I was recently sick. Completely down and out for the count with the stomach bug. It was awful. I needed to be quarantined from my family to ensure our three year old and 6 month old did NOT get infected. I was unable to move without being nauseous. The mere thought of food made me reach for the bucket. It was while I laid there, listening to my kids laugh, listening to dad handle almost everything, that I realized I had brought this on myself.
I am an avid hand washer, grocery cart sanitizing crazy person. You will see me with hand sanitizer after pumping gas, reading menus, before eating snacks while out, after touching handles, etc. I always make sure we all wash our hands upon coming home and yet here I was sick as a dog! I am thankful it was I who got sick and not one of the kids, but I feel like it’s kind of my own fault…. because I NEVER give myself a break.
Let’s think about this, ladies, especially moms…. when was the last time you took some time out of your day, your week, your month to relax, unwind, meditate, exercise, read? If you are anything like me the answer is ummmmmm because I have no idea! I have been running around for the past three months getting everything and everyone ready for all the holidays! I mean there has been NO break since Halloween, do you agree? After the candy craze, we go into making sure to book photo sessions for Christmas cards, prepping where and when we are going to see family for Thanksgiving and Christmas, who we need gifts for, and my husband and I always plan a family vacation in December as a gift to the kids because we believe in experiences more than toys. There are countless parties to go to, and let’s not forget to throw in some birthdays into the mix too! It’s list upon list of what needs to get done, decorating, tree trimming, lights, cards, gifts, wrapping, cooking, baking, etc etc…. and I know some of us have husbands that help, but most of that falls to us ladies.
So now here I am, the holidays are done, I can finally relax, right? No! Everyone gets a cold from seeing so many people. It’s a constant boogie fight and who is coughing, and who needs another bath etc. And as a mom, you are doing it all, I was managing feeling blah and not 100% but taking care of everything, until I wasn’t! It hit like a ton of bricks! I really believe it was my body’s way of yelling at me. I was not eating right, not drinking enough water, and living off of gluten free cookies and fudge!
Getting sick was the worst best thing that happened. It forced me to stop. It forced me to realize I am not superwoman and I can get sick and knocked on my butt. It made me realize that asking for help isn’t so bad and that I have a pretty awesome husband who has my back when I need him. What was I so afraid of? Why didn’t I just say, “Hey, I need a break”? It’s because I felt I needed to be able to do it all, but that isn’t true.
I realize I need some “me time” because I can take care of anyone else. If I am not at 100% I cannot possibly give anyone else 100% and my kids and family deserve all of me. I am learning that I should NOT feel guilty about telling my husband I need a break, a breather, a little time to replenish my cup so that I can be the best mom and wife I can be. Once I have my cup filled, I am completely present and able to provide for everyone else.
Ladies, mommas, you need to take time for you and keep your cup filled. Allow people to help you and make time for you to get some “Self care”. The more time you take the fuller your cup and it will overflow to all your loved ones. There are so many ways to get a little time in, here are a few ways I have discovered:
- Hire a housekeeper – Once a month, bi-weekly, weekly … whatever you can afford, it is worth every penny! A clean house is calming and you can enjoy your kids while she cleans or take a class if your kids are not around at the same time!
- Take an exercise class – They happen at all hours of the day, many have drop in availability so you do not need to join a gym or feel pressure to go the same time every week. Make it more fun and have a friend go with you!
- Grocery Delivery – order online and they bring it to you…. no more trips to the market… saves you time and money and you can use that time to relax!
- Get up 30 minutes early – I know, I know we all LOVE sleep. Getting up early gives you time alone to write in your gratitude journal (if you don’t have one, I highly recommend it. I’ll be writing more about that another time. ) You can exercise, enjoy a cup of coffee, or read a book. Anything that YOU want to do before you have to start your day.
- Scheduled “time off” – This one is especially for the stay at home moms. You do not get time off, you are always on! Schedule a time every week that is YOUR time. I recommend planning it with your partner so you both know when that time is. It can be an hour or more. This is your time to do whatever you like…. walk around Target aimlessly, go shopping for new clothes, take a class, read, go to starbucks and just sit and people watch, dinner with a friend… it doesn’t matter. I guarantee that knowing you have this time scheduled will help you and enjoying that time without feeling guilty about leaving the house will fill you up!
- Nap time relax – How many times do moms use nap time as a time to do as much as possible? That was me! Now I use nap time to read or exercise, thank you youtube, or watch trash TV (no judgement please)! Doing this relaxes me so that when the kids do get up I am refreshed and ready to play and do not feel like I am always working to get something done.
I hope you found this helpful. Remember, you can only give as much as you have. Taking time for yourself is not selfish, it is necessary. Give yourself some love, you are doing a great job!