I have a lot of needs. I need to tend to my son. I need to feed the dogs. I need to make breakfast. I need to get my son dressed. I need to walk the dogs. I need to write a paper. I need to be a loving wife. I need to be an attentive mother. I need to write a paper. I need to call my sister back. I need to feed the dogs. I need to feed my son. I need to play with my son. I need to play with the dogs. I need to write a paper. I need to do it all over again. I need to write a paper. I need to hide. I need a drink. I need to scream. I need to runaway.
I wear a lot of hats. I am a mom, a wife, a dog mom, and a grad student. Often times, I find myself tending to the needs of others and forget about my needs. Especially, when we are in the trenches. The past few weeks we have been on the sickness mary-go-round. First, it was the flu. Then my son gets pink eye. Then, I got pink eye. Of course, my husband is also working over time. When it rains if pours. Finally, it stopped. We come out on the other side of the sickness but life hasn’t stopped. The life of a stay at home mom and grad student doesn’t come with sick time. My schools work, along with the dishes and laundry, has piled up. The other day, my husband had worked the night before so he was sleeping. I spent the morning tending to my son and our two huge dogs. During my son’s nap, I spent the entire time working on school work. As soon as my husband woke up, I had to take my dogs on a walk because they had been jonesing for one for hours. Half way through the walk, I started to feel lightheaded. I realized I hadn’t eaten all day. I miss the days when I would get reprimanded when I worked through lunch. Although, I hadn’t eaten all day, I had drank four cups of coffee because I was tired from staying up late to write a paper the night before. At 5:00pm when I stumbled home, dogs in tow, I thought I was going to pass out. I sat down to eat and my son asks me to play with him. I lost it. I yell and tell him something along the lines of, “It isn’t my life purpose to play with you.” And “Can’t I just have a MINUTE to myself.” Later, I go to bed thinking if I am equipped to be a mother.
I wake up knowing I am equipped to be a mother, but I am not able to be a good and loving mother if I don’t tend to my own needs. But it is hard, because I have a lot of needs. I need to eat three meals a day. I need to drink more water and less coffee. I need to get a full night of sleep. I need to exercise. I need to do well in school. I need to spend time with my husband. I need to spend time in God’s word. I need to have a little fun. I need to write this blog. Sometimes, I need some me time. I need to remember the reasons why it is all worth it.
So, on Friday, I took some me time. I took my son to preschool, and instead of going home to do my schoolwork, I went and got a massage. Then, I went to the chiropractor. Refreshed, my son and I had a great rest of the day. Yesterday, my parents, GOD LOVE THEM, watched my son and gave me the entire day off. I went to one of my oldest friends baby shower. I went early and stayed late and I caught up with friends. Afterwards, I was able to help my friend unload her gifts and see her nursery. Then, I took another friend to a birthday coffee and got to play with her daughter. Later, I met up with my sister. We had dinner and deep conversations. Then we went to the Rodeo and saw the Aaron Watson concert. I spent the night at my sisters house and I slept in. I woke up and drank my coffee and finished my school work in peace. It was amazing. No, it was life giving. Because before I was a mom, to dogs and a human, a wife, and a grad student, I was a friend and a sister, and I loved going to Texas Country concerts. Sometimes, those parts of me get lost in the shuffle. It was a blessing to get a refresher course in, well me. Because, I have needs. I can’t control them. I can ignore them, sure. When I do, they always find a way to make themselves known. It’s never pretty. Instead, I can embrace them, lean into them, and fulfill them. It’s called self care and it is not selfish. It is needed and important. When I take care of my needs. I don’t feel the need to have a drink. Or the need to hide. The need to scream. Or the need to runaway. Instead, I am willing, with a joyful heart, and able to meet the needs of others.
Today, I was able to be attentive and loving to my son. I wasn’t distracted by what needed to get done or on what I might be missing. I had filled my cup and was ready to let the goodness overflow back into my life and onto my son. I wasn’t perfect but I was present. Obviously, the past two days were a rare occasion. Self care can’t always be an entire day off filled with fun events. It will always look and be different. That is the beauty of it. Some days it is stealing a second to apply my stress away essential oil and say a prayer for patience. Most days that’s all I need. Other times, it will be making sure I eat and have the strength to take on the day or at least the next meltdown. A few months from now, I don’t know what I will need. But, I promise myself, my husband, and my son, that I will meet my needs so I can meet theirs. So, if you are a mom, or a person, whose needs have been ignored. Lean into them, embrace them. Find your self care. We are worth it.