Let’s Take Some Time For Ourselves
Written by: Trish Moser
Parenting is hard. There are moments when parenting comes naturally and I feel like I have it under control, but for the most part I feel like blind squirrel trying to find a nut. I’m just moving through this parenting journey trying to figure out how to not screw up my kids.
The one thing that I have figured out is that it doesn’t matter so much what I do, as long as I am doing it because I love my family. If loving my family means putting the sassy one in timeout, I do that. If loving my family means I clean all the month old leftovers out of the fridge (I know…gross), then I do that. And if loving my family means that I stop for a minute and just take care of me, then I argue with myself and avoid it and make up every excuse for why I shouldn’t do that.
But it shouldn’t be that way. How do we love people if we are running on an empty tank? It is time that we take care of ourselves! Now hear me, I’m not saying that I think we should just spend all of our free time on ourselves and drop our kids off at the pool for the day…that’s definitely not what I am saying! I’m trying to say that one of the best things that you can do for your family is take care of yourself.
So what does that mean for you? For me, it means that while they nap I take an hour to watch my favorite Netflix show and cruise through Pinterest. For one of my friends it means that she takes a bath while her husband puts the kids to bed. For my husband, it’s tapping into the ESPN app on his phone and checking out the latest sports news (which has absolutely zero appeal to me).
Are you getting this yet? YOU HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. When I don’t take care of me, I find myself short tempered and grouchy with my kids. That is not who I am, or who I want my kids to remember from their childhood. If I just go for a quick half hour run before anyone gets up in the mornings, we are all better off for the day. I take care of me, and then I can better take care of my family.
Once in awhile I get to a place where I feel like an hour of Netflix isn’t going to cut it. That’s when I know I need my tribe. Yes, I have my own tribe. I have a tribe of mommies that gather together to support each other, laugh, and encourage each other in this crazy parenting journey. There are four of us, and each of us brings something different to the table.
One of us is the hospitality agent. She opens her home, always has hot coffee, and everyone is welcome. The second lady in my tribe always brings the depth. She has the good questions and the deep insight into our kids issues and our own. My third pal is the encourager. When I’m down in the valley, she makes me feel like I can conquer the mountain top. She loves us for who we are, and she makes us all feel like we are enough. The fourth mama that rounds out our group is the one that makes us want to be better. She shares what her day has been like, and it makes us want to be more like her. She models a way of life that comes straight from Proverbs 31; she gets up early, goes to bed late, takes care of the home, and spends time with her kids. I didn’t even know that people really did that!
Do you have one of those tribes? You need one. It has been a hard and painful path to get to the group that surrounds me, but they are my family now. If you want to take care of you, then you have to find some people who are going to help you do that. You need people who will lift you up, and drag you back to reality. You need people who see the best in you, and help you crawl through the worst parts too.
So I urge you, take care of you today. Find some time to pull back and regroup. And if you don’t have that tribe of people to help you raise your kids and refresh your soul, it’s time to start looking for them. They aren’t going to show up on your doorstep with a cup of coffee and an instant love for you and your kids, but they are out there. Go find them.
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