Since my mid-teens I was responsible for my financial well being. I started college at age 17, but because I had to work and support myself, I didn’t graduate until I was 25. While working full-time and going to school, I was meeting my financial and educational goals. But, I was ignoring my body’s needs. I slept little, worked hard, and prioritized my to-do list. As my dad used to say, I was burning the candle at both ends.
It wasn’t until I got pregnant with my first child that I really began to realize the importance of balance and health goals. Suddenly, I was sick all the time from being pregnant. I had someone completely dependent on me for growth and development. It was a tough transition from serious workaholic to oh-crap-I’m-about-to-be-a-mom. Somehow I was going to have to find balance between work, care for myself, maintaining a healthy marriage and having a baby. I’m still figuring it out three years and one more baby later!
It’s funny because I never saw myself as the “family” type. I’ve always been very career focused. And the fact that I got married at a tender 21 was practically an accident (story for another day). It wasn’t that difficult balancing marriage, school and work, while ignoring health. But, managing marriage, work, health and baby… that was different. My priorities had to change. And once I realized where my priorities needed to be, I found balance easier to achieve.
It’s still hard. I still sometimes feel like I’m half-assing being a mom and an employee because I can’t give my all to either place. But, I still feel the sacrifices are worth it. And now, adding my health priority back into the mix, I’m feeling even better and more hopeful for my future than ever before. After all, I can’t give my best if I’m not taking care of myself. And I am determined to not make my children go through the tragedy my sisters and I had to experience. My children, if I have anything to say about it, will not have to endure losing a parent to an avoidable disease. It’s hard. It’s a sacrifice. It takes endurance, patience and determination. But, it will be worth it. 🙂