An Ode to You Mama

I was sitting in bed, it was late…pitch black and my mind was wandering, my anxiety was high and I was reflecting on the hell of a day I had just had. I worked all day, in fact more than all day, I took care of a cute, but very sassy toddler, I cleaned up, I handled the daily things and I took care of everyone around me. My chest was getting tighter, my palms were sweaty and before I knew it my husband was holding me tight and I was having a full blown panic attack.

I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t catch my breath, the tears were streaming down my face and all I could think was, I can’t do this anymore. I can’t do it. I was giving everything around me my all, literally my all but I couldn’t help but feel completely overwhelmed, completely overtaken and like I had lost touch with reality. I drifted through each day, mind blank, laughing to try and keep positive, drowning in work and daily life chores, feeling like I was hanging on by a thread as a Mother and making sure everything was done for everyone else. I had forgotten something though, something big and something that keeps me alive, keeps me going.

I had forgotten about myself..

I had forgotten that every single time I dove into another project, another thing to help someone else around me that I dug myself a little deeper into this hole I was already in. Everyday I dug myself a little deeper and a little deeper into this hole of “life” and before I knew it I was hanging on by a thread. I was in autopilot mode all day long. I did my work, I took care of my sweet girl, I was a wife, but my mind was off. I was basically useless as far as feelings went, I was starting to build up resentment, I was tired, so tired. I was overworking myself. My husband was helping around the house, keeping it clean, helping with dinner, helping me as much as possible between all of his life happenings, but I still felt like I was drowning and it was because of one reason.

I forgot about me. I forgot to take care of me.

You hear all the time how Moms are supposed to take care of everyone before their children, that it’s just in their nature. Yes, yes it is. Every, single, person, comes before my needs, literally. But is that right? Yeah, there’s probably a time and a place for that being right. If my kid is sick, you betcha I’ll drop everything and care for her, if my husband needs help, done, let me help out. On the daily though, just normal daily life, my needs should come first sometimes. My health, my well-being, my happiness, that should be important. In fact, it’s vital to my sanity.

I can’t forget to take care of me. You can’t forget to take care of you. The laundry can wait, the dishes can wait, emails can wait. There has to be a balance. Do I know what that magical balance is? Nope. In fact, I think it’s probably different for everyone, but there has to be some sort of balance, a little give and a little take. You have to find a system that works for you and your circumstances, but you have to make sure that YOU are included in that system. In between the appointments, the housework, the work, the Mom duties, the wife duties, the whatever else you HAVE to make sure there is YOU scheduled in there.

I’m not going to tell you to go have a spa day once a week or do something crazy, it’s just not realistic for everyone. BUT I will say you need help. You can’t do everything on your own. I can’t do everything on my own. I need to ask for help, we all do. We have to remember one important thing:

That we ARE enough, that we are allowed to come first and that we are doing a great job, even on our lowest and hardest days.

We need to give ourselves these little reminders, little pep talks if you will. We have to take care of OURSELVES. Take a Mommy time out, go to the gym, shower for five minutes or just sit there, let your kid watch TV, it’s a few minutes–we’re all gonna be alright.

Quit over analyzing everything, don’t worry about having a perfect house, stop doubting yourself as a parent and don’t worry about what other people think. Those are all lessons I think we could all use a little more of, including myself. I can’t worry about what other people think, in fact, I’m too friggin’ tired to care and really, I think that’s the best attitude to have.

Let’s take a deep breath in between the temper tantrums, hold our baby’s hands when they let us, kiss our husbands even when we may not want to the most and take care of ourselves. I mean, if we don’t, if we turn into “zombies” is that really benefiting anyone?

The reality is, life is never going to be perfect. In fact, I’ll tell you firsthand, we’ve been facing the same trial for years and years, but you have to make yourself a priority. You have to make sure that you’re taking care of your needs, that you feel the fulfillment of life and that you remember how good of a job you’re doing and that guess what? YOU ARE ENOUGH and YOU ARE tough. You can do absolutely anything, you can do hard things.

 

Original Post on Positively Oakes

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