I read an article today that talked about how kids and self-care are not mutually exclusive. What does this mean? This means that you can fully care for your mind/body/soul all while caring for your children.
You don't need a day off from them, a babysitter for the night, or to drop them at a relatives house just to catch your breath. You can fully care for yourself all while caring for your children.
I have two children — 5 years old and 3 years old — two dogs, a cat, a guinea pig, and a house. I plan out our weekly events for our homeschool group. I am always writing, working on my blog, on my Facebook page, and spending my personal time helping guide people who contact me who are looking for inspired guidance to rejuvenate their life. My plate is full yet, I do not feel drained. Why? This is why.
Because in the years when I had a husband and he would spend time with our children what would I do with my free time? I would go shop. I would hit up hundreds of garage sales buying meaningless "stuff" I didn't need. I would go drink wine with girlfriends. I would roam mindlessly around Target. All of these things at the time I thought were my self-care. This is what all the Moms on Facebook joke they do to "get away" from their kids. Boy, did I have it all wrong. In those hours I had to be alone when I had a husband that resided on this earth to take our children for bike rides I should have been meditating, doing yoga, reading self-care books, sitting outside with my dog in silence just "being." I should have been out hiking and exploring nature.
What are we Moms truly trying to run away from? LIFE is far too beautiful to spend mindless hours roaming around Target.
I went to Target tonight for the first time in four months. The only reason was because my daughter desperately needed an extra pair of sheets for her bed as the others were dripping wet hanging on the line to dry. It didn't feel like a "happy" place anymore. It felt like what it is. A store. I went in, got the sheets, and went home. Home to my oasis to sit and write with my dogs at my feet, listening to the giggles and screams of my children playing out in our yard with the neighborhood children.
I am a full time Mama AND a Papa. I am with my children 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That is NOT a complaint. I am blessed, honored, and full of JOY to be able to say that. I choose this lifestyle. I choose to be with my children. It's my choice. The greatest choice I have ever made in my entire life. I have figured out how to carve out small amounts of time throughout the day to care for me. I get up 1-3 hours before my children in the morning to do yoga, meditate, and write. In these quiet hours before they awake I do not allow myself to do chores. The chores can wait. My children and I wash laundry together. We cook together. I do not waste my personal time. I take every drop of that sweet silence to work on ME. There are small moments during the day that I am able to sit and read a few pages of a book while they play outside. Same goes for after they go to bed. I am fully caring for myself, mind/body/soul. I am no longer being self-indulgent and using bad for me food, shopping, or alcohol to "relax." I have found far greater tools than that. Tools I wish I was guided to years and years ago. Tools I will teach to my children so they have them in their toolboxes throughout their lives.
Others may look at my life and think...."How does she do it?" "I would never want to have her life." "Doesn't she get any fun for herself?"
They are wrong. They are thinking of LIFE the opposite way that I think of it. My children are my purpose. They are what makes my heart beat each morning. They inspire me to be a better human. Our lives right now are intertwined. Our days have a beautiful rhythm to them. I am spending my free time working on myself so that one day when they spread their little wings and fly off into the world to do amazing things, I will not be a "broken" person who doesn't know what to do without her children around. I am complete all in myself. I know me. I have sat with myself in the dark, in the middle of the night, listening to my soul. I have goals, dreams, and passions and there are wonderful things waiting for me ahead. Take care of you, Mamas. Take care of you in a healthy way, physically and emotionally.
I take nothing personally anymore. I am practicing full self care. I am a solo Mama bear. Hear me ROAR.