I often don’t sit down to write until I feel like I may burst if I don’t sit down and get it all out. When I do that, oftentimes it all pours out of me resulting in an entire blogpost that I have basically been formulating in my head for a month. I will catch myself phrasing and rephrasing things to myself and ocassionally out loud. So here we go.
What do you say when you someone asks you how you’re doing? I used to be quick to get things off my chest, give my list of ups and downs, regaling friends and family with my stories. How does that change when you become a mom? Especially one who is doing this gig full-time and who hasn’t been alone in her head for 13 hours of the day for years and years?
People will ask me how I’m doing and sometimes I will say, “oh we’re fine” or “Ben is …” or “The kids are..” and other times I will say, ” I have no idea.” Because its true. Most of my hours are consumed with the needs of others and that is a wonderful way that God is teaching me to put others before myself. To consider that the world does not revolve around my feelings. Something I am prone to falling into.
I guess part of the reason I write is that I am always in pursuit of this girl I used to know named Katie. Have you seen her? I need time to process. It feels indulgent at times or that its somehow not legit enough to require time alone. The funny thing is that I’m the only one who considers it not worthwhile enough. My husband is practically pushing me out the door to have that time and the kids don’t even look up as I walk out the door. My Facebook keeps telling me that people are checking my blog site and yet here I am …
Questioning whether or not my voice matters at all.
Does what I contribute have value at all?
Why bother at all?
Nearly nine years into motherhood and I am figuring out that if I don’t care for Katie, who will? What can I say? I’m a little slow on the uptake. It’s not my husbands job to make me happy full time. My kids will not be my ultimate fulfillment no matter how much I love them. My home, though grateful I am for it, does not need to be immaculate and show ready at all times, thereby taking up all of my “free time”. Can we just stop and have a laugh for a minute about the concept of “free time”? Good one, Katie.
That’s why this January I decided that I was going to endeavour to do the work of self-care that I have been pushing aside for years.
I can sit and drink coffee, knit for hours, marathon a fun little show on Netflix and practically live in the bath, all in the name of self-care. When I do these things, I feel refreshed and pampered and like myself and its a comfort. But here is the thing, brownies for lunch is not *actual* self-care. Sitting on the couch for the duration of winter and pretending that the outdoors and fresh air doesn’t exist is not self-care.
Self-care does not mean shit I want to do. It means to care for yourself. And last time I checked, we are not only souls inside of bodies. We have bodies. We are our bodies. They are Gods gift to us and we need to be good stewards of them. I have not been a good steward of my health for a long time. Yeah, I’ve been busy making, growing, delivering, nursing, raising, and educating the little people God has given me, its true. But here’s the thing…
I have daughters, but I am *also* a daughter. I am also a child of God. I should be modelling the care of my mind, spirit, AND body to my girls. So here’s what I did.
I booked a doctors appointment for a PAP. A dentists appointment. An eye appointment. A physio appointment. A therapy appointment. I ordered an exercise and diet program. Nothing extreme but enough to radically change my days. I am getting uncomfortable over here, people. I am getting up and moving my body every day even though its not my idea of fun. I am dutifully eating my veggies and proteins and showing my kids that caring for ourselves as adults *is* work and we *are* worthy of the time and level of effort that requires.
To be clear here, I don’t give a hoot about what that number is saying on the scale. It is not a relevant part of this journey for me. It would just be nice to feel good in my clothes and sleep well at night and get out of bed in the morning without my lower back burning. And for my kids? They’ve asked, “why are you doing this, mummy? Why do you want to be strong?” And I tell them with a wink, “It’s so I can carry your Daddy in my arms.”