So I am following a Facebook blog written by a college friend of mine, Laura Hilton- Sutherland, called “Living in Blance – Laura’s Way.”  I encourage anyone seeking balance in life for 2016 to read her story and join us.  Her first challenge, identify 3-4 things that are out of balance in your life.  So here it goes!

Most people know I lost my son in 2015.  However, very few people know that I also took two promotions at work, one in March (while on maternity leave) and the second in September.  I love my job!  I love my new position.  I love the people I work for and the people I work with daily.  I am appreciated.  I am mentally stimulated. I am challenged.  I am learning everyday!  I am also working harder and longer hours than I have ever worked in my life. And I still look forward to Monday!

In addition to this, my personal life has been technically simplified and emotionally challenging.  What I mean is technically I started off the year caring for two babies and now I only have one child in my arms.  Plus this amazing kiddo is becoming more and more independent everyday.  So technically, my parenting load is lighter.  

However, the emotional stress of losing a child is overwhelming.  I miss my baby.  There is always a lump in my throat and a hole in my heart.  It used to consume me every day.  Now it just visits during those quiet moments.   Work  and Bennett have been my outlets to move past some of the grief pain.  Plus, I have a strong husband to walk this journey with me.

So here is my focus for balance in 2016!

#1 My Marriage….I have a wonderful husband and we have a strong loving relationship. When Harrison passed we made a commitment to each other to honor Harrison through our marriage.  So the #1 on my list IS and always will be my husband.  I want him to feel loved and appreciated everyday.   

#2 Bennett… I have done pretty well with this piece, but I’m listing it because it is soooo important I can’t lose this.  All our children really want from us is love and attention.  Seems simple, but it takes consistent time, patience, and focus to truly invest in your kiddos.  And Bennett is worth the investment.

#4 Myself…. No surprise, I listed this last on my list.  Like most Mom’s I always come last.  I am sooooo out of whack here!   I have completely and totally neglected my basic needs.  Why is it so easy to take care of everyone else but I can’t fit in 20 mins for myself?  Why do I feel guilt when I do things for myself? It is not uncommon for me to go an entire day without eating and weeks without exercise.  My body is holding every calorie I consume. My joints hurt and my skin is dull and broken out.  I drink diet soda daily and rarely consume water.  I was on my way to losing the baby weight and then Harrison passed away.   I have not lost a single pound after Harrison died, in fact I gained 5 more pounds!

  I’m not talking about needing to lose 10lbs so I can fit in that black dress.  I’m talking about being healthy.  I’m talking about feeling strong and energized. I’m talking about being able to look at my reflection in the mirror without tears.  I want to have a conversation with friends and not feel embarrassed of my size.  So this one is for me!  I want to find time to be healthy physically and mentally.

That is my list!  In 2016 I want to focus on balancing my life with these three priorities on top of my list.  While I love my job, I will not die some day thinking, “Man, I wish I worked harder.”  Nor do I want people to say, “She worked long hours!”  I want people to say, “She was kind.  She was understanding. She was a patient loving Mommy and wife.” So it’s time to make sure my life has balance.