It seems as though I write about these things often, but so many of my friends are struggling. As a wife, mom, daughter and sister I find it hard to take care of me. Why do we do that? Why do we give so much of ourselves that there's nothing left but a bubbling mess at the end of the day. We go to work and give. Come home and give. Church. Friends. Family. We give give give until we are mentally, physically, and emotionally spent.
Unfortunately, it's become such a habit I think most of us are just waiting to not be needed anymore. Waiting for the kids to move out. Waiting to retire. Waiting. Once everyone lays off of us we can take care of ourselves then. But what happens if tragedy strikes??? We aren't promised tomorrow or even an hour from now. If you dropped dead right this second, would you be happy with the life you left behind? There was a time that I definitely wouldn't have been happy with the legacy I left behind.
How do we break the cycle? I started by giving myself 30 mins a day to go for a walk. I took my dog, my music, and my sneakers right out the door. I didn't answer texts, emails or phone calls in that time. It was just me and my boy hitting the pavement. A few times I tried taking the kids (they were much smaller at the time) and it didn't work out. They needed too much of me during my me time. So I told my husband he'd have to handle them while I clear my head. Before I knew it, I was jogging. I'd never jogged in my life. It was the most gratifying feeling in the world!
Eventually I demanded an hour a day. I ran for 30, weights for 15, and Bible study for 15. An hour out of 24 is really not too much to ask. It was a task to train them all, but they learned to leave me be eventually. I started to lose weight and find myself. So then I felt good about me again. For the first time in my life I knew who I was and what I wanted. I began to splurge on me. Manicures. New shoes. New clothes. I was worth it. I deserved it.
I personally enjoy working out, so that is my me time. There are so many other things you can do to start to find you again. Need some ideas? Go to dinner with your best girlfriends. Hit the library and read a book in the silence…Barnes and Noble is good too! You should be reading three books at all times, one to make you smarter, one to make you grow, and one for entertainment. Look up the local parks and explore them. Go antique shopping. Buy a coloring book and crayons. Take the afternoon to spend in bed with your husband. (My personal favorite😍). Plan an overnight get away. Hit the mountains.
Whatever you choose, leave the kids behind and the cell phone in the car. And do it as often as you can. Don't feel guilty about taking care of you. We are letting the people in our lives suck the life right out of us. It's not worth it. We are too stressed and too busy anymore and life is passing us by! Taking care of yourself in that way makes you a better worker, wife, and mom. It clears your head. Brings you back to life.
I know I let myself go when Brett started school. I lost my me time trying to juggle everyone. It lead to a breakdown and my family sitting here wondering what the heck happened. I've made the changes to get back to that and I hope you do too if you're in that place.
Learn to say NO. And please call me for girls night if you schedule it!