Monday, January 31, 2011

Taking Care of Mama Mondays

I'm joining in the fun with a local blogger (Twig and Toadstool) to do a weekly post about the way I plan to "take care of Mama."

We all use plenty of excuses for why we can't take care of ourselves (too tired, too bored, too stressed out, too busy). I think I made up these excuses even before I had children! Adding a child to the mix just takes away that extra bit of time you might have used for yourself.

I'm lucky in that I have a very supportive hubby who helps out with everything - childcare, nighttime parenting, dishes, vaccuming, sawing/fixing/hammering (he won't clean bathrooms, but I hate fixing things, so it's a win-win). So it's hard to say I have the excuse of being "too busy" when my hubby would gladly hand me the time to do something special for myself. Just last week, he sent me out for an evening by myself to see The King's Speech.

I do have the excuse of being too tired, although that has been improving lately as A gets older and responds better to Daddy during the night. I'm definitely not as sleep deprived as I used to be, but I think I could certainly use more unbroken sleep!

The excuse I use that is most valid is that I'm too STRESSED OUT. Stress has been a constant in my life from the time I was a wee thing. I think it's probably part genetic and part learned, as we do live in a society where everyone prides themselves on being "busy." So it's been my goal in life to try as many things as I can, and learn as many new skills as I can afford. Unfortunately this sometimes leads to burnout, or just places me in the awkward position of needing to cancel on people or events. I'm getting better at saying "no" these days, but I still catch myself jumping on board with a project before I have time to think about whether or not I have time.

I have been reading a completely amazing book these past few days (recommended by Maureen over at Twig and Toadstool) called Broken Open: How Difficult Times can Help us Grow. I've always been a fan of inspirational books, and this one takes the cake. As I read each chapter slowly and carefully, I have found myself choked up so many times by the truth in her words. I know that the best way for me to deal with the ongoing anxiety (I call it the pit in my stomach), is to learn how to sit quietly each day and listen to the goings-on of my mind - to let that pit break open and experience the fullness of my difficulties. Only then will the pit dissolve and subside. But saying this and doing this are two completely different things!

The ancient Persian poet Rumi says,

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.

Don't go back to sleep. Meaning, don't turn on the radio to distract yourself. Don't sit and eat to fill yourself. Don't watch TV to numb yourself. Don't take that drink, or that drug, to get away from yourself. Don't go back to sleep...

1 comment:

  1. I think you made a good point...sometimes taking on new things means you just plain take on too much, and it can lead to MORE stress! Over the holidays I spent 2 weeks at home...we rarely left the house, and I have never felt so good before...just having the time to take care of the most basic, self care, playing, was bliss. Now to find that elusive balance again!
    I'm so glad that you're reading the book I recommended. I was only a few chapters in when I recommended it, but holy turns out that it really is a life altering sort of I'm reading it I can feel its words resonating with me...what a book! (I have 2 chapters left)!
    Thank you for joining in our Mama love Monday!
    xo maureen


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