My life looked like this:
Wake up in a groggy stupor to three children bugging me to get up, get up, get up. Roll out of bed once they irritate me long enough (my husband would be long-gone for work at the crack of dawn), feed the kids, cater, clean, cry, feel overwhelmed, run, chase, fumble, yell, cry some more, apologize for yelling, put some kind of lunch together, read some books, try to do something fun and educational with the kids, put some kind of dinner together, bathe little bums, sing endless lullabies and get endless cups of water for children who stall bedtime for hours.
Then – fall into bed after all the work was done (usually some time around midnight).
Sleep. Wake several times in the night.
Start again the next day and basically hit the repeat button.
Mama, if you’re there right now, I understand. I cry for you and feel the weight of everything you’re going through in this season.
Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s not hard. It IS hard. It’s the hardest thing you’ll probably ever do. But, it doesn’t last forever. I promise. It really, truly doesn’t.
I loved the crafts, the songs, the hugs, the walks, the discoveries, the rare quiet moments with all three around me. Family life is beautiful. But, let’s be real, parenting – it’s hard.
unhealthy, exhausted. I was making poor choices with what I
ate. I wasn’t drinking enough water. I wasn’t taking time to nourish my body. I had
gained 30lbs of extra weight. I wasn’t LISTENING to what myself
was telling ‘myself’. Something was awry.
wasn’t healthy in mind. And I wasn’t healthy in soul. I
was neglecting to find my daily center. My daily inspiration.
My mornings were wasted in a grouchy stupor, my afternoons were spent catching up with what I didn’t do in the morning. My evenings we spent cleaning up the mess from the chaos of the day.
I was over-committed and overwhelmed.
Can you relate?
habits have to be deliberately
It’s not easy, but that’s what I’m trying to do. Take a good, critical look at my life and re-evaluate. What needs to change? Where are the ‘bad’ habits? What habits need to be nurtured? (I wrote about screen time habits recently… and that’s still in process as well…)
But, honestly, I’m very intentionally changing the way I live within my family and within my own skin. I’m not fully ‘there’ yet, but WHAT a difference in the way I feel. About everything.
I used to think ‘those Moms’ who got up before their kids were crazy. In my house, that means getting up before 6:30am. I’m NOT a morning person. Or, at least, I wasn’t. Now, there
isn’t a morning I’m not up before the children and outside running or (on
rainy days) downstairs in our make-shift gym, moving my body and
rousing my spirit.
There’s something about us Mamas who really, really care about our families. We can really get topsy-turvy about our role as a Mom.
I had to sit back and look at myself and realize, every one else was okay, but I wasn’t. The kids were doing great but Mama wasn’t happy inside. Mama was overweight, had constant head aches, and felt very trapped.
For YEARS I barely took time to recharge. To refresh. To step away. To breathe. To listen. I got lost in baby and toddler world and refused to allow myself the chance to take care of me. I would proudly proclaim, “ME TIME? Pfft. I don’t need ‘me’ time.” Right, as if I was one step more noble than every other Mom who needed some time to herself. I played the martyr and it nearly put me in an emotional grave.
It’s okay to take care of you.
Go for a walk. Alone. Take in God’s creation. Hey, maybe even start jogging? You will be doing a world of good for yourself AND your family. They need you happy and healthy. Don’t be full of fear that if you take some time for yourself, everything will fall apart. It won’t. In fact, things will likely fall into a much better place.
So, the big picture is this – your kids need you for the long haul. Oh, yes, they do.
I’m encouraging you, Mamas – inhale and look around and realize, your children need you to be healthy, happy, and whole. They NEED you to take the time you need to find your center and recharge. So that you will be ready to serve them wholeheartedly and invest in their spiritual, educational, and emotional health.
You are so important, Mama. So important that you need to take time to take care of you.
Go ahead, it’s okay.
Love you all,
PS. Tune in tomorrow to hear about some of the BIG dietary habits I’ve changed and how these choices have CHANGED MY LIFE…. honestly…