I recently ran into my friend Melissa at a store. I’m sure she felt slightly overwhelmed chasing her young twins in circles around the display shelves, but what I noticed were her grey skinny-leg jeans, spiky-heeled boots, and her fit figure which reflected the fact that she still obviously enjoyed working out. She was the same fabulous Melissa that I knew before she had kids, despite the craziness that having three active boys below the age of four must elicit.
I love women who can, against all odds, still remain rock stars of the toddler set. Anyone with kids knows that it is no easy feat, but I think it’s important that we not sacrifice our own personalities in the process of raising our children. To every extent possible, we should find a little time in each day to simply be ourselves, whether that means exercising, painting, singing out loud in the car while driving, or being a mother hipster.
Some people may fear that becoming a parent results in the loss of the primary essence of who we were before having children, and it’s true that parenthood certainly shifts our priorities. It helps us to grow in numerous ways, and brings both joys and trials beyond imagining. It has many rewards, but oftentimes, parenting is an exhausting and thankless job.
It is possible, however, to be a parent and an individual with a unique spark too. Children can sometimes be included in the process. My kids love it when I turn up the music and dance with them, or let them pick out which shoes or earrings I should wear. They love to cook, enjoy the outdoors, and use just about any medium to explore their own creativity. It’s true that it takes three times as long to accomplish anything once kids are involved, but it is usually time well spent.
I encourage each of you to celebrate and maintain that flare that makes you who you are. Allow your inner diva to come out and play. Nurture whatever quality adds that extra little bounce to your step — and strut it!