Hey girl. I see you there- yes, you. Put your feet up for a minute with me.
I see you trying to make it through the week. The project deadlines, doctors appointments, night shifts-overnight shifts, meetings, babysitter schedules, bills, play dates, spouse/significant other…etc. You’ll make it. You may not remember if you showered today, but you’ll make it. Maybe the kids had a fast food dinner too many times or didn’t eat enough vegetables and your husband worked late. Maybe you let the laundry pile up. Oh and meal planning? That lasted about 2 days, or quite possibly the groceries never had a chance. Mine didn’t. The car is a whole other issue. Do you feel like you’re barely making it, just getting by? Yup, I’m right there with you.
The concept of self care is all too familiar with me as an idea but less of an action. I know I need to do it, but have always struggled to be proactive on it. There’s my own mom guilt in the matter now. I find myself cringing at the thought of missing some important milestone with my daughter when I’m off focusing on myself. It’s a huge obstacle for me. It’s a place that fosters thoughts of anxiety, fear and manipulates me when I’m the most emotionally weak. My emotionally weak point is a minefield of insecurity. If this is you, don’t believe the lies that sneak up out of fear or anxiety. Our kids need to see us address our needs, emotional, physical and mental in healthy ways. Ultimately, if I can’t take of myself, I can’t take of my daughter-I can’t parent well and be her mom. I teach her to tell me what she needs with clear words when in reality, I’m the one that needs to do something about my own needs. Realizing you’ve gotten to that place means you need to take a break. Take a break!
Take a break. You need a break.
Unwind, breathe deeply. Breath in…and out. Have a good cry. Go on a good, long run. Remember you’re human. Remember what it feels like to rest and rest well, not just sleep. Barely making it isn’t the way anymore. The unrested me is cranky and doesn’t see the joy in toddler imagination. The emotionally drained me can’t empathize with 3 year old’s temper tantrums and instead has a temper tantrum with her! Becoming complacent in those circumstances never bring me to a place where I thrive as a mom, but a place where growth can’t happen. I miss more this way. When I take care of me, I can begin to put together parts of myself and I can cherish a moment of childhood with a full heart and clear mind.
I’d like to say I’m getting better at self care. I’ve had to carve out more non-negotiable times for it during my day (even 10 mins can make a difference!) and I established a few more routines for myself after the work day with parenting and housework (mostly involving schedules for this very unstructured person). If the thought of adding one more thing to your day stresses you, build on something that you’re already doing to make it self care. Reprioritizing can be the hardest and most difficult. Be encouraged that you’re not alone. Ask for help if you need it. We can make it.