My message to all the moms and non-moms out there is to love yourselves more. Don’t wait until the day you can’t move a finger to stop and take a break. Don’t forget that your health and well-being is extremely important in your everyday life and your activity. If you’ll give yourself some love, you’ll be able to give so much more to your family, friends or your job. Be selfish from time to time and put yourself first, and everybody will have to win from this. Leave those household chores be and concentrate on yourself; ask yourself: “Is it important if I don’t do the dishes/laundry/cleaning right now? What will really matter in 1-year time?”. It might seam silly and irrelevant, but if you ask yourself honest, direct questions, you’ll be more likely to make the best decisions possible for yourself that instant. No matter what you do in life, make sure you’re giving yourself enough breaks, credit for what you’ve accomplished, and freedom to grow.
Today I decided to give myself a huge break! And this is how it happened…
Yesterday, I had a commitment in the morning that I couldn’t skip, then, I had to run to my meeting at 10:30 am. This meeting lasted 2 hours and I walked home (which is a 20 min walk, thank God down the hill) to have a quick lunch. After lunch, I had so many tasks to do before going to pick up my girl from daycare, that I had a moment when I felt short of breath. I stopped for a couple of minutes, drank a glass of water and decided it was time to cook dinner. It was only 4:15 pm and I was exhausted! I finished the dinner and went to pick up my daughter from daycare. We came home, I fed her dinner, we played, we danced, we sang, we did puzzles, we read books, and so on. When I went to put her down to bed, it was 7:46 pm, and that’s when my body started to ache. That pain that I felt was the kind of pain you feel after exercising intensively and then taking a day off. Your muscles relax, your blood flows and oxygenates the body, and you start to feel an ache as if you ran 3 km without stopping. And that was the moment when I realized that I’m so much tangled in my thoughts, my duties and so-called “responsibilities”, that I NEVER give myself a break! I’m constantly doing something, figuring out things, planning, running, just whatever, but take a normal break, that I so much need. And this is actually my personal problem – I don’t know how to relax! If I stop, or if I do nothing for half a day, I feel guilty, I feel less of a person/of a caring mom, I feel worthless. And it’s all only in my head. I realized that I stop only after my baby falls asleep, but that is not enough. In a 24-hour day, I get to relax only for 2 hours or so, and my nights are always interrupted 3-4 times by a child who cries for who knows what reason (teething, separation anxiety, she bumped her knee, fever, etc.; if you’re a mom, you know the drill). In the back of my head, I know that I’m doing the best I can and I’m nothing like the qualifications I’ve used above, but in those moments, it’s hard to concentrate on my awesomeness. And all because I don’t even give myself the bare minimum I need in life – REST.
For today, I had quite a few things planned too. Yet, I woke up so worn out and aching, that I remembered my therapist’s words: “Don’t forget about yourself. Always take a day off when you need it. Remember to cut yourself some slack, take the pressure off your shoulders and do something that you love, that motivates you.” So today is my day off, even if it’s a forced one. If mom is happy, then everybody in the family is happy. Or so they say.