Inspiration, Reflection

Time to Serve Only You

One of the hardest things for me to do is to ask for something for myself because after I ask, I feel selfish.  In the era I grew up, women were taught to be “quiet about” the things that they could do better than a man. We were put in our places, told that we had a place along side a man, but certainly never in front of one.  Biblically we were taught that a woman’s place is in supporting her husband. The community of men aspired to get that message out to every single woman.  So, when it came time for me to want a little alone time (something every human on the planet SHOULD have) I felt selfish.

Today, I sit here knowing that after 3 harsh months of school, activities, behavior modification for the kids, husband schedules, date nights, friends, family, and my adult children I feel horrible that this is the first day I got to sleep in. What’s going through my mind? The numerous things I SHOULD be doing not the numerous things I COULD be doing. Instead of taking the day off for me, or carving out some much needed writing time, in my head is a laundry list of items that still need checked off.  “Ortho appointment for the eldest.” Check.  “Dry cleaning for my husband.” Check. “Pick up kids at three separate times.” Check. “Plan dinner so husband isn’t mad.” Check. “Take dog for grooming.” Check… and the list goes on and on. So much so that I honestly do not have two consecutive hours of my own.  There’s no time between travel and duty.

Nights offer no downtime because the kids are old enough to go to be at 10 o’ clock.  So after dinner, homework, activities and being available to “look at” my husband as I listen while he talks, there is no room to escape for some me time.  Life becomes all about pleasing someone else, and the more you do, the more they have no concept of the lengths that you go to make them feel included, happy, fulfilled; until you’re brain is completely fried and you’re an empty shell.  It’s a mother’s life and we have all felt those moments from time to time.  Serving other’s is a powerful gift, but when is it time to serve yourself?

My advice, is to do it. It’s that simple. Put off the chores and take a day off.  Go do whatever it is that fills your cup.  Whatever brings you a blissful moment.  If you have to ask in advance, stop beating yourself up. Your husband clocks out. Your kids some home. Your friends can wait.  You never clock out. You keep going like that annoying pink Energizer rabbit.  It’s time to replenish the batteries and NOT feel guilty for it.

Psychology today says, “Being alone allows you to drop your “social guard”, thus giving you the freedom to be introspective, to think for yourself. You may be able to make better choices and decisions about who you are and what you want without outside influence. Often, we are swayed by the thoughts, feelings, attitudes, beliefs, and behavior of those in our immediate sphere. Of course, you may ask others for their advice and opinions but ultimately, consulting yourself and making up your own mind about what you want to do will lead you into the life that’s best for you.”

Don’t wait. Make today great. Make it about you.  It’s normal and it’s so very necessary. For me? I am going to Louisiana to see my adult kids for one weekend. I’m leaving behind the people who need me the most so that I can gain a newer perspective about where I should lead them, about how much patience I should have and maybe gain some joy along my journey.  Just a moment of peace.  That’s all I ask. For me.

Inspiration, The Children

Focus on Your Bigger Picture

Sometimes I think the hardest thing for me is to wrap my head around the bigger picture of raising these three precious children. One barely 14, one barely 12, and the last barely 11.

There are therapy sessions that asked us to complete homework such as listing glad, sad, and mad moments throughout the week. These homework assignments bringing to light new sense of accountability. Not just for the children but also for us adults who take great pride in setting positive role model examples for them. It’s not enough to just get through the day when you were trying to bring joy to children who otherwise have known only sadness.

It’s very easy to get wrapped up in the arguments and the bickering to earn respect between siblings. It’s very easy to be quickly angered and set an immediate consequential tone, but that doesn’t really solve the love problem. Teaching love after such tremendous loss is what God called us to do. That is our journey.

It’s really easy to lose my patience when it seems that there’s a lot of redirection, all lot of teaching and a lot of character development. I couldn’t call myself a real mom if I didn’t believe that I could do the job. There are moments when I have my doubts. More often than not, I whisper to myself, “I got this.” The truth in the matter is that there is no alternative, so the choice is not an option.

As a parent we all have moments that we question our ability or being excepted or if what we do will gain the respect and love of those we care for? We carry guilt and happiness and sadness and go through all the trials and tribulations that our children do. This is just a little reminder that there is the bigger picture and the next time you feel like you just want to grab that bottle of wine and slam it down with some gal pal‘s—Well, maybe that’s exactly what you need to do. After all, every woman needs to fill her cup before she can pour for others.