Being a parent is hard. Being an adult is hard. It’s time to recognize that and cut ourselves a little slack. September is national self care month, and I want to say this right now – you cannot pour from an empty cup. It is not only ok to be a little self-ish, it’s a down right necessity if you want to be able to keep taking care of those who depend on you.
I write the word self-ish like this because it helps to remind me that I can put mySELF first, just a little. I can let go of the mom guilt and take some time for me.
This morning I got up and busted my butt helping the kids with lunches, breakfast, cleaning that up, fixing socks that felt funny, hair that NEEDED to be braided only after I said “time to go”, a backpack that disappeared (it’s literally the third day of school!) and getting out the door early enough that I could drop them off, get to the office to take care of something, and still make it to yoga by 8:30.
That was putting myself first. Knowing that I needed to exercise to feel good, keep my body strong, and have my head in a clear space. I love that 60 min of thinking of nothing other than what I’m doing. Being fully present. Really hard workouts are a type of meditation for me and I thrive on them. I could be doing other things, I could have stayed at the office and done some work, I could have gone grocery shopping, I could have volunteered at my kids’ school. The list is endless. But the bottom line is that when I’m done, I’m so happy and I feel amazing. I can do the other things at 9:30. There is still a lot of day left.
The next thing I’m doing literally this moment for self care is lying by the pool – I have a bottle of water, a cup of coffee (that says “hello gorgeous” because why not surround ourselves with a little propaganda) and a book that I started in Greece and haven’t picked up since we got back.
I debated taking a quick shower and then uploading pictures, or going through emails, or organizing the kids rooms or the litany or tasks above, but I’m going to take one more hour to just lay by the pool and read. Nothing is urgent, my kids are at school, I’ll figure out dinner later. Oh and we desperately need toilet paper … but I can go to Costco or Target with the kids later. What I cannot do when they are here, is lay by the pool reading a book.
Make a conscious decision to do things that are good for your soul. Things that make you happy. Stressed, overwhelmed, and burnt out helps no one. Fill your cup and be a little self-ish. When your cup is full, and you feel your best, you are a better parent and a better spouse.