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Four kids in five years. That’s how my family came. But not one at a time—the two youngest were twins. Now they range in age from 12 to 6. But in those early years, I gave all I had to my family all day (and then all night). I was glad to be able to stay at home and raise my kiddos, except something was wrong. I was not happy.

When my twins were 18 months old, I found myself spiraling into a dark place. And in the middle of all the motherhood monotony, I realized that even though I loved my life, I no longer loved myself in my life. I had given all of myself to my family and had forgotten who I was.

I knew I needed to make some changes and that it was up to me to make those changes. If I didn’t, I feared it would have serious consequences to my family and possibly my marriage.

I’m a writer. So, when faced with the heavy sadness, I opened my laptop late one night and just starting typing. Fast. It was just a mess of words, hardly even sentences. Some of the things I typed on that monitor were scary. But through this very honest process of typing my real thoughts and feelings, I had a realization. I became aware that there were six things I was not doing or not understanding that I needed to implement. Those six things soon helped me put my life back into balance and ultimately helped me find me again.

1. I Am Valuable.

I had to realize that I have a value besides changing diapers, making hot meals, and folding laundry. I had to really internalize that I am already valuable because I am a daughter of God. When we try to base our value on what we accomplish, how we look, and even the type of mother we are, we always fall short.

I know that when I’m feeling lost or overwhelmed or stressed out, it’s not because He has turned His back on me; it’s because I’ve turned my back on Him. I started waking up early. I chose to spend some quiet time in the scriptures, in prayer, and journaling my thoughts and feelings. I felt a reassurance that I am more than a diaper-changing short-order cook. I am valuable because I am a child of God. I am divine and so is my role as a mother.

2. Dreams are Real.

The biggest point of pain for me in my life was that I had put my dreams on hold to raise my children. For many of us, being a mom is such an important dream. And it was for me too! But I believe we are sent here for a bigger mission. I think the talents and gifts that God has blessed us with help us become who He intends us to be. The dream in your heart is part of who you were created to be. Therefore, you have the special talents and gifts that you need to make that happen. And my problem was I put all those dreams on hold and tried to stifle that part of me. Using our gifts can bless those in our homes, in our communities, in our places of work—everywhere really.

Sometimes acknowledging that you’re meant for different things (not just motherhood) can help put that spark back in your eye. There’s a time and a season for everything. Maybe you have to wait a bit to accomplish your dreams, but remember dreams are real. See yourself not only as a mother but as a talented individual who can make the world a better place.

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