My Parenting Word Of The Year: Sufficiency

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word of the year

Every January, I select a word of the year that I intend to embody. This isn’t a new year’s resolution but more of an intention to the universe of a quality that I want to deepen. I use the reflection of the previous year as a time to focus on what I have accomplished that year but really zone in on the areas of growth.

One year I picked “patient” as my word of the year, because that particular one I really felt like I needed to be more patient with myself as I tried to navigate new territory as a new mom of two.

One year I picked “imperfect,” because that year my focus was really on letting go of the perfection of being the perfect mom and focus on giving myself a break. (Clearly more work to do here!)

This past year, I picked “brave” for my word of the year.

Moving to California with 3 kids in tow wasn’t easy (even if falling in love with the OC was!). We certainly had our fair share of trials that all turned out to be incredible examples of the patience I have with my imperfect self all while being brave (see what I did there?).

My word of the year for 2020 is “me.”

Because after putting the needs of everyone else around me first, I felt like I was losing my grasp on myself and who I am when I am not wearing this hat or that hat or even that hat over there.

A month in and I have honestly had more days filled with feelings of inadequacies that I care to count.

I felt like I was really starting to get into a groove this past fall, balancing all the things, volunteering on field trips (sometimes even with only a day’s notice), getting my kids to their gymnastics classes, and somehow managing to put a healthy meal on the table each night.

And that isn’t even including my full-time job.

And then 2020 came, filled with big work projects, two baseball seasons, OT classes for my 6 year old that I couldn’t seem to stay clicked with, and sickness. Oh so much sickness.

I crumbled.

Literally.

I crumbled onto the bed in a sea of tears.

At 8am on a Sunday. Followed by pleas from my husband to get. out. of. the. house. To go DO something, without the kids, without him. For ME.

I honestly didn’t know what I needed. How I got here. What I was going to do to get myself back. Because despite knowing I NEEDED a break, I just couldn’t take it.

But I did. I took the break.

I left and went hiking, something I love to do but my family only tolerates. I hiked for three hours, got my blood flowing, cleared my head, and reflected on how I was already failing on my 2020 intention.

And more importantly I realized that it was okay to fail on something.

Just like it is okay to say yes to the artificially colored cupcake filled with sugar. And it’s okay to be late to a baseball practice without a batting helmet. And it is okay if I have to breakdown and cry my heart out once in a while. Just because my husband is cleaning the kitchen doesn’t mean I failed. And just because my 6 year old yelled “you are a mean mom!” doesn’t mean I am mean.

It is okay to ROCK one season and then barely keep it together for another.

So I found my new word of the year. 2020 is the year of sufficiency.

Of replacing these inadequate feelings like I am not doing enough with acknowledgement that it’s okay if sometimes we only just get by. And I have a feeling this just might create enough space for me to hike alone, read that book collecting dust, and focus on “me” in a whole new way. And if not, that is okay too.

I do know I will be a better me when I am not running on fumes, and that is enough for me to keep trying.

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Erin is a fresh transplant to Orange County from Richmond, VA as of January 1, 2019! She and her husband, Rick, married in 2008 on the same beach where they fell in love on Virginia's Eastern Shore. They are thrilled to have settled into the Laguna Niguel area with their three wild children, ages 8, 6 and 2 and less than 5 miles from the coast. Erin works full-time as the director of a preschool, where she has the opportunity to make an impact and encourage the future of tomorrow to grow in every way, all while having fun! A self-proclaimed eternal optimist, she and her family enjoy living life and turning everything into an adventure. She loves trips to Target (alone at 8 am), iced coffee, baking, cheering for her VCU Rams, staying healthy, fresh air and introducing her kids to real music. Keep up with Erin on Instagram @therealricelife