I missed being here on Friday. And I am super late posting today. The reason? Something simply had to give.
I hit that Mama wall I have hit before. I am overwhelmed, depleted, and it has taken it’s toll. The thought of me writing about it was intimidating, but since I have found something that helps me in those dark times of parenting, I thought I really must share.
The truth is, I have been running on empty. Like so many of you, I have not been taking care of myself. Being a Mom can be so hard. S0 takes-everything-you-have-and-then-way-more hard. It is the single best thing in my life, and yet it is also, at times, my entire life. And that in itself is exhausting.
The busyness of life with young children, the crazy adventure of attempting to homeschool, little boys who are so rambunctious, keeping up with housework, planning and cooking healthy meals, visiting with friends, helping others who are having a rough time, planting more trees and chopping more wood, caring for animals, barn planning (still), late night chats with a child struggling, later nights still writing and working on the ‘behind-the-scenes things’ here, all night hours with my littlest who is having nightmares, new routines, new rhythms – everything just collided into one gigantic storm.
You’ll notice that it was really ‘nothing’ … just everyday life. Or at least the everyday life of so many moms that I know. But for one reason or another, this weekend it all became too much.
I’ve been here before. Fourteen years of being a Mom means I have seen these days before. So, just as I did the last time things were simply too much, I made my list.
I thought I would share this strategy with you in case you too needed to re-balance some things.
When I am feeling crazy, I reach out for help. Well, truthfully, in this case I ended up bawling in front of my extended family over spilled wine and they quickly reached out to help.
First of all, I needed time away. Time just for me.
And then I made my list. My priorities list. Since I simply cannot do everything I would love to do, I prioritize. Right now my list looks like this:
- Time with my kids and hubby.
- Time with family and friends.
- My health and the health of those I love.
- Our financial health.
And while those very well might be different for you, at this moment in time, they are my priorities.
Next, I look at all the things I am doing and check them against my priorities.
Homeschooling and time with my children. That is very important to me right now, and will remain a top priority.
Time with my husband, well this has not been happening at all. Between his new work schedule and the new late bedtime of our teenage daughter we have hardly had any time at all. That needs to change.
I have not been good about getting out and visiting with friends lately. When I actually think of it, I have been pretty lonely. I need to make time for this every week. We do get together every Sunday with my extended family for dinner. While my kids are generally insanely hyper and crazy during this gathering, it is important to me, so it will continue (though I need to change some things during this time to better support my kids with being successful)
My health. HA! My poor health. Missed lunches, too much coffee, not enough sleep, and no exercise. This needs to change too. I will be slowing down and ensuring I eat just as well as my kids. I will also begin carving out time to exercise each day. A 15 minute run or 30 minutes of yoga will do me a world of good, not to mention the example I will be setting for my little ones. I also LOVE writing in this space. Sharing ideas, connecting, and writing is very important for my mental health. So that will definitely continue.
Our financial health. It is important to me that my family is financially healthy. This one has actually made me do a heck of a lot of thinking. So many of the things we do with our money do not achieve the above goals, and are in turn costing us our financial health. All the extra curriculars my kids do that cost us money and time and cause me stress. Perhaps one activity each is enough. The money I spend on coffees and eating out certainly don’t help me with any of my above priorities. The stuff that we buy that just causes clutter and makes me feel stressed a few days later. I’m going to be looking at a lot of things to see if they are helping us with our goal of living debt free, and if they are not, I am going to ensure they are helping with my other priorities. Because if they are not? Gone.
Perhaps you do something similar to this yourself, or maybe the idea is new. Whenever I do it, I feel empowered to make changes and keep my life moving in the direction I want it to move.
Above all, I have realized that in order to be my best me I need time to myself. A Saturday morning out of the house without little hands to hold will do me a world of good. Twenty minutes alone at night before going to bed at a reasonable hour, essential. Because we certainly cannot fill all the cups we must fill each day if we are trying to pour from an empty one.
Next time I will write what I had originally come on here to write about — teaching children about their heart, lungs, brain and other internal organs in a cool way. But that will need to wait until tomorrow.
Today is for all those lovely Mamas I know that are on the other side of this computer.
Today I had to share my current reality and what I am doing about it. Because mental health is so important and Mama’s need to know it’s okay to need help. It’s okay for things not to be okay. Get help, talk with friends or family, make a plan, and take care of yourself. You are the world to some little people.
Thank you for reading friends. It means so much. Please take care of yourselves. xo