“It’s MY life, it’s my decision.”
I can remember angrily tossing out those words in my late teens and early twenties to anyone who questioned a decision I was making.
I think the Bon Jovi song of the same name was every young adult’s anthem at the time. YES, see, it’s not YOUR business what I choose to do, I just want to live while I’m alive. It’s my life. *cue fist being thrust into the air and some head banging*
Trying to find myself, testing limits, trying different paths, making mistakes, having fun.
It’s a rite of passage.
And while I still believe that the choices I make are mine and I don’t really have to justify myself or worry if I’m doing something against what “they” think I should be doing…
it’s not really just MY life any more.
I have three small boys who need me, who expect me to be there for them.
I have a husband who is my partner in this crazy journey.
I need to still be here for them.
Maybe sometimes, I can put myself first and do something best for me, which ends up benefiting the family in the long run. I don’t have to lose myself in the process.
My life hasn’t become so much theirs that I’m not allowed to do things just for me.
Moms (and dads) are people, too.
We don’t have to throw out our dreams, always put ourselves last, and only do exactly what our families want us to do.
But if those choices would negatively affect my family… and not in that joking around “here’s something to talk to your therapist” way or in the way that it inconveniences them and makes them realize that sometimes I come first… but in a real, long-lasting way, then I need to reconsider.
I could go on a vacation to some tropical island somewhere… for a week. But not to run off to live there alone.
I could miss a soccer game because I need to work(or rest because I’ve been running myself into the ground). But maybe I need to reconsider if I never get to be there for any of those moments.
I can eat the last brownie when no one is looking because I freaking can. But I shouldn’t eat the entire pan when the doctor tells me to take better care of myself.
I can make choices, I can still keep trying to find the best path for me, I can keep making mistakes, I can keep having fun.
But it’s not just about me any more. It’s my life, but it’s theirs, too.