June 21, 2016

The biggest {and most surprising!} lesson I’ve learned from my daughter so far…

When I thought about becoming a mother it was hard not to focus on what I thought I would be losing. My total freedom, the little me moments of my everyday life, fun packed weekends and endless ways to say YES to the world. What I couldn’t think about (because I simply didn’t know yet), are all the gifts and lessons I would receive in turn.

Like this one.

Imagine this:

It’s the evening of your big debut. You’ve spent weeks shopping for the right dress, picking out matching shoes, deciding on the perfect hairstyle. The whole day everyone has been talking about how you will be the belle of the ball, how everyone will want to see you, meet you.  It’s going to be your special night.

You spend the afternoon getting ready – slipping into that beautiful dress (it fits perfectly!), getting your hair to fall just so. At just the last minute you slide your feet into shoes and hurry out the door.

And then… your grand entrance! You can feel all eyes on you the moment you walk through the door. Immediately a crowd forms, and 90 seconds later… you fall asleep.

Sound asleep. Not worried about expectations, that this was “the moment,” that people were counting on you. You were totally zonked and so, you took yourself out of the game before freaking out, before becoming overwhelmed. You did what you needed to do for you.

While this may sound like some sort of funny fairy tale, this is exactly what happened for Navy’s big debut at my brother-in-law’s engagement party. Yep, she fell asleep literally 90 seconds into the party {and I’ve even got a photo to prove it}. While it was only a little past her regular bedtime, she had been up that late before, so what happened with my Navy girl? She was totally overwhelmed. And so she took herself out before she could start freaking out.

And I realized we could all learn something from this: What if we took just a moment to check in with ourselves, to breathe, to connect, and figure out what we need? I bet we would see that most of the actions we later regret, that don’t feel in line with our true selves (eating the entire stash of dark chocolate, downing 3 drinks on an empty stomach, or blowing up at your boyfriend), are a result of being overwhelmed, of freaking out.

Part of the reason we love summer is because it feels light and free and easy. But often times we end up packing our schedules with so many commitments, travel plans, and workout dates that we start feeling just as heavy and crazed as the rest of the year. This week I challenge you – where can you lighten up a bit, give yourself some space to breathe, to rest? Ask yourself what YOU need to do? What do you need to say no to, or to go home early from, to pull an “Irish exit”? Or maybe you just need to take 5, go to the bathroom and chill for a minute.

Don’t worry about expectations, external pressures, and what something is “supposed” to look like. You’ve got to tend to your own needs, listen to what your gut is telling you to do (or not to do). Take a lesson from Navy and take yourself out before you freak out {Tweet that}.

How are you shutting down this week? Let me know in the comments below or share with us on social media (tag me @RobynYoukilis so I can see your posts!)!

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