Do you ever get frustrated that one area of your life seems to be out of whack, only to realize that other areas are actually out of whack too, and one is affecting the other? That has happened to me, and because I’ve been so busy, it took a while for everything to finally click.

I spent months feeling exhausted and stressed, wondering when something would give so I can just feel rested and stress-free. Of course, my stress levels started to affect my marriage and my children. A tired, cranky woman doesn’t make the best mom and wife, despite her best efforts. I mean, I don’t think I was a horrible mom or wife, but I know I was coming up short.

Finally, I decided that enough was enough and I needed to make a few changes in my life. The changes are all about me, but they sure have had a powerful impact on my family. By taking the time to focus on myself and put my life in check, I have been able to give the ones I love the very best version of who I am – the version they deserve.

So here are 3 decisions I made a few years ago, I am so grateful for the courage to make them. My life is better, my kids are happier, and my marriage is stronger.

Putting my health first.

I was neglecting my health a few years back. It all started with my first pregnancy. After I gained that weight, I just got caught up with motherhood, became full of excuses, and I put myself last. Then, I finally realized how crazy that was, especially with my strong family history of strokes, so I changed things. I now eat better (although I do indulge at times) and I workout 4-5 times a week. I feel better, I can focus more, and my confidence has increased. I also have more energy to play with my kids and I am less cranky when I interact with my husband. Everyone wins!

Saying “no.”

I love to take on new projects, and I hate to let people down. Great qualities, but it can pose a problem when I take on too much.  When I do more than I should, I inevitably let people down, and no one wins. I end up burning myself out, while also damaging relationships. I am now very careful about what I agree to do and when an opportunity arises that I just can’t pass up, I ask myself what am I willing to let go of so I can take it on. Saying “no” to others more often gives me the chance to say “yes” to my loved ones (and myself) more often. That has made all the difference.

Praying more often.

I consider myself a woman of faith. I believe that everything I am, and everything I will be, is because of Him. That said, I realized that the busy-ness of life had me praying just once a day and that just wasn’t enough. Now I pray all day, every day. I pray in the car, at my computer, in the bathroom – wherever I can. Doing that helps me stay calm, it nourishes my soul and it helps me keep my life in perspective – all things that help me step up my game as a mother and a wife. I thank God for that.

What are some things that have made you a better mom and/or wife?