Who Are You Choosing?

Listening to a speech by Will Smith last week there was a line that stuck out to me. “Everyday we wake up, we are choosing sh*t that is not in our own best interest.” It sparked a thought in my head, of all the choices I make for myself on a daily basis. It made me wonder why we are so easy to choose something no matter how negatively it may affect us, or how many times our gut tells us to choose the opposite. Even in situations where we can recognize that we should choose ourselves and what’s best for us, we still find ways not to.

As a mother or caregiver of any sort, you have been conditioned to believe that choosing yourself is, “selfish.” The society that we live within has told you that it’s not ok to put yourself before anything that you hold a title over. This is especially true for those of us who are mothers. It’s almost as if you choosing yourself becomes a sin the moment after peeing on a stick and it’s emphasized beyond measure once you give birth. You easily lose sight of not only who you are, but also your ability to put yourself before all other things. You eventually won’t see how choosing yourself is not only a priority, but it should be your 1st one.

I have found my biggest struggle in choosing myself, lies in my relationships. Before 2020, I don’t think I have ever lived on a path of consistently choosing myself. I actually learned at 24 years old that I have spent most of my time being a “people pleaser.” I put it on my “master list” for this year and have found that it’s a path of pure happiness. Has it been perfect? No. Has it been easy? No. Have I had people misunderstand? Yes. But, has it been worth it? Absolutely. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t want to trade any of the “loses” in people I have experienced over time, due to choosing myself. As stated, I have spent just about my whole life, choosing everyone around me and valuing their happiness and peace over my own. I was conditioned to believe that keeping the people around me happy and “pleasing” was the key to keeping my relationships strong. At the point that I began simply, choosing myself, it was easy to see that my pleasing and choosing of others was the only thing keeping some of those relationships going.

Think about when you were a child. How hard was it to ALWAYS choose yourself? We have to start seeing it as a natural and pure act. If we don’t sell ourselves short on anything, we make sure to do it in our abilities to choose as we get older. If we lost everything we had in life, the one thing that would remain constant is our ability to choose. Choosing ourselves, what’s in our best interest, and choosing the things that choose us back. We cannot allow the world to tell us that there’s something wrong with this. I want to challenge mommies and all other readers to use the next month to be intentional about choosing yourself. I am also asking that you share in the comments, 3 ways that you have chosen yourself in the last month! This will enable you to think about how much or how little you choose yourself.

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Re-Learning Them!

Have you ever taken the time to try to re-learn your child? Maybe not, because it is not often that you are given enough space to even think about re-learning them, but maybe it is time to start creating that space. In a world that makes it a crime to take a break as a mommy, it may be hard for you to purposely take space away from your kids. However, you may be amazed at how healthy and helpful doing so could be for your job as a mommy. Since inviting Aiden into this world, I have been shown how much positivity comes from being given a break and accepting those breaks. It has always allowed me to bring my mind back to my body, care for myself, and replenish the parts of me that are needed in order to be a great mommy. For this entry, I wanted to share what has been a reality for me after having a 3 month break from Aiden over the summer. Once mommies have “learned” their child, it is rare to make this an ongoing thing. So often, we as parents will “learn” our children and tag them with this idea that we have of them, even knowing that we are a changing species.

When Aiden returned to me there were obvious differences within him from when he left. It was not the point of me noticing those differences, that I believed that I needed to re-learn him in order for our relationship to be in it’s most healthiest space. It was not until I was listening to a video of Les Brown speaking and he said something along the lines of, “as long as you have something to learn then your business here on earth is not finished.” It made me think about the fact that life is a continuance of learning. And if something as precious as life is meant to be continuously learned, then what makes your child(ren) any different.

It was within the first two weeks that Aiden had returned, that I had heard this quote and thought about it. I thought about how hard re-adjusting was, I wondered if the changes were taking a negative tole on him, I was feeling overwhelmed, and the list goes on. I had been working to fall back into a routine with a kid who had went through changes whether acknowledged or not. I started to focus less on the things I knew about him and instead focused on what seemed to be different and how I could find ways to adjust to those things. How I did this was by acknowledging what he likes and does not, giving options, and learning his new communication styles. As crazy as it may seem, there are many mommies who understandably struggle with something as simple. Not because they are not qualified, but instead because it is easy to fall into the mindset of believing that once you know your kid, you “know your kid.”

I hear mommies especially, say all the time, “I know my kid.” This separation from my own kid and coming to a new realization, makes me want to ask the question though, when is the last time you attempted to learn a new part of that kid that you believe you know so well. I had to realize that there was no routine for me to fall back into because we both came back together new individuals. I understand that not everyone is afforded extended breaks, but that does not mean you cannot apply the practice. It doesn’t matter if you have a toddler, a pre-teen, or an adult child, attempt to re-learn them as PEOPLE, and watch the growth. Do not fall into the normalcy of being ok with re-learning a work system, re-learning your intimate partner, re-learning your friends, the education system, and not giving the same space for your child(ren) mommies!