Self-Care Not For Sissies
Self-Care Not For Sissies. For about a year, maybe a bit longer, I have been learning to take care of myself. It is hard as a wife, mom, daughter, friend, and 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, I had to go more and do more.
One day, I was at my Lady’s house and 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. My Lady looked me square in the eyes and asked me if I had slept any the night before. She always knew when I hadn’t slept. I mean, she always knew. This day, I must have looked pretty darn bad. I just smiled and told her I was okay and 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.
It’s a Command, Not a Statement
I sat down, looked at her, and asked her what she needed. She had a sense of urgency when she told me to sit down. That smile she just smiled and said for the next 15 minutes, I would 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 could wait and so could the visit, but I was not to speak or move.
I leaned back, propped up my feet, and eyeballed the clock. I would do as my Lady 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, after about 45 minutes and a ton of drool, 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 she was smiling in all her wisdom and beauty. She asked how I felt; 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 most extraordinary human ever. It was glorious. She explained that she worried about my constant moving and going and doing. I needed to stop and regroup, or I would be sick, and then I would be 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 and take off my makeup. Then, I would change my clothes and pile them 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. Somedays, I just lay in bed. Other days, I would listen to praise music and 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, some days I would head to bed at about 8. Now, I don’t go to sleep, but I take a couple of hours to be responsible-free and reset my internal clock. There are nights when I take long, hot showers. I also do face masks or hair masks cause I enjoy them. I look at pictures, listen to music, text my friends, and call my siblings or mom.
My kids can still come up here and chat. My husband comes up here to talk sometimes. I still have a few critters up here in my bedroom. H goes to bed at 9, and his bed is close to mine, so it isn’t like I lock the door. Most nights, I sit and be still.
Still, I am a Good Mom
I am not selfish and am not trying to get out of my parenting/wifely duties. Several nights I stay up and 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 people. Every day, I have four special needs kids…one with behavior issues, one with low functioning and learning disabilities, and then H 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. 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 must know our boy parts are 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 with one of our kids. Also, Daddy must tell a certain boy that poop goes in the potty, not in his pants.
I’m happy to let daddy do ALL the things……….while I chill.