Sitting on the swing, feeling the wind blow through my hair as I flew into the sky and felt the tossing and turning of butterflies in my tummy was pure bliss- for the first time in years, I was actually swinging. Beside me my eight year old son Noah was laughing and saying “Mommy look! We are swinging at the exact same height!” Perfectly in synch, although for just a moment, we sailed through the air and for a moment…I felt like a young girl again. Giggling I kicked my legs in an effort to go higher and higher…I couldn’t believe how good it felt to let go and immerse myself in the pure joy of childlike fun.
How many times have I gone to the park with Paris and Noah, only to sit and watch them play? For years I have gone only to sit and watch or dabble on my cell phone checking in on email, social media and texts. Isn’t that what moms do? We drive, sit, watch and wait…while our children live their lives, play with friends and have incredible life experiences. Yet over the last year something changed. I started to ask myself, “Why do they get to have all the fun?” I found myself jealous as I watched my daughter challenge herself to do a back tuck at gymnastics or Noah center up and position his feet in the perfect position to hit the ball and quickly run to first base. I would think to myself, “Why am I just sitting here?”
The young girl inside of me was literally starting to surface in everything I did. “Can I come out and play?” I felt her voice, her presence and her desire to bring fun, adventure and joy back into my life. So I said yes- literally! I made a conscious decision that I was no longer going to sit around and watch. I was going to get in the game and play. Like my children, I too wanted to have fun. I love being a mom, running a business and being a wife but what I miss is the freedom of plain old fashioned fun!
Since that time I’ve made it a point to play a little bit every day. I no longer care what people around me think because in my heart I know- they want to play too; so I’m taking the lead and doing what I’ve longed to do all these years. When I take Noah to baseball I get out on the field with him before the game and play catch, I run the bases and hit the ball. Before bed I grab a deck of cards, look at my kids with a competitive eye and say, “Who wants to play?” and when stepping on stage to speak to an audience at a conference, all grown up and in my fancy suit I think to myself, “Remember when this was your dream?” No more zoning out as I speak for the 10,000th time- I’m there, full of passion and joy as I savor in the fact that I once dreamed of this job…and today it’s my freakin’ reality!
I don’t know how to explain the transformation I’ve experienced other than saying, “I feel alive!” I’ve always been a passionate person, full of life but the truth is, like other women- I’ve been a walking zombie! Alive, fully functioning but sort of dead inside- Tired, stressed, anxious and part of a vicious cycle called “Being a grown up”- I was going through the motions. While I love my kids and wouldn’t trade a moment of my mom experience for the world, I would trade in my laundry and housework for a housekeeper (which I have!), meal planning and cooking for a chef (on my list), and carpooling to school and sporting events for a chauffeured limo driver! While that sounds nice the fact is it’s not realistic- so what I’ve done instead is found a way to make ordinary days extraordinary by putting the power of play into everything I do. The result is I’m laughing more, relaxed, less serious and more in tune to life and the many joys in it.
If you’re reading this blog then odds are you are a mother and wife who also manages a full time, chaotic work schedule. You do everything for everyone but you. I would like to be your voice of reason and my goal is to inspire you to step back, relax, take the pressure off and start to add play into your day. At first it will seem a little odd- if not crazy; but I promise, you will feel more alive than ever before! So the next time your kids are playing, get in the game! Sing at the top of your lungs when hearing your favorite song, skip to get the mall, put the windows down, let the wind blow through your hair and find pictures in the clouds. Life is rich and full of wonder- sadly the woman, bogged down by life is missing it all. Open your eyes, take a deep breath and make the decision to get your girl back once and for all.
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Written by Traci Bild, Author and Founder of the Get Your Girl Back movement