January 6, 2020
I have a 10-year-old today. My baby. Double digits.
This means that I am now a mom of three pretty much self-sufficient kiddos, which is fantastic in many (many many many many) ways, but also means that it’s most definitely the end of an era —
All my kids can now cook simple meals for themselves. They can all sort laundry and start it (if necessary — I still do the vast majority of all laundry, but in a pinch they can wash a soccer uniform, etc…)
They all do their homework unprompted. They all remember to brush their teeth, comb their hair, and shower.
They all put themselves to bed and use an alarm to get up in the morning.
My oldest is away at college, and it appears as if she is remembering all of the basic life skills I’ve tried to instill over the last 18 years.
This is good. I’ve always wanted toraise self-sufficient humans, so I suppose on that level I’m on the right track.
But it also means that I’ve needed to go back to work full-time, out of the house.
And that has been an adjustment!!
Taking Care of Your Needs Before Those of Others
I hate the analogy that is always thrown out when experts talk about “taking care of your needs before the needs of others” — it’s usually an image of an airplane going down and an oxygen mask falling from the ceiling, with the notion that you as a parent (or adult taking care of others) need to put an oxygen mask on before putting on the child’s mask.
First off, LET US ALL HOPE THAT NOT ONE OF US EVER EVER EVER HAS TO USE AN OXYGEN MASK DURING A FLIGHT, EVER.
And real life is not a plane going down. Real life is filled with hundreds of millions of teeny tiny decisions each and every day, and you can not always take care of yourself first. You just can’t. It’s impossible.
Especially if you are in charge of taking care of other humans. So please cut yourself some slack, and ignore the oxygen mask advice because it is truly stupid.
So What To Do?
Whatever you can to try and carve out something that is all yours, and no one else’s. That is it.
It could be savoring a hot shower all alone. It could be cranking Guns n’ Roses as loud as possible in the car and singing your heart out. It could be going for a walk with the dog at the end of the day so you can decompress.
Anything you do, that is all for yourself, counts. My suggestion would be to savor it. And don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t happen every day — you have not failed in any way.
Again, this is real life, and real life has ups and downs and twists and turns and speed bumps and sometimes cliffs where everything crashes and you have to find a way to build it all up again.
Now that I’m back to work, I’m finding that I need to carve out more time for myself than I did when I worked from home. This is because when I worked from home, I had many opportunities during the day to be lost in my thoughts, and simply be in quiet.
I no longer have that luxury (although the steady paycheck is a good thing, and nothing to sneeze at! 😉 ) — so I need to actively find a way to do something for myself, and myself only, otherwise I go a bit bonkers.
For me, it’s getting up at 5am, and doing some yoga ( I wrote about this in my Time Management for Moms article). But that is ME. You’ve got to do what is right for you.
If you need a tool to help carving time out and would like to begin journaling, I have created a new book and journal that you might find helpful. You can find it on Amazon.
lots and lots of love. Consider yourself loved and hugged.
your friendly neighbor, steph