I Want My Life Back
Last week Sara came to see me in my private practice. Sara had that spaced out, frazzled look. She said, “I want my life back. It’s only the first week of summer and I’m ready for school to start.”
Sara really didn’t want school to start, what she wanted was a break and she didn’t get one.
Both moms and teens can’t wait to get a break from the busy school year. Now that finals are done many teens are sitting on the sofa watching Netflix and are bored out of their minds. This can create a whole new set of problems for you.
- Your daughter expects you to be her activity director. She wants you to entertain her or shuttle her to see her friends.
- Because she is lounging around the house you find half-empty glasses of tea, plates with crusts of pizza, and random pieces of popcorn scattered around your house. And we haven’t even begun to talk about her room.
- And if she is older she wants to stay out late every night. She thinks every night is the weekend because she doesn’t have school. You find that you are staying up late making sure she is coming home on time, but then your alarm still goes off at 6am.
If you feel a little resentment creeping up it’s probably because your body is talking to you. Actually your body may be screaming at you.
- You find yourself more edgy and have less patience.
- You feel tired all the time.
- When you do something for yourself you still feel bored.
- You feel used.
- Your emotions feel flat. You can’t remember the last time you were actually excited about something.
If your body could talk to you this is what it would tell you. (very loudly)
I WANT MY LIFE BACK.
6 Steps to Get Your Life Back
1. Admit you’re off track
Once you have admitted you are off track, the next moment is very important. You are at a fork in the road. This is where many mothers default to shame. You beat yourself up for not being able to get it together.
You get confused because you feel it’s selfish to pay attention to you yet at the same time you want someone to rescue you from your draining existence.
Take the high “conscious” road. The conscious road admits you’re off track, knowing that everyone gets off track. There is no need to beat yourself up; you can simply make a decision to get back on track.
This one step will change everything.
2. Access your life
You need time to assess your life. There is nothing on your to-do list that is more important than this. Even if you did this in January you need to spend time reflecting on all the life that’s happened since then.
Schedule 30 minutes this week to reflect on what’s going on. Make sure you choose a place where no one or nothing can distract you. Turn off your phone and unplug from the world and tune into you.
Grab a journal or some paper and ask yourself these questions.
- What is bothering me?
- Where am I off track?
- What do I want to be doing?
- How do I get my life back?
- What is one thing that I need right now?
3. Let it go
What do you want to let go of? It could be worry, anger or sadness.
It’s easy for mothers to carry everyone’s feelings and internalize stress. Give yourself the gift of releasing. You can release by writing out your feelings. Let the tears come. Tears are a great way to release tension.
Here is another way to say this.
Where are you done?
- I’m done with stressing over my daughter every night, worrying about what she is doing.
- I’m done with having her be disrespectful every single day.
- I’m done with taking care of everyone else and feeling like I don’t matter.
4. Remember who you are
This is coming back to your center. What is important to you? This includes your values, spirituality, priorities, your desires and intuition. Remembering what’s important to you, is like going to a chiropractor. It puts everything back in alignment. Being in alignment allows you to walk tall and steady. When you are out of alignment you are stumbling around like a crazed, drunk person.
5. Decide again
You are one decision away from getting back on track. It starts with this decision. All the time we complain and worry wastes so much energy. Complaining doesn’t get you back on track. Make a drama-free decision and decide to start again. It’s not too late.
Why not decide now to get back on track today?
6. Take one small step
This feels too overwhelming.
You are not alone. Let’s break this down.
Think about the first small step. This is all you have to worry about.
A good place to start for your first small step is scheduling the 30 minutes assessment that I suggested in step 2. After you take that step, ask yourself what is the next step I need to take. Take it one step at a time.
Maybe your step is to ask someone for help. There are plenty of great people out there that can give you direction. Call a friend, life coach or therapist and they can give you helpful feedback and perspective.
Complete this sentence.
I’m so done with_______________________________________________.
My first step to getting back on track is ______________________________.