead of spending that time enjoying moments with the hubs, we were saddened and let misery guide us. We’ve decided never again….so…we are enjoying our present “baby free” days.
I’m not tired. I’m getting great sleep unless I overindulge in too much Netflix or Pure Flix. No nursing babies. No toddlers who don’t sleep. I don’t have early morning risers and my kids enjoy snuggling with me for a few minutes each morning. I can often grab a power nap in the afternoon if I need to.
I’m not overwhelmed. I have been homeschooling successfully for about 8 years now and have a pretty good hang of it. I’ve lived in the same house for 6 years and I finally have a schedule going that works for our family. The hubs is pretty happy with his new job and still works from home. I have been slowly giving my three oldest more responsibility in the home front which frees up my time as well.
I’m feeling an inner call to stretch myself. I have spent plenty of time giving to my little family with little thought of anything else. As my priorities change from one of changing diapers, and physical dependence to one of mental and spiritual guidance, I have been feeling an inner call to get more involved in a few more things.
So what do I know about myself and how does this translate to my goals?
I like to break my goals down to basic “needs” that I don’t feel like I am having met. These are stirrings in my heart or areas that I’m not happy with. Does this somehow show a lack of understanding on the part of my spouse? Absolutely not. It is his support of me that enables me to look forward and see what areas of my life has been “shelved” by other priorities.
Love for music and a need to have more in my life .
I have recently been working with some musicians in my area to start some praise and worship in our archdiocese. I have longed to be able to offer praise and worship regularly at our parish and getting the musicians lined up has been challenging but I hope rewarding. I have missed the days of cantoring and helping with worship at Franciscan University. Please join me in praying for this endeavor as I feel so many of our youth would benefit from this.
Need to start my own “something”
In June, I took the plunge and became a Thirty-one gifts consultant. I personally love their totes and have purchased several for myself. When I was looking through my facebook friends to see who I knew that sold thirty-one products, I realized that I didn’t know anyone. It seems like a great idea to start as a consultant myself. I was looking for something to make a few hundred dollars a month to offset some family expenses and this seemed like a good fit. Where else could I throw parties with wine and cheese while showing off cute little bags and organizational gifts? We know how much I love my wine. If I’ve sparked your interest, you can look at my website here to see what we offer. Be warned…lots of cute stuff…haha.
Need to better myself
As I look through my facebook photos and instagram shots, it’s hard to dismiss the pattern. The photos are either of my face from the neck up…or of my children. Just recently, a woman offered to take a photo of my husband, son and I when we went hiking and I’m almost embarrassed to show it. Mostly, because I have been packing on weight for years. SO….one of my biggest goals is to take care of me. I feel like there is this young person hiding amongst all this fat and aging bones. I gotta get in the gym and take back my body and promote better health for myself. I miss the ease of activity. This recent hike almost had me needing an oxygen tank. Trim Healthy Momma is going to be helping me with the healthy eating and the local Y will be kicking my butt in gear.
Need to travel and experience new cultures/history with the kids
This photo is from our trip to the Northeastern states two summers ago. I’ve always meant to write a blog on that trip and learned so many great tips. It was amazing….ten days covering several states…the ultimate road trip. It’s made our family thirst for more travel. We will be planning several small trips this fall/winter and next summer we are spending two weeks out West! The hubs and I will be heading south for a romantic trip to Georgia in the upcoming weeks and the excitement is on! We love the thrill of new food, and new places.
So my goals are set for the upcoming year. It’s not going to be easy to really dedicate time to each one of these but…I know it will bring me so much peace when i do.
Join me as I “check in” on these goals several times this year.
What about you? What does your heart desire? What goals are within your grasp if you made them a priority?
Go after them….the only thing stopping you…is you.