One of the hardest things for me about motherhood—and I am sure I am not alone in this—is setting the bar at the right height. When I had my children, I did not lose my sense of personal ambition. There are still a lot of things that I, Rachel White, want to achieve and experience, but it has become clear to me that this is not the season for climbing. I have found that my deep desire to enjoy every moment of this season with my kids is equal to, if not greater than, all other ambitions. But at the same time, it doesn’t dissolve the other dreams I have. This can be really hard to navigate. How do you honour and respect the needs of the person you are in the new landscape of Motherhood? It is a tricky one and I am sorry I do not have the answers, but I can empathise.
This brings me to 2019. Like many of you, I’m sure, I feel like 2019 was not a year of accomplishments. Whilst there was a lot to be grateful for, there was also a lot more I feel I could have achieved. However, there were two goals I did want to achieve:
First, I wanted to get indoor plants and keep them alive. To be clear: I am not a green thumb. Previous attempts at keeping plants have ended in sad failure, but I have always wanted them in my home. So, last Christmas, I asked my dad (who is a green thumb) to buy me some indoor plants and help me learn how not to kill them. I am proud to say that this Christmas—12 months later—the plants are still alive. In fact, as I have grown more confident in caring for them, I have got other plants as well. But it took a commitment to focus on them—I couldn’t do it if I was distracted with a dozen other goals. So, I’m celebrating my small accomplishment. Yes, it is small, but it is a sustainable win.
Second, I wanted to be awake before the kids and get some “me time”—preferably in the form of exercise. Now, it is worth noting that this has been a desire of mine for a while. But with years of pregnancy, young babies, and breastfeeding, it just never worked. 2019, however, seemed like a good year to give it a go. It took coordinating with my husband, and a willingness to get up early, but I did it. It was tough at first, and it took most of the year to consolidate the habit, but now it is a normal part of my day.
The routine goes like this: my husband goes to the gym early then wakes me when he gets home at 6. From there, I have between 6-6.30 before he has to leave for work. This gives me 30 minutes to walk and listen to a podcast. I don’t run, I just walk and fill my cup. Then, when I get home, I enter the breakfast scene. I have always woken to this messy scenario, which is not the best way to start the day. But now when I enter it, I am awake, energized and generally in a better mood. Starting the day with a walk has been a game changer for me.
Even though there are other unfulfilled goals from 2019, I am choosing to celebrate and congratulate myself for the two things I did accomplish. I’d love to encourage you to do the same. What wins were in your year? Even if they were small, they were still wins. Don’t let them get lost in the sea of what you didn’t do. Pull them out and applaud yourself. Then go into the new year with the bar at a realistic height—however that looks for you.
Honestly, when you have a young baby, goals like getting dressed every day by midday are not setting the bar too low. Set that goal for the month and then celebrate when you get there. When you have more than one child, having any regular time to yourself is a massive accomplishment! I am not sure why we minimise such achievements. Starting with the small sustainable goals then gradually building on them- I’m convinced this is how I will build the stamina to reach my really big goals one day.
Hope this Inspires you!
May you bring in the new year with family and friends and reminder of things you are grateful for!
Blessings, Rachel xx