The simple question of “how are you?” doesn’t receive such a simple answer these days; instead it was an “I am okay” followed by a sob story of how stressed I actually was. I was constantly finding myself venting or crying to my friends about my recent mom struggles more than I was celebrating all of the greatness that comes along with being a mom. I was burnt out and more focused on how I wasn’t meeting my expectations for the kind of mom I wanted to be, rather than remembering all of the ways that I was a good mom. I was having a hard time with my son’s behavioral challenges and my spirit finally broke. I was in a mom-lull.
It was evident that I needed a change in perspective. I wasn’t too far from the reality of knowing that some days were going to be better than others, but I had let one too many stressful days put me over the edge. My glass wasn’t just half empty, it was completely empty. While lying in bed one night, I found myself not tired enough to go to sleep, but also not up for any reading or channel surfing. So I did what was easiest and most convenient, I picked up my iPhone and numbingly started scrolling through Facebook.
A change in perspective
Nothing had really caught my attention, until I saw a post titled “Powerful Advice from a Dying 24-year Old.” While I normally refrain from reading sad stories or unfortunate events, I couldn’t help but to open this story. Once I opened it and read it, a rainbow replaced the dark gray clouds that had been looming over me for the last few days; my mind was all of a sudden clearer, and my desire to cherish every moment, even the moments wrapped in defeat and despair, were reignited. This young man, as unfortunate as his situation is, set out to inspire others and make an impact before he passed. I can truthfully say that he did just that for me, he was the change in perspective I desperately needed to help me exit the valley and bring me back up to the peak of motherhood.
For those of you who haven’t read the article, it is completely inspiring and can be found here, https://www.powerofpositivity.com/powerful-advice-dying-24-year-old/.
How we, as moms, can relate
There are several points that this young man makes that I feel many mamas can relate to; he surely spoke to my heart.
“The way I’ve lived my life so far, my existence or more precisely the loss of it, will not matter because I have lived without doing anything impactful.”
While it is hard to think about this, there will be a day when our children are without us. While we are still here and able to, let’s make every moment count. Every word we say, every action we take, and every hug we give can all be ways to positively impact our kid(s). I am sure we can all agree that we want our kid(s) to remember us in a positive light—a caring, loving, fun, helpful, dependable, etc. mom. Not a stressed out, yelling, frustrated mom that I admittedly have been the last few days.
I want the memories and life events that I build with my kids to be joyful, inspiring, encouragingly influential, and have a lasting impression on the adults they become. I recognize that I may not be able to accomplish this every moment of everyday, because let’s face it, I am human and these little miracles are not always easy. What I can do though is to commit, from this day forward, to making sure that my stress doesn’t get the best of me or become a major influence on my daily mood. Instead, I will see whatever the stressor is as a moment of stress, and realize that I have the remaining minutes of the day to make a positive impact on my kids, my family, and my friends. Every minute counts!
“Don’t waste your time on work that you don’t enjoy.”
Mama’s, I think we all may be guilty of biting off more than we can chew, or fear telling someone “no” because we are natural nurturers and want to be everything for everyone. For me, I am definitely guilty of overloading my plate and then feeling like I am coming up short. I am not saying that we all spend too much time doing things we don’t enjoy because sometimes this is just life, but I am saying that we are blessed with the ability to CHOOSE to do things in our lives that bring about happiness, that give us a sense of purpose, and add positive value to our life. I hope you’ll join me in taking a few minutes to assess how you’re spending your time. Reprioritize so that you can build a happier, less stressful, and more gratifying life that in return helps you to create a better version of yourself.
“Appreciate the people around you. Your friends and relatives will always be an infinite source of strength and love.”
Wow, this one is beyond true! I cannot even tell you where I would be without my family and my friends. As an only child, you’d be surprised to know that I actually have a handful of incredible sisters, they’re my best friends as well as my lifelines. Having a sixteen-month-old and a two-and-a-half-year-old can make for a very busy life, but without my friends and family, my days would feel a lot longer. To my loved family and friends, please know how much I care about you and cherish your relationship. While I may be slow to respond or forgot about the text message you sent me, it is important that you know how much I treasure you and love you with my whole heart.
Mama’s, join me in finding a few minutes between diaper changes to call or send your loved ones a quick text letting them how much they are loved and appreciated. Life is more vibrant and better endured with family and friends; therefore, reach out, connect, and stay in touch with those you love and who add so much to your life. By doing this, you’ll be adding so much to their life too!
And, as this inspiring young man reminds us:
“You can float through a life created by circumstances, missing day after day, hour after hour. Or, you can fight for what you believe in and write the great story of your life. I hope you will make the right choice.”
Leave a mark in this world. Have a meaningful life, whatever that looks like for you. Go towards it. The place we are leaving is a beautiful playground, where everything is possible. Yet, we are not here forever. Our life is a short spark in this beautiful little planet that flies with incredible speed into the endless darkness of the unknown universe. So, enjoy your time here with passion. Make it interesting. Make it count!
Reference: Power of Positivity (2017). Powerful Advice from a Dying 24 year old. Retrieved from https://www.powerofpositivity.com/powerful-advice-dying-24-year-old/.