I believe that a large percentage of Moms (myself included) have lost themselves in all of the hustle and bustle of parenthood and life in general. We give away our time and talent to our families and others, who depend on our contributions to make their lives function smoothly. And, by God, we are pretty darn good at it.
Especially after the birth of my second son (putting our kid count at 4), I really started to feel the strains from the responsibilities on my shoulders. This is putting it lightly. You could even say that I had a bit of a breakdown. I fell down the rabbit hole of trying to be Supermom with no regard to what it was doing to me personally. One mistake I use to make is waiting for someone else to tell me when I should take a break. I would work until I was completely fried so my husband finally see the glazed look in my eyes while I am covered in baby drool and folding my 15th load of laundry. And he would take pity on me and tell me to sit and relax. In a moment of clarity I had to ask, "Why am I waiting for permission to take care of myself?"
Just like any thing that is in constant motion, what happens when our energy runs out? If it were a set of rechargeable batteries, you would plug them into the wall for a few hours until they are good as new. Well, now is the point in my little speech were you must ask yourself, "What am I doing to recharge myself?" Where am I plugging in to rest and rejuvenate?
Start here. You must be in control of your own break times. One of the great things about being home is that you get to call your own shots. You are in control of the schedule and it is time to add a new line at the top of the priority list: Time For You.
What do I do?
1) I find solace in exercise. Three mornings per week I go to a fun Jazzercise class that offers childcare services for the one hour class.
2) I love my MOPS group and look forward to those monthly meetings and Mom's Night activities as well.
3) Tuesday night is "Open Life Night". Lately I have been setting aside time on Tuesday evenings to do whatever I feel like doing. I like to spend this time out of the house because I know if I stay here, it won't be long before I'll hear, "Honey, have you seen my socks? Will you change the baby?" So, I spend the evening out and about, either with friends or running errands alone, just getting a chance to breathe and get back in touch with Me. **My husband also gets the same respect and takes time away for himself each week.**
4) I also enjoy pampering myself with spa activities at night. After the kids are sleeping, I will sit at my computer and type my blog or play on Facebook while sporting a refreshing face mask. (I just hope my kids don't come in here during my at-home facial, because I'll probably scare them into therapy!)
You cannot expect to be a fully functioning wife and mom when you are running on fumes. Run out of gas and you're no good to anyone. So, right now, ask yourself, what am I doing to take care of myself? If the answer is: not enough, then use this moment of clarity to make the necessary changes and take Time For You.