To the Mom who does everything. To the Mom who feels like they must do everything or their world will unravel. To the Mom who drives their kids to soccer that happen to be in different locations and one kid is always late because you had to leave work 30 minutes early to get them there and you couldn’t because the stupid meeting didn’t end on time… and then when you got to practice realize that you didn’t bring water.
To the Mom who tries to plan nutritious meals but forgets to take the meat out of the freezer and settles for Chinese takeout that isn’t even that good and cost way too much.
To the Mom who was just trying to relax with a glass of wine and spills it all over your child’s homework because they left it on the counter when they asked you a question.
To the Mom who crawls in bed at night feeling only partially fulfilled because the day was all about everyone else… and shouldn’t you feel amazing for taking care of your family?
I see you. I really do.
When my daughter was going through chemo, I ran myself ragged keeping the world together. I took Kelley to the doctor’s. I did the laundry. I handled the medications. I prepared dinner. I vacuumed. I ran errands. I did the grocery shopping. I did it all. And, oh by the way, I had 2 other small children that needed me. And I had my business.
To be fair, my husband at the time did the best he could. He worked full-time and helped when he could. So, this isn’t a husband or father bashing post.
I ran myself ragged, trying to do everything. And you know what? I didn’t win any medals. No one said thank you. I didn’t feel good. I put on weight. I didn’t take care of myself. I became a very unhappy person.
Even when I thought, I should do something for myself… I would think… I have no idea what makes me happy. I only know that there are a million things that have to get done and I’m the one to do it. Period.
If this resonates with you… if this is you in some way… STOP. Just stop.
Here’s a reality check. You can’t do everything. And you sure as hell can’t do everything well. How do I know this? Because when you go to bed at night, how many things are still on your list to do? A LOT, I’m guessing.
So, if you’re list is long and you can’t get to all of it, then add yourself to that list.
Take care of yourself too. And don’t feel guilty about it. There is nothing shameful about taking time for yourself. Just to watch TV. Sit quietly. Go to bed on time. Exercise. Treat yourself shopping. Meet with girlfriends.
And if you tell yourself you don’t have the time… that’s bullshit. Seriously. That’s you just trying to convince yourself that what you’re doing is the right thing to do.
And maybe it is… but you might wake up one day as a shadow of your self wondering who you are… what you actually like doing… and not knowing what to do that might bring you joy.
Working down a to-do list is NOT joy. It is not your ticket to happiness.
So, if you don’t even know anymore what makes you happy… and that’s why you avoid taking time for yourself… then start small. Write a list of all the things you used to do that you thought were fun or fulfilling. Doesn’t matter if you don’t do them now or that they don’t interest you anymore. Write the list. Let your mind wander. Enjoy this time.
When I did this exercise, I was reminded that taking walks was enjoyable to me once. Maybe it’s something as simple as that. Take the time to get some fresh air. Get outside. Get away from the house.
I’ve done the super-mom thing. I know how important it is to make sure your family is taken care of. I know how guilty we feel when we decide to go out with friends and leave the kids with a babysitter. I know what it’s like to cancel plans because you feel guilty that you didn’t spend enough time with your kids and you don’t deserve to have “away time”.
This is nonsense!!! Take care of yourself first. Take that shower. Run that mile. Eat breakfast. Take care of yourself first. Because if you don’t take care of you, no one will. And you serve no one, if you’re worn out and tired and sick and unhappy and miserable. Right?
So, to all the Moms that try to do everything and feel like they suck at everything… I believe in you. You are beautiful. And the world Thanks You… now go do something nice for YOU.