Sometimes I get so worn down, so caught up in life drama, in external demands, in internal expectations, in arduous plans, and the infinite mom to-do list that I forget about me. I allow myself to fall through the cracks.
I have a few immovable selfish musts that I maintain every day: doing my make-up each morning (as a form of meditation and “me” time) and my pre-bed shower. They are key to me for feeling human.
Still, there are periods of time when I over-exert myself. I give too much. I over-schedule, over-plan, overachieve. In the end, I wind up under-performing (in my own eyes) and suffering mom guilt. Catch 22, right? Do too little: guilt. Do too much: guilt. Dammit!
Nearly five years into this parenting journey, I can distinguish the warning signs when I begin to enter into dangerous over-extended territory: emotional fatigue, lessened patience, foggy memory, and constant underlying or obvious stress. If I don’t watch myself I’ll begin to feel this hazy sense of loneliness even when I would have no logical reason to feel as such. During such times, I feel pressured to do more despite knowing I am already overdoing. If I didn’t heed the warning signs and factor myself back into the to-do list, eventually, I’d burn out.
I’ve never fully burnt out but I’ve definitely had the gas tank light flashing a few times. And so I must seek respite. Without it, I cannot effectively give of myself. And giving is the entirety of motherhood.
“You cannot pour from an empty cup.” They say. So I must fill my cup, and take meaningful time for me.
Don’t forget to put yourself on your to-do list. You’re important too.