Saturday, September 20, 2014

5 Aha Moments of a Working Mom - Lessons That Have Changed My Life

motherhood aha moments life lessons
Aren't Aha Moments the best?  Those moments when you're like "Wow, I wish I had realized this sooner.  It would have made my life so much better if I had known this."  Now sometimes, those lessons are things you could not have learned unless you lived through some growing pains, but now being on the other side, I can smile and be grateful I stumbled upon some aha moments that really have changed my life.

So without further ado, let me share what I have learned:

5 Aha Moments of a Working Mom

  1. 5:00am Workouts Are Non-Negotiable - There's no way around it.  I fought this one for a while, but if you want to workout, the crack of dawn is the only time of day where you will not be interrupted and you will be able to fit your workout in.  If you wait, then life will just get in the way or you will feel guilty because it takes away time you could spend with your family and friends.  Bite the bullet.  The payoff will be your health and happiness, which means you will be around longer for your kids, you'll have more energy to play with them, and you'll feel stronger and have more confidence in yourself.  It's quite rewarding to workout so early and to have so much accomplished before others even wake-up.  For more about my health and fitness journey, click here.
  2. Spousal Gratitude Journals Will Bring Happiness Ten-Fold - I secretly kept a journal for my husband for two whole months.  Everyday I wrote an entry describing something specific he did that day that I was thankful for, that I appreciated, or a reason why I loved him.  It was a life-changing experience, and one I would highly recommend.  Our marriage has never had more love and happiness.  If you would like to read more about this, please click here.
  3. One on One Quality Time - You might think I am talking about date night here, and that would be true if you do not already have date nights with your spouse.  Please start there if you have not already.  If you have, then I would consider one on one quality time with other important people in your life.  For me, this was my mom, my dad, and my sister.  I had forgotten how much time I used to spend individually with each of them before I had my daughter.  Whether that was for lunch, taking a walk etc.  After I had my daughter, I only saw them as a group.  I recently did something about this for my birthday.  For my 30th birthday celebration, I simply asked that I be able to have one on one quality time with each of them.  My husband was very supportive and volunteered to watch our daughter while I did this.  It was the BEST PRESENT EVER!  I had so much fun, and it was great for each of my relationships with them.  I plan to do them once a month now.
  4. Food Prep Will Give You More Quality Time - I still do not profess to have nailed this one, but I have noticed that weeks where I have my meals planned out or prepared in advance, there is less stress and more quality time spent with my husband and daughter.  Sometimes, this is just as simple as steaming vegetables and cooking ground turkey on Sundays so that all we have to do is heat it up and add it to dishes during the week.  It's the little things like that.  Figure out what works for you.  Start small if you have to, even if that is just finding a staple, quick and easy recipe to make regularly.  I am a big fan of quinoa because I have found a great variety that is ready in just 3.5 minutes flat.  For one of my go-to dinner recipes, click here.
  5. Work on Yourself Everyday - Personal development.  I kind of hate that term because it used to make me think of self-help books and dependency.  I used to think that only crazy people or people who did not have it together needed "personal development."  BOY, WAS I WRONG!  Why wouldn't you want to continue to improve yourself?  Why wouldn't I want to continue to grow and increase my skills?  I have been on a rampage lately listening to audio books everyday on my commute to and from work.  No longer do I listen to talk radio, and to my surprise, I do not even miss it.  I actually cannot wait to get in my car and listen to my latest selection.  It is like having a personal coach.  Zig Ziglar said it best.  Motivational talks are not a one and done.  You cannot listen to a speaker or read a book and be good for a whole year.  The effects will wear off.  Some people might well think that means it is not a good value or a worthwhile investment then.  Well, what do you think about bathing?  If you bathe today, you will not be clean for a whole month.  You have to bathe everyday.  You have to invest in yourself everyday.  Be purposeful about the inputs you are delivering to your mind and body.  For me, I have noticed that I am daily inspired.  I am happier, and I think the people in my life are probably happier for me having done this.  I am more effective in my communication, have more self-awareness, and feel better about my life goals and my ability to accomplish them.  If there is any one thing you do from this list, please choose personal development.
So what do you think?  What have some of your AHA moments been this year?  I would love to hear about them.

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