• Andrea Shepard

Before They Are A Teen 2019

It's the beginning of January and you've probably read + heard all about everyones resolutions + goals for 2019 but before you skip over this one.. hear me out..

As I sat snuggled up to my little people on New Years Eve I got thinking about the past year of my life. What had I accomplished? My oldest had turned 9, the boys turned 5 + 6 and the baby turned 2. I woke up every single morning, took care of the kids, cleaned & did everything that a stay at home mom is supposed to do. Except.. enjoy it. Yep you read that right. I did not enjoy being a stay at home mom this past year. Our family sold our home & bought a home three times the size of our old one. Before we made that decision in May, we completely remodeled our home. One day a family member told us about this home, in an area that we absolutely loved. Although it needed to be remodeled, it was the perfect space for our family.

In June we moved into our new space & I had no idea that I would spend the entire rest of 2018 unpacking, cleaning, planning, remodeling + searching for the perfect things to decorate with. I got so caught up in wanting to have an immaculate home, that I truly forgot to love the moments that I got to spend in that home with my babies. With all the little people running around it took a lot longer to get settled in than I had ever imagined. I felt overwhelmed. I put everything that doesn't matter above my happiness + my kids happiness. Suddenly my life took control of me + I lost my sense of purpose.

This year, my one & only goal is to be the best mom that I can be. I started out by listening to podcasts. One in particular hit me rather hard this week. It is called Better Than Happy Episode 167. (Successful Parenting) In this podcast she talks about what it means to be a successful parent. Does it mean your kids are getting good grades? Your children are respectful + obedient? She states that it should not mean any of those things because the truth is that our children have agency and they may not always choose to obey us or get good grades. She talks about how each of our children are different and every single one of them will choose who they want to be in the end. There will be things about their upbringing that they will wish would have been different.

"The only thing that any of us can do is strive to be the best version of us." This line hit me so dang hard. Who you want to be, may be someone who accommodates your kids but the key is keeping ownership over who you are being. Make sure that you are doing it because that is who you want to be, not because of how it will make them feel. You're doing it because you choose to and thats when you are being the best version of yourself. I truly loved her podcast + believe that every mom should listen to it. You can listen in by clicking HERE.

In order to be the very best version of myself that I can I have chosen to make some small changes. The biggest part of my changes will be in the form of making time for what is truly important to me + what makes me feel successful at this whole mom gig. I realized that a lot of the time I don't feel like I am being my best because I am so caught up in other things that I don't take the time to truly enjoy what's important. I've thought long and hard about the changes I could make to help me get a handle on things.

- Waking up earlier. I used to really love early mornings + I notice that I accomplish a lot more this way. I will use this time to shower & get myself ready before taking on the rest of the day. This will make it so that I can do it without being frustrated with the toddler who eats my makeup and wants to blow-dry my hair herself.

- Back to weekly planning. Sitting down once a week to organize appointments, schedules, etc. + writing them on the calendar & in my planner.

- One load of laundry per day + fold after tucking the littles in for the night.

- Quick clean up of the house before heading to bed. I am OCD and I sleep a lot better when I know that I am not waking up to a disaster the next day.

- Make my bed each morning. I never believed it, but this one truly does make a difference.

- Blocking out times in my day to put away all other distractions to spend quality time with my little ones.

I hope that these small changes will help me be able to thoroughly enjoy more pretend coffee dates like this one, before she is too old to want to. I believe that I am the best version of myself when I am happily engaging in my littles lives. Not just being there but truly, happily being engaged and involved. Here's to enjoying twenty nineteen before they are a teen. What makes you the best version of you?

Much Love,

Andrea Shepard

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