My kids came into the bathroom no fewer that ten times this morning while I was trying to take a shower. One after the other they came in saying, “mommy, I neeeeeed you!”. And over and over I would take a deep breath and tell them I would help them when I got out of the shower.
By the fifth time they came in the negotiating and bargaining began. I heard myself saying, “if you just give me ten minutes to take a shower, I’ll answer all of your questions (and give you my full attention) when I get out”. As I said this I was silently wondering, how many times it would take before I finally got some peace and quiet.
I mean, seriously, can’t a momma just take a shower? Can’t I just have a few moments of quiet to take care of me?
Those of you who are moms with young kids, I know you get what I’m saying. Whether it’s taking a shower or locking ourselves in the bathroom so we can just have a moment of solitude, I know we’ve all been there. I’ve even been guilty of locking the bathroom door so I can finish that last chapter of my book without interruption.
For those of you who don’t have kids who are incessantly needing EVERY ONCE OF YOUR ENERGY, just imagine what it feels like to have a puppy biting at your ankle for every second of the day. Now multiply that by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks and 18 years. You get the picture.
I say this in desperation but also with a heart full of love. My kids fill up my life in a way I never could have imagined. But, if I’m being totally honest, they also exasperate me in a way I never thought anyone could either.
What I’ve learned through the years and the time I’ve spent on my mat is that we all need and deserve a break once in a while. It’s not being selfish to lock yourself in the bathroom to get a moment of quiet, to turn on the TV and let your kids watch a movie so you can sit down with a book or warm bath. Your not being a bad mom when you take a day off of work and keep your kids in daycare while you get yourself a much-deserved massage. In order to be there for our kids, our families, our communities, and everyone else who needs us, we have to take some time out to refill our reserves.
When I’ve been taking care of myself I can take a deep breath in the shower, smile to myself, and actually appreciate the constant interruptions. When I’m not taking care of myself and on the days I’m tired, overwhelmed, and feeling unappreciated, I don’t respond in such a calm and serene manner.
I don’t beat myself up about it either. We are momma’s, many of us with superhuman powers, but we are still human. We have our good days and our bad and should be compassionate and loving towards ourselves, just as we are to our kids.
OK, gotta go, I’m needed…