Recommitting to a Promise to Myself


This post is all about me.

Me. Me. Me.

As I began this journey called “Motherhood”, I pledged not to lose myself.   Everyone talks about making time for date nights, and girls nights, and work time, and extended family time – or rather, trying to make time for it all.

That all sounded good, but I wanted to add something to the mix: I promised to myself to not lose track of me.

The girl who loves reading historical fiction novels. The girl who likes to curl up under a blanket with a hot cup of tea – at least when it’s not 95* in San Diego. The girl who likes massages and pedicures. The girl who enjoys writing and reading Real Simple and spending hours on Pinterest. The girl who has learned that when she’s absolutely committed to something, nothing can stop her (read: running a half-marathon). The girl who loves yoga. The girl who loves crunching fall leaves and feeling afternoon breezes on her face.

In truth: I’ve worked to become a person that I like. A person that I’m comfortable being – by myself and with others. I’m fortunate that I’ve established a little circle of my amazing friends, coworkers, family, and of course, my husband – who allow me and empower me to be a person that they like spending time with.

But –

I’ve realized it’s important for me to hold on to me. My core. My person. Me – not as a mother, a wife, a daughter or a friend. Me, on my own.

Even before the girls were born, Bryan and I talked about this. Not maybe in the existential way that I’m writing about it now -but in the objective, scheduling way that new parents strive for:

  • Monday nights: family nights
  • Tuesday nights: Jess’ nights
  • Wednesday nights: Bryan’s nights
  • Thursday nights: up-for-grabs – could be my book club, Bryan’s video game night, or family night
  • Friday night: family nights or date nights
  • Saturday night: family nights or date nights
  • Sunday night: family nights

On paper, this seemed like it was a great solution for us. Flexibility on some nights, lots of family night time for us to spend together and with the twins, and dedicated nights for each of us to do our own thing. For Bryan, it would be his weekly soccer game. For me, it could be yoga, Pilates, going to a coffee shop, swimming – just something all for me.

But then something funny happened.

Without realizing it, I started sacrificing my Jess nights. Oh sure, I made up lots of great excuses reasons for why my nights were sliding away. I had missed the twins while I was at work. Bryan had to stay late at work, so I missed my Pilates class (that I didn’t really want to go to anyway.) The babies didn’t sleep well last night so I was tired, too tired, to do anything out of the house. One night I even stayed home and wrote a blog entry – just steps away from Bryan and the babies in case they needed me. I could just go take Chloe for a quick walk. Bryan was sick one week, so I didn’t want to leave him alone with the twins. I was working late all the other days that week, and felt like I couldn’t be away one more night. Maybe tonight was the night we were actually going to cook a real dinner – and who would want to miss that after nights of take-out?

And yet, like a precision clock, Bryan hardly missed a soccer game.

What was the difference?

I could have gotten angry at him – and maybe, in all honesty, I did sometimes. Couldn’t he see that I was sacrificing part of myself to be home? To be the perfect mother to our twins? To be the perfect wife to him?

But taking a step back, I asked myself: what was I expecting? This was our agreement: Tuesday nights were for me. Wednesday nights were for him.

Rather than be angry, I realized I needed to follow his lead. In truth – I needed that time for myself. To recharge. To refresh. To just be me.

So in this spirit of committing to this little blog of mine, I’m also committing to myself.

Case in point: it’s Tuesday night, and I just returned from my restorative yoga class.

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