Give yourself a break.
Give yourself credit.
Give yourself time.
Give yourself attention.
Give yourself love.
Give yourself power.
Give yourself to you.
OK. Hands up. Who's guilty?
To paraphrase Rupi Kaur: we pour our entire soul, blood and energy into our tiny humans without wanting anything in return.
We give every day, even when there is nothing left to give.
How do we expect to keep going? Do we really think we can sustain the giving without giving back to ourselves?
"I'm just going for a quick shower."
"I'm just running to the toilet."
[That word 'just' irks me. I'll get back to that.]
"You don't mind watching the kids while I go for a coffee?"
"You don't mind watching the kids if I go out for an hour?"
I presume you're all sitting there nodding your heads in affirmation that you too, are guilty?
Why do we think our husbands (partners etc...) are doing us a favour by watching our children? This post isn't about the men so much as it is about our own thoughts regarding this area. We are our own worst enemies.
We are the ones who hold ourselves to a higher standard. If we fall into the trap of thinking that we are the only ones responsible for them, 24/7, then we're in for some long, hard 18+ years.
He is their father. He can take the reigns without you feeling like you're slacking in your duties. He is a pivotal part in the family, and plays a very important role in children's lives.
He's not the hired help. Stop thinking of him as an inexperienced teenaged babysitter doing YOU a favour. He's just as important to their wellbeing and development as you are.
Guilt (here we go again). When you finally manage to get away for 'just' an hour. Guilt. Because you know how much of a handful it is being at home with the kids.
Making sure they're fed and happy and not killing each other or themselves. It's a juggling act. So you rush home as soon as your done, without ever getting to relax or enjoy your time. Refreshed? Maybe next time!
You come home ever so thankful that he watched the kids. It will go something like "thanks so much for watching them. It was so lovely to get out for a while on my own. I really appreciate it". And he'll say "no problem, anytime".
Yep, I have acted as if he's just done me a favour. He's not, he's doing his job. When I leave them, I feel as though I'm getting away with something. The minute I'm finished, I rush back so as not to "take the piss".
It's ridiculous! Why?
Because he is their father. And every bit as responsible for your children as you are. They are every bit as capable of keeping them alive as you are. I had to realise he's not doing me a favour, simply fulfilling his role. The kids love him and want to spend time with him.
Again, it's not his mind-set.
Not being able to let go of the mental responsibility long enough to enjoy my time away.
That's on me.
If you're exhausted, overextended, overwhelmed, and ready to snap, then what good are you to anybody? You certainly won't have a great day which will effect everyone's mood and make you feel worse. It will snowball until you reach breaking point.
So do yourself a favour, this weekend, take one hour for yourself! One hour. 60 minutes. Go for a walk. Grab a coffee. Meet a friend. Sit in the car and enjoy the silence. Do something for you. You've more than earned it.
The mind is everything. What you think, you become - Buddha