YOU Are Essential
You wanna know what's essential?
YOU ARE ESSENTIAL!!!
I was sitting at the dinner table the other night with the kids as we were finishing up our dessert - cotton candy ice cream, a favourite around here! It had been a long day...well, a few long days! I was so looking forward to bath and bed time, so I could finally put my 7-month pregnant feet up & have some quiet relaxing time! My middle daughter, Austyn, is 3yrs old and so easy to play and giggle with. The other girls already headed up into the bath, so it was just me and Austyn left with a few bites of ice cream in our bowls to finish up. She takes a bite, looks up at me with a cute little ice cream moustache and says, "Mommy, is my face messy?" She giggles. Just as I was going to keep in my serious mom mood, something inside me said, "Carlie...just do it!"....So, I looked at her, smiled, put ice cream all over my lips too and said, "I don't know Austyn, is MY face messy??" Oh, she giggled and thought it was hilarious! We were both laughing. And that was a moment I realized, how important I am in my child's play...and how much I also need them to keep me lighthearted, laughing, and having fun. Especially in this season we are all in!
It's interesting, how I actually had to think about it. I actually felt hesitant to play along with her. Why? Probably because I'm so used to being "sergeant mom." For me, to just change my hat to the goofy friend really took convincing and effort, even though it was such a little thing! But that little thing, the little change, the little moment, changed the rest of the evening. It helped me enjoy the moment. The bath and bedtime routine took on a whole new feel that night. It gave me a perspective change that was big enough that I'm here taking the time to sit down and write out for you!
I think it's so easy to become like I said, Sergeant Mom. Feeling like I'm always barking out orders, breaking up fights, setting up a play station just to clean it up in 7 minutes, etc! It's exhausting. It's draining, day in and day out. But you know what rejuvenates and refreshes the soul more than anything!? Laughter! So if I can encourage you in anything, I encourage you to PLAY with your child. We definitely have lots on our task lists when it comes to keeping up with a home, especially if you are one who is also working through the pandemic right now. But, just take a moment today and say YES. Colour with them, make fun snap chat faces/videos, play hide and seek, do a puzzle, whatever it is...engage with them. They are wanting YOU. YOU are SO essential to them. They CRAVE your attention and your engagement more than you will ever know. Taking off the sergeant hat, and putting on the playful hat, EVEN if it's simple, small, and for a few minutes...it will be SO changing to their attitudes and so refreshing for yourself!!
Your kids need YOU. Your spouse needs YOU. And you need YOU. Which means, you gotta take time for self care! As doulas, we practice this often and strongly encourage it when we are caring for others prenatally and during postpartum. Self-care is critical for your physical, mental, and emotional well being. I give you permission NOT to feel guilty for taking a mommy time-out and doing something for YOURself!
To help you stay connected with others, keep a healthy perspective, have an outlet for your stress, questions, and needs during this time, we created an online group for YOU. I'd like to invite you to join us on Facebook at Lovewell Community.
You are not alone. We are here to support you, encourage you, and help you in whatever way we can. Lovewell's got your back!
Find things that you can be grateful for in this time. Let loose with your kids, with your spouse, and with yourself. Don't carry too much pressure and weight to perform and be on schedule all the time. < Breathe in > & < Breathe out >
YOU are essential. You are important. YOU are what they want. & YOU is who you need to take care of first and foremost. I know if I can at least have 20-30 minutes in my day where I will just get to be with me & only me, I know I can make it. I can do it. Somedays I need more time, other days it's less. But when I create that time for myself, I know I'm creating space for more patience & strength to make it through the day. Hopefully not just make it through the day, but make it a day. A good day! You got this mama...