If we’re being honest, little pieces of you die when you start having kids.
Hold up. This is not some marter-fest where we sit around and talk about how our best days are gone now that we had kids. I’ve actually come to see this as a good thing. Stick with me.
Not everything you did before kids was that awesome. You had freedom, but I’m sure it wasn’t always used wisely. You could have traveled the world. You could have spent time volunteering at a children’s hospital. You could have read more books. I actually really hope you did!
But you all also spent a decent amount of that time picking the right filter for your rose’ picture by the pool, binge watching shows on netflix, and spending long hours sitting in front of your computer at the office.
And there is nothing wrong with any of that.
Except that kids are vacuums. They suck up most of the hours you once had.
Because of that, pieces of you will have to die. The great part is, you are an adult with a tiny semblance of control. You get to pick which pieces you keep and which to let go, but you will be forced to be selective.
Read the book or watch the show?
Do your make-up or snuggle with the kids?
Take the pictures or live the moment?
Run the extra miles or write the next book chapter?
Take on the extra work project or make dinner from scratch?
This is not a test, there is no wrong answer. But you still need to chose wisely. Not because one is bad and the other is good. Chose wisely because there is less time that you have to work with. If you don’t intentionally chose, you will feel like there is never any time, and feel resentful that all the former pieces of you were forced to die. Thanks kiddos.
Your goals will naturally need to be fewer in number, incredibly focused, and likely with a grace-filled (ie longer than you would like) timeline. Coincidently, that is actually a great formula for successfully accomplishing your goals with or without kids.
Before kids, it’s just easier to assume you will act later because you own all the hours. But when kids are present, you don’t know which hours will be yours. You have to be intentional. You need the day’s game plan in your head so that when the minutes and hours appear, you can seize them.
Do you see how kids can actually be a highly effective tool at helping you decide what the best pieces of you are? Go tell that sweet baby thank you. Unless they are sleeping. In that case DO NOT WAKE THEM!
My current goal is getting my third book finished up. I literally have one step for it, each day, that I plan to complete. Beyond that I don’t even try because with young kids I wouldn’t be setting myself up for success or happiness. After I finish that one goal, I let my kids guide most of the day. My goals are few and focused, and accomplishing them takes much longer than I’d like. But I get to enjoy my kids in between. It makes me happy knowing that there is a small, but very important, piece of me still thriving amongst that chaos.
Which pieces of you have you intentionally chosen to focus on once having kids?