It’s not optional!
Your kids can always take your breath away. It doesn’t matter whether they’re inside you squishing your lungs, stunning you with their beauty, scaring you with a fall, yelling hurtful things at you, saying they love you, announcing that they’re moving out, or calling to say they’re having a baby. They’ll always have that power to take your breath away, and it only goes to prove the strength and poignancy of the relationship.
Lately mine have taken my breath away most often by the required clenching of my jaw as I try to refrain from saying something I’ll regret. Simply put, we’ve been a rather tense household lately! Rather than list my life issues and frustrations, let’s just say I think I need to put myself in time out. I need to Breathe. It’s time to revisit my own advice that I seem to be ignoring: seven things that are key to a moms’ sanity and balance. (If this sounds familiar, stay with me: you’ll get some new perspectives!)
Be alone regularly : This is a must and there’s really no arguing it. It’s not selfish, it’s utterly and completely necessary to your mental health. If 15 minutes of quiet time in the morning before the kids are up does it for you, then move heaven and earth and your sleep-laden body out of bed to get that time! Need 4 hours a week? Barter/beg/hire your way to rediscovering the quietness of your own thoughts. Yes, you still have them! You just can’t hear them in the chatter of daily life. This is really non-negotiable.
Root yourself : Know who you are and what you believe. Stand up for it. Nurture it. Feed it, that fire in your belly.
Eat | Energize | Exercise : A not-so-simple trio, I know. All three center around mindfulness though, listening to your body and what it needs. Eat real food. Make your sleep a priority. Move in ways that make you feel free. Pay attention to how your body reacts, the patterns are there for the finding.
Accept your life : Ok, this is my total stumbling block right now. Sigh. Note to self: Accept where you’re at, or you’ll never change it. Fighting and fretting don’t work. Let it be and find the good, make plans, look for opportunities, set sail but don’t expect to see land yet. Find your faith.
Tend your passions : I was asked yesterday what one piece of advice I’d give to someone looking for coaching. What popped out was “Find the one thing you really love to do, and make sure you do it at least once a week.” That pretty much sums it up. I need to make things (other than meals and beds) and must do it regularly. Not managed that much lately, and I’m really feeling it.
Have boundaries : Oh yes, that one. Saying no thanks. Setting realistic expectations. Sorry but our kids aren’t allowed to have/do that. We draw the lines.
Enlist support : Leaving the hardest for last? Perhaps. Asking for help is extremely hard. Pride takes a hit, vulnerabilities get aired, we are admitting defeat. It’s good to ask. It makes us human, and weaves us together into something stronger than we were alone. Something beautiful, living, and yes, breathing.
Simple thoughts for not-so-simple lives. What would your “one piece of advice” be?