By Kara Lawler from Mothering the Divide
As moms, we sometimes try to do so much to take care of our families and friends. We take on too much; we stay up too late; we drink more soda and coffee than we should. We run to work, dance and basketball practices, volunteer and board meetings, piano and art lessons. We volunteer, care for our aging parents, and check in on our friends who also have full days.
We make dinner and bathe children and help them with their homework. We tuck them in at night, read them a story or two or three, and if it’s an easy night (and not one where the bedtime routine takes hours), we tiptoe out of their rooms. We then sit down and pay bills or work on a class we signed up for but aren’t sure how we will ever finish. Sometimes, we just want to take a hot bath or read a book or space out in front of the television for even just five minutes. In the rush, there are nights we even eat chocolate for dinner or pop-tarts at midnight. Other times, we guzzle that down with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine out of a Star Wars cup because it was the only one clean.
Often, all of this doesn’t give us the time to take care of ourselves, and self-care is put on the back burner. We skip working out; we cancel our hair appointment to cover the gray hairs that are growing in number. We don’t make coffee dates with friends or dinner dates with our partners a priority. We put ourselves last over and over again, even though we know we shouldn’t.
And then, we get tired or sick or both, simultaneously, just like one of our best friends said we would. It’s inevitable and we knew it would come—the crash that comes when we try to do too much. And we say to our people, “Listen. I’m just tired and I need a rest.” And then, if we are really lucky, we have someone, anyone, who takes our face in his or her hands and says “I can make you a cup of tea, just like you do for me when I don’t feel well.” And a loved one brings you a cup of warm tea and covers you up on the sofa with a warm blanket. And you are put first.
Yes. We have full days but how lucky are we when our loved ones lend their hands to give us a break and to remind us that they are our people and we are theirs. And it is all worth it then. All of it because we are reminded that we don’t need to do it all. We don’t need to be everything for everyone. We can sit and drink our tea and be loved as we take a break.
This week, I challenge you to allow your people to put your face in their hands and to give you a rest. They are willing; you just have to ask. Today or tomorrow or one day this week, take a rest, my friends. Give yourself permission for the time-out you all deserve.
I’ll be back next week with another weekly meditation and to check in and see how you all made out this week with your rest.
Mama Meditations: This column is published weekly on Sundays, by Kara Lawler, right here on the Mama Lovejoy blog. Kara also writes on her own blog, Mothering the Divide, about the divide that is mothering our children, our spirits, and the sacred. Come, join Kara’s tribe on Facebook or Twitter. For more information on the Mama Meditations column, please visit the Mama Mediations page. If you enjoyed this article and you’d like to see more from Mama Meditations or from Mama Lovejoy, you can follow Mama Lovejoy on Facebook, or @Mamalovejoy1 on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Periscope.