Normally it’s financial planners who are telling us to “diversify our portfolios” but it’s also a good idea when it comes to maintaining sanity as a parent. It’s risky to put all your money in one investment, just in case it doesn’t do well. We diversify our investments to ensure our financial success. If we want success in other areas of our life, it makes sense to diversify them, too.
Let’s say 99% of your life’s joy and purpose comes from being a Mom. You love it. You devote your time and your mental and emotional energy to your kids. It’s your identity and your social life. Then they move out. You are left with a big empty hole. You weren’t diversified.
Take Sally, a busy mother of twins. Her self care took a back seat when her two premature angels showed up. She was lucky if she snuck in a shower. But at the end of the very hard and tiring day, she would collapse on the couch and reward herself with a brownie, or two, or ten. She was very deserving of self care, nurturing, and a reward for her hard work, but she wasn’t diversified. Chocolate brownies was the only way she cared for and acknowledged how much she was doing. Six years later, that reward has turned into a punishment because she is unhappy with how she looks and feels. She doesn’t want to eliminate her only source of self care, because she doesn’t have any other way to replace it.
When we don’t diversify our joy, our self care, our purpose or our social life, we get this nagging voice in the back of our head. It whispers to us that “this could backfire someday” or “I need more”.
It’s easy to spot in others. Remember that girl in college who completely loses herself in her boyfriend? Or that friend who is so addicted to work they don’t have time for anyone or anything else? They weren’t diversified.
You’ll know you are not diversified if you lose your mind when someone tries to take away your ONE source. I remember throwing a huge fit because SOMEONE MESSED UP MY SCHEDULED RECORDING OF SURVIVOR! It was one of those times where your whole family stares at your with mouths open because clearly this was your problem and not theirs. My reaction was so disproportionate to the severity of the infraction but at the time, to me, it felt completely justified. Last week Survivor did not record and I barely reacted at all. Because my joy and self care are now diversified, I’m able to shrug my shoulders and say “oh well”.
How can you diversify your joy? Your sense of purpose? Your social life and self care? It’s easier than you think. Here’s some ideas I’ve gotten from my brilliant clients that I love.
“Running errands without kids is MY TIME. I put on my favorite music and sing out loud without anyone telling me to stop. I listen to audio books or blogs and revel in MOM time.”
“I love trying out new recipes. I decided to cook for ME instead of the kids. I let go attachment to what they chose to eat or not and just focus on cooking what I love, for me.”
“Whenever I walk the dog, I pay attention to what’s around me. Leaves changing colors, the wind against my skin, the sounds I hear. I deliberately try not think about anything but just notice what I see, smell, hear, and feel. I always come back feeling recharged.”
“My girlfriends are my top priority. I live with a husband and three school age sons. Between sports, school, and my house and my job, I NEED my girlfriend time. I plan it. I carve out the time for it. I prioritize getting together.”
“I found work that allows me to have lots of creative time by myself. Someday, my needs may change and I’ll want work that is more social or aspirational, but for now, while my house is chaotic and full of activity, it’s a great balance.”
“I love shopping and I love Christmas so the month of December is awesome for me. It’s summertime with the kids home where I really need to pay attention to my self care. I want to be a good Mom so I do the things that help me be successful at that: I make time for scrapbooking, get massages, and schedule life coaching sessions with Torie.”
How can you diversify your joy? Your self care? Your social life or sense of purpose? Are you ready to try life coaching and see how it can help you? Sign up for a free discovery session here.