Wow, it hit me right between the eyes! Metaphorically, I should be taking care of myself so that I can in turn take care of my son!
Stay with me…
Life is full of ups and downs, twists and turns, and the highs and lows. If we are constantly trying to put the “oxygen mask” on our children to alleviate them of pain, hurt, disappointment, etc., then we are going to eventually run out of oxygen ourselves. It is important that we make sure we are okay also. As busy parents who are covering the load of two, it is very easy to become wrapped up in the day to day and before we know it weeks or months have gone by and we have not taken in our own oxygen. We cannot function to our full capacity in caring for our children if we are not caring for ourselves.
I am very guilty of this during the separation and first few months post-divorce. My son became my everything. I was still a “stay-at-home mom” for the first few months and then after that worked full time and put him in the best daycare I possibly could which drained my pocket book to the point of nothing much left. My schedule consisted of dropping him off around 7:15am and picking him up around 5:30pm. His bedtime was 7:30pm and so there was not much time to do anything but spend time with him. When he went to bed, I went to bed. I was drained and completely exhausted. Weekends were spent doing laundry, cleaning, errands, church and trying to keep connected with the few friendships I had left via the phone/internet. Go, go, and go. That was my life.
It took the first weekend of my son visiting his dad about 1 hour north from where we live for me to sit and think, “now what?” I had spent so much time focused on him that I had no idea what to do when he wasn’t there. After some very hard self-motivation, I spent time with some girlfriends, exercised, box-colored my hair, painted my finger nails, read my bible without distraction, prayed, sang karaoke, met some new friends and just tried to enjoy time with myself. It made me feel great! When Bradley returned I was recharged and ready to give him my all.
You deserve to get to know YOU and you are worth it. You need to put your oxygen mask on every once in a while to ensure you have enough strength to share with your children and those around you. This is a great healing technique as well. Losing a spouse or doing the “single parenting jig” can be a very lonely road if you do not learn how to care for yourself.
What are some things that you do for yourself?