I have been learning slowly, to take more time for me. I think it’s important especially as mother’s that we take time for ourselves first. Yes, first I said. You know when you fly and they tell you to put YOUR oxygen mask on before helping the little people around you? It’s so important that you listen to that advice that they came to my row on my last flight and reiterated this. Why? Because when oxygen levels drop you may not feel it and if you are helping someone who can’t help you before helping yourself, you may very well pass out before getting a mask on your face that could save your life. Mothering is very similar in that we as mothers have to take care of our needs before we take care of our children’s needs. If we fail to take care of ourselves, we are unable to adequately take care of those who need us the most because we will not have enough of ourselves to give.
It’s hard when you have a little person always pulling at you with their needs and frankly it can be utterly exhaustion to think that you need to take care of one more person (even if that person is yourself) but much like job burn out occurs, mommy burn out occurs as well and rapidly if we don’t take care of our needs first.
For me, it’s something as small as waking up before my kids to make a pot of coffee. I could easily set the timer to make the coffee for me but there is something about waking up to complete silence before the chaos that gives me the energy to face the day ahead. I used to wake up when my kids woke up as to not miss one drop of sleep. I’d drag my sleepy but downstairs and begin preparing them breakfast, getting them dressed and out the door before my lips ever touched a cup of coffee. I did start the pot, but there was just never time to pour a cup and enjoy it before heading out for the day. I would routinely get home to cold coffee and I would be frustrated that I didn’t even get a cup of joe while everyone else’s needs were taken care of. This didn’t help my mood or benefit my kids because without my coffee I am short tempered and irritable.
It was the simple decision to wake up and put myself first that has changed my mornings. Moms, we have to put our oxygen mask on FIRST before we help others around us put their oxygen mask on.