What’s been the largest change in me this past year?

My health? My size? My face shape?

Nope.

The largest change has been how I mother my Big Three.

If you know me personally you know that above all I’m a Mom. My three children are my everything. My life. Since they were born i lived simply for them. In fact I once overheard some people talking behind my back and the worst thing they had on me was… “Oh my God she’s such a MOM!!!!”

When I started this process I could not fathom making time to do this. There were only so many hours in the day. The few hours I did have belonged only to my three. I only did things for them. For a decade they were first, and I shoved my needs to the WAY back. I thought that was helping me be a better Mom.

I’m supposed to put them first. Thats what Moms do.

Right?

So this is how I lived. I never took time for myself. I never monitored my health. Being a Mom made me feel like a success… being myself and dealing with my issues was too hard, so why even bother?

But as they grew I started to feel the effects of ignoring me. Doctors would basically shout my weight to try and get it to register. My health was crap. I was anxious and on edge. I couldn’t keep up with them. I was tired.

I was just meeting their needs, not exceeding their expectations.

They deserved better. I deserved better. Something had to change.

So started the journey. When I started working out and looked at their shocked faces when i said “Dad is going to drive you to practice so I can go work out” I could hardly get the words out. I felt like a criminal making a confession. I left with a horrible feeling that I was somehow “cheating on them”.

I felt selfish. After all i am a working Mom so our time together is so short anyway. How could I spend free time away from them?

The first few months were hard. I kept judging my parenting. It felt foreign to be me and not “Mom”. I didnt know how to be Mandi and I struggled. I didnt know what I liked to do… only what they liked to do. I didn’t like myself only their Mom. I had to learn how to deal with my issues that I had shelved for years and face them head on.

I started living my life and stopped living theirs. They have to choose their paths. This is not my chance to live another childhood. It’s their life. I learned to watch and cheer them on not mandate and force them into what i envisioned for them. This was especially true for my daughter. I see so much of myself in her that I found myself living her life as if it was Mandi teenage years Round Two.

There were also big changes for my boys. Especially my youngest. After all I babied him so much that I was never far from his side and did everything for him. Now Mom was spending time on her own working out?? Who would tie his shoes before practice? Or pick up his room!?!?

But my health both mentally and physically was failing so i kept going. If I didn’t these three may not have a Mom and I knew that. So I left them, shocked looks and all, and headed to the gym each night.

After awhile they realized that Mom was so much happier after her workouts. Mom was changing. So they stopped the shocked looks and started to get curious. What are you doing there Mom? Can we come Mom? They started to follow me into our new “normal”.

My journey became our journey!

And the rest is history.

Everything changed. I started to see how taking more time for me was making me a better Mom and as I watched my waistline shrink I watched our relationships grow.

I always thought I was a good Mom but now I see where I needed to work. Focusing on me made me stronger to become the Mom they deserve.

For my daughter the biggest change is that I stopped telling her to be confident and strong and instead started showing her. I show her everyday that if she wants change she has to do it. No one can “save” her.

For my middle, we became workout partners. We run, we play, we compete with each other. All those times i said “No” turned into “Yes”. We zipline not stand on the sidelines. We have so much fun together.

And for my baby, well he has blossomed the most. Without Mom hovering him all the time he became independent. He never would think of leaving my side… now he doesnt think twice. If he wants his shoes tied… he ties them. Period.

So all you Moms starting this process and feeling guilty focusing on you trust me you cant be the best Mom if you don’t focus on being the best you.

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