Monday, May 10, 2010

Taking Time For Yourself


I am sitting here sipping my tea on this cloudy, cold day wondering about you dear reader. I wonder who you are, what you are doing, and what brings you to my blog. I wonder if you are a Mom who just needs to take a moment for herself. If that is you, please grab a cup of tea/coffee and sit a spell as you read the ramblings from this Mommy's heart.

Being a Mom is 24/7... the pay stinks but the benefits are immeasurable.

However, being a Mom (especially a stay-at-home Mom) does not include vacations or days off. Therefore, we need to learn to make time for ourselves. It is so important to take a day off here or there or plan an evening out alone so burn out does not take place. It is easy to get bogged down in the day to day and before we know it we are so tired and weary that we feel like we are going to snap at any moment.

It is at these times where it is easy to lose perspective or if you are like me, as a stay-at-home Momma, when I start to become overwhelmed, all of a sudden entering the working world looks like a vacation. It must be saner... I mean, no one at work is going to smear poop on me (I hope). We have to set boundaries and learn how to take care of ourselves... no one else can do that for us. (I am saying we/us in this post because I am writing this as much for myself as I am for you.)

As Moms we are often doing jobs that are never ending. If you are like me, you look over your day and say "I washed three loads of laundry, did the dishes twice, made dinner, homeschooled the kids, paid bills, bought the groceries, took back the recycling, and scrubbed the tub." You feel a great sense of satisfaction until you look around and realize... the hamper is filled to the brim again, the supper dishes are awaiting you, the schoolwork needs to be corrected and filed, the bills are paid but the bank statement arrived and now the check book needs to be balanced, the canned goods still need to be taken care of, you forgot to bring the newspapers back with the recycling, and the cat peed in the tub after you washed it.

 Discouragement creeps in. I find myself becoming jealous of those who have more freedom in their schedules. It is all too easy to become short tempered with my family and I start to question if what I am doing truly matters. In order to do battle with these emotions we need to be deliberate about setting aside time for ourselves.

We must take care of ourselves first so we can be effective in caring for those around us. For example "Have you ever been on an airplane and listened to the instructions about using the oxygen masks in an emergency?The flight attendants always give special instructions to those traveling with children: Put your own oxygen mask in place before you place the mask on your child. Those directions seem to go against our very nature. Our first inclination is to take care of that child even if it means sacrificing ourselves. But when we stop to consider the reasoning behind the instruction, it makes sense. If we don't take care of ourselves first, we might not be able to help either one of us and we might both perish in those few precious moments. If we put our mask in place first, we are then in a position to care for others." (From Professionalizing Motherhood by Jill Savage).

If you push yourself to the limit and always care for others without caring for yourself you will eventually become worn out. It's like the gas gauge on a car.If you wait until it is on Empty before you fill it up then it will take longer to get the gauge back to full and in the meantime you could break down or become stranded. We have an emotional tank that needs refueling. Don't wait until you are on empty before you fill your tank or you will break down and it will take someone else to help you get going again. Take time for yourself before your tank is depleted.

We need to care for our mind, our body and our soul. In order to stay balanced. We need to peek at our lives and see if our batteries need recharging in these areas.

So today, beloved, take a look at yourself? Do you need some extra love and care? Do you need to plan for some "you" time? I encourage you to join me in this challenge of making time for yourself a priority... it's not easy for a Type A like me but I know the benefits will be tremendous. Pop back here next Monday as we continue our Moments for Mom journey.

With love,
Dawna

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