I spent 5 years complaining that I didn’t have enough time for myself. By the time the day ended, and the kids were in bed, I would sit down exhausted and zapped of all my energy that was required to do any form of self-care. My nails would sit with chipped polish for a month at a time, too tired to remove the polish and re-do. My legs, meh i’ll shave them tomorrow. My face looked dry, but man the cream is all the way downstairs, that can wait till tomorrow too. Working out…nope. Meditation, yeah right it would put me to sleep.
Yet, all the while I was stressed. I felt like I was being pulled in every direction except my own. I wasn’t taking care of myself the way I was taking care of my families needs. I would feed the kids healthy food, and myself essentially crappy scraps. I couldn’t see that in order for me to be a better mom, which meant being less stressed, being less short tempered, more giving of time with them, and not so worried about everything else…I had to slow it down. I had to say nope, you know what it’s ok that they go on their IPADS today so that I can go do Yoga and Meditate. (funny the word meditate just auto corrected to MEDICATE…made me laugh….I am sure that is also applicable some days!! lol)
My point is, I was so focused on being the super star mom with a clean house, healthy meals, lots of exercise and activities for them, while making sure they had less tv time, that I was exhausting myself. I wasn’t able to keep up the pace because the same level of care wasn’t being given back to myself. Between working, school and being a super star mom (or so I thought) I had nothing left. .
So I started
So I decided one day to start. I just started, and here’s how I did it. I am sure some would shake their finger at me …but I don’t care! I gave them iPads and headphones and said ….have at it. What I finally cultivated was an hour of silence….an hour without requests, an hour that I could do what I needed to do …once a day…for myself….ME TIME. It felt great. So I did it again….and again…and again. It still feels great. I do yoga, or meditate, read, whatever it means that day. Whatever I need the most that day.
By the time my hour is up, I am refreshed. I feel like a rejuvenated person, and I am no longer short or tired for my kids. I am able to go play with them, or give them undivided attention. I am not too tired or exhausted to do so. My mind is not also wandering away from them, thinking about the things I need to do. I just do them now. Somewhere along the line, it became ok for parents to revolve their life around their kids 24/7. It shouldn’t be that way, and to do that to a child, only sets them up for disappointment and failure when they are older and they don’t get that same attention from society.
Teach a child to be bored! Teach a child to amuse themselves without their parents. Teach a child that it is important to give their parents their own time too. My oldest daughter actually says to me now, hey mom how bout we go play in the play room so that you can have some time to yourself. She’s 5 year old. She sees how good it is for me. She respects my need for that, and best of all, she is ok with it.
And we all need to be ok with giving ourselves more time, and not feeling bad about it. Be a better you first, so you can be a better you for your children and spouses.