“The thought of even getting out of bed tomorrow is depressing, ” I told my husband as he turned off the light for the night.
Getting up and doing all the things, all over again seemed like Just. Too. Much.
Like Groundhog Day (except without Bill Murray to make me laugh).
The idea of fighting one more food battle, administering one more medicine, worrying about one more reading lesson, making one more phone call to the doctor…it all felt heavy. Really, really heavy. Too heavy to carry.
My husband was sweet. He was encouraging. I was grateful.
But I still didn’t want to get up in the morning.
I was completely done.
Mommy Burnout anyone?
How many times have we heard about putting our oxygen mask on first before assisting our children? How many times have we nodded our head in agreement? How many times have we actually done it?
Self care is not something I do well. I feel guilty. I feel wasteful. I feel unproductive. I feel sad that I am apparently human, and can’t do it all for everyone all the time.
Honestly, the idea of self care makes me feel weak – and Momma got no time for weak.
Except that Momma also has no time for crushing depression, dragging through the days, crying in the bathroom, and zoning out on Facebook when her husband gets home to escape her very real reality either. (Side note: Even that makes me feel bad. At least my husband comes home and I have the chance to check out. I think of all the single moms who do exactly what I do and more – and I need a break? What about them?)
I woke the next morning, still dreading the day, but feeling a little more free to just do what I needed to do to make it through. I decided to eliminate anything not absolutely necessary, and try to do a few things that would make me smile – my own, real life version of a mommy self care day (at home, with my children…not the best circumstances for self care, but you know – beggars, choosers, whatevs).
My day self care day was a whole lot of not doing things.
I did not sweep the floor, even though it was gross and needed it.
I did not care about the suspicious puddle, behind the toilet in the boys’ bathroom.
I did not call a single doctor on the to-do list.
You know what I did do?
Drank as many cups of coffee as I wanted (three it turns out is my max before the shakes set in).
Read Psalm 25 in my Bible (my favorite and a reminder that “All the Paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness” – even this path…our life is not an exception to the rule).
Took a walk with my little guy and the dog.
Made two lunches, one just for me to enjoy without worrying if anyone else would eat it.
Let the boys play video games, while I snuck away and watched Netflix in my room on the iPad.
Ordered pizza for dinner, and I opened a good bottle of wine for my husband and I to enjoy with it.
I still did the basics (well, if you don’t count cleaning up the bathroom as a basic). I took care of my children’s needs, including the food battles, the meds and the reading. But that’s it. Every other thing in my make it up as I go mommy self-care day, was just about me trying to feel a little bit lighter, a little bit more capable, and a little bit more like myself.
You know what? It worked.
I went to bed feeling like we were all going to make it, despite the crazy.
I woke up the next morning and swept the floor. No big deal. The bathroom got cleaned, the doctors were called – it all got done.
Nothing fell apart because I relaxed and took care of myself.
Next time I feel that dread, that sense of drowning in my own life, I hope I remember.
We all need a break.
maybe especially mommas.