Today we are so thrilled to welcome Ashley from Bold Mom, Balanced Life to NW Healthy Mama. As I entered in her post, I almost wanted to stand up and clap right here in my living room. This girl is bringing some words today that so many women have been waiting to hear. This post is for you….all of you. Enjoy, take it in, allow it to change how you live and then share it with your friends. -Angela
Before I became a mom, I was a dedicated basketball fan. I was an avid trail runner and dabbled in a lot of other sports. I hosted dinner parties. I traveled. I wrote cookbooks for a living and I had serious goals and dreams for my career.
But when I became a mom, I stopped doing those things. It was almost like the woman I used to be disappeared in the labor and delivery room and the new mom version of me took her place.
Like a lot of moms, I made sacrifices in my life because my priorities shifted when my little girl started relying on me for survival, and for love. And I made them willingly because I absolutely loved being a mom. But I can also see now that I didn’t prioritize myself – not my health or my career or my hobbies or my self-care – because I didn’t think a “good mom” would put herself first.
So for a few years, I was self-sacrificing to a fault. I got pretty good at ignoring my wants and needs. I made concessions. I didn’t make time for leisure and I put my goals and dreams on hold. And I constantly told myself that I needed to wait to be more than a mom. I told myself it just wasn’t “my time.”
Only I couldn’t really define when “my time” would come. Would it be when I was done breastfeeding? When I had more time or disposable income? When I wasn’t so tired? When my daughters started school years down the road?
Visualizing that last scenario was my wakeup call. I saw so clearly that my days were moving at a frantic pace but that my life outside of motherhood had stalled. And I realized that if I continued to tell myself it wasn’t my time, I was all but ensuring that my time would never come.
That was something I couldn’t live with.
The next part wasn’t easy and it wasn’t a quick fix. Even though I knew I needed to find ways to be more than a mom, taking action was incredibly hard. So was admitting that I needed help and support to do it. And so was learning to find the time and manage the “mom guilt” I felt when I started to prioritize me.
But I kept working at it because I also wanted to believe that my needs were important too. And because I wanted to show my daughters what good self-care looked like and what’s possible for you when you go after your dreams.
It’s been a few years since I made a commitment to start prioritizing me and I can’t tell you how different my life looks now. There is space for me in my life again. Space for self-care and hobbies. Space for downtime and dreaming. And space for me to have an incredibly fulfilling career as a life coach AND still be the kind of mom I want to be for my girls.
So please remember that you do not have to keep waiting for your time to come. If you want to believe your time is now, you can. And if you’re willing to work at it, bit by bit and day by day, you will find ways to prioritize you. You will find ways to pursue your dreams. You will find ways to create the kind of life you want for yourself as a mom and as an individual woman, too.Ashley Gartland is a life coach for moms who want to find their purpose beyond motherhood. Through her coaching program, Bold Mom, Balanced Life, and one-on-one work with clients, Ashley helps moms prioritize themselves, pursue their dreams and create balanced lives so they can be great moms and bold, inspiring women too. As a special gift to Northwest Healthy Mama readers, Ashley is offering FREE access to her online class, More Than a Mom: 3 Steps to Find Your Purpose Beyond Motherhood. CLICK HERE and she’ll send it right to you.