Self-Care Not For Sissies. For about a year now, maybe a bit longer, I have been learning how to take care of myself. It is hard. As a wife, mom, daughter, friend, believer….it is hard for a woman to stop and recharge. For me, I felt like I didn’t have time. I had to go go go go and do do do do and when I was tired….go more and do more.
One day, I was at my Lady’s house, and I had things to do there. I needed to get laundry started, dishes started, do some computer clean up, get the trash, visit, and then I was going to make her dinner and bring it back and eat supper with her. Those were my favorite days.
I got there, and we chatted for a moment, and she looked me square in the eyes, and she asked me if I had slept any the night before. She always knew when I hadn’t slept…always. This day, I must have looked pretty darn bad. I just smiled and told her I was fine and that I would get some stuff started for her. So, I stood up, and she promptly told me to sit my butt back down in my chair.
I sat down, and I looked at her, and I asked her what she needed. She had a sense of urgency in her voice when she told me to sit down. That smile, she just smiled and said for the next 15 minutes, I was going to sit there….be quiet….and close my eyes. I laughed at her, and then I laughed more. Finally, I told her that I was there for a visit and all I wanted was to visit. There was wisdom that I needed. Also, I needed to get some of her stuff done. She told me the stuff can wait and so can the visit, but I was not to speak or move.
Well, I leaned back, propped up the feet and I eyeballed the clock. I would do as she said, but if I didn’t….she’d get me, but I was not going to enjoy it and I was not going to sleep. Well, about 45 minutes and a ton of drool later…my eyes popped open. I was disoriented, I had no idea what was going on or where I was. I looked at her with this frightened look, and there she was….in all her wisdom and beauty….just smiling. She asked how I felt and, frankly, I felt like a million bucks.
I could not believe I fell asleep without the aid of meds or a fan but command from the greatest human ever. It was glorious. She explained to me that she was worried about my constant moving and going and doing…that I needed to stop and regroup or I would be sick and then I would be of no help to anyone.
I took her message to heart. I began, initially, claiming Sundays as a day of rest (literally). After church, I would come upstairs…take off my makeup….change my clothes and pile up in bed. I would watch movies, play on the computer, clean my room, or nap. Bart would buy Chinese, and I would not come out of my room all day long. Somedays, I just laid in bed. Other days, I would listen to praise music and just pray. To this day, I still do that. I used to feel guilty and now, I realize it makes me a better human.
Since that time, I have extended my self-care attitude. Occasionally, I would get a massage. I get out by myself sometimes. Also, somedays I would head to bed about 8. Now, I don’t go to sleep, but I take a couple of hours to be responsibility-free and just reset my internal clock. There are nights when I take long, hot showers. There are also times, I do face masks or hair masks cause I enjoy it. I look at pictures, listen to music, text my friends, call my siblings or mom.
My kids can still come up here and chat, my husband comes up here to chat sometimes. I still have a few critters up here in my bedroom. Now, Hunter goes to bed at 9, and his bed is close to mine, so it isn’t like I lock the door. Most night, I just sit….and be still.
I am not selfish and I am not trying to get out of my parenting/wifely duties. There are several nights I stay up, play cards with my husband or those boys who have taken over my girls’ lives. I am a mom of 7. Yet, I parent about 11 kids. I mentor, love, cook for, clean for, educate and haul all of these peoples. Every day, I have 4 special needs kids…one with behavior issues, one low functioning and with learning disabilities, and then Hunter with Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome. Sadly, I am tapped out by the time supper is over.
It does not make, us as women, wrong to go to our rooms and let our husbands take the reins of parenting. In fact, it makes me better. It builds relationships that might not otherwise be built if I’m always in the room. Let’s face it…my husband and I could be sitting RIGHT NEXT TO each other, and every single time there is a question or a problem, the kid comes to me. Every. Single. Time.
Daddy needs to know that our penis is bunched in our new Superman underwear. He also needs to know that the squirrels ate the wires in the car. Oh, wait, Daddy needs to answer the bazillion questions that arise with one of our kids. Also, Daddy needs to tell a certain boy that poop goes in the potty and not in his pants.
I’m happy to let daddy do ALL the things……….while I just chill.