Today, I was dragging by late afternoon. It’s not unusual for me to be tired, but this had the feeling of I’d-be-sleeping-if-I-closed-my-eyes. So strange, since I had spent the day taking it easy as far as a Saturday was concerned.
My typical Saturday is spent driving kids back and forth to their various sports programs and cleaning the house when I happen to be at home. But today, I got a bit of a break.
Last night, just as I was about to fall asleep, I heard that awful coughing sound that meant only one thing – someone had thrown up in their bed.
Worst. Thing. Ever.
It took my husband and I a good hour to clean up everything, wash the kid who had barf everywhere from his hair down to his toes, and start the long laundry process. We set up a bed for him on the main floor with fresh everything, I gathered up what I needed for the night, then spent an uncomfortable night on the couch, waiting for the next moment he moved and I might need to go lurching to help him hit the pail.
It was not the best sleep I’d ever had and I dread to think it will not be my last.
And that’s why I was so tired even though I had taken it easy. I had spent an hour or so crocheting on the couch and I had hardly cleaned at all. I even had an extra hour and a half at home since barf-boy missed swimming lessons and karate.
Even though I unintentionally practiced what I preach, it wasn’t enough. Sometimes all you need is sleep.
You all know about needing more sleep and the realities of sleep deprivation as a parent. We get it. We need sleep and lots of it.
But what about during the day? How can you recharge your batteries when you can’t spend the day in bed?
I call it self care.
Have you heard of it?
If you haven’t, let me first tell you what it is not.
Self care is not spending the day at the spa – although that would be nice. Self care is not an expensive ritual that takes up hours of your time.
Self care can be as simple as sitting down for 10 minutes and reading a book that you enjoy. Quietly, not out loud.
Self care can be brewing a magical cup of coffee that no one gets but you. In my case, I pick up my Frappucino at Starbucks but then stupidly bring it to school to pick up the kids and hear all their whining. “It’s not fair!” You bet your bootie it’s not fair! You have no idea, you little ankle biter!
Self care can be buying the scent of candle you like even though no one else likes them. Light them when you’re taking a bubble bath after the kids are all in bed.
Self care can be meditating, practicing yoga, colouring, walking in nature. Something that you love to do that is only about you.
Self care is taking care of you. I know that in my life, my kids and husband aren’t looking out for me. I have to look out for me and take care of me. As well as take care of all those other warm bodies in my house.
It’s true that you can’t take care of others if you are empty. I mean, technically, yes, you can.
But don’t you want to be more than a Mom who goes through the motions?!
“Here’s your breakfast, made with tolerance.”
“Sure, I’ll drive you wherever you want to go. I have nothing better to do. I love how you respect my time.”
When you take care of You, you have more to give. You can love more.
You feel better physically, and you feel better about yourself.
Here’s a challenge for you:
This week, set aside 5 minutes every day to do or eat or drink something that is JUST for you alone. If it sounds crazy, you probably need these 5 minutes more than anyone else in the world! Get on it, girl!
Self care yourself for a few minutes every week and soon you’ll know what I’m talking about!
Don’t feel guilty about taking care of yourself.
You are just as important as anyone else and worthy of love and self care.