From these experiences, I learned that the only person I can control and should be able to count on is myself.
Well, lately, I'm learning that that much isn't very true either.
It's funny, I don't have one of those husbands who comes in after a long day of work and says, "Where's my dinner?" or "Why isn't the house clean?" If I did, maybe, just maybe, I could blame these feelings on him. Boy, that'd make me feel better, but darn it! No, I have one who comes in after a long day of work and just gets to work all over again, in a different way. Here's the clincher....He does is HAPPILY! Ugh! I'm so grateful for this good man, but my guilt and disappointment in myself grows every time.
Life has been busy with added responsibilities that didn't used to be there, and I don't think the sleep apnea's helping at all. No, I don't have the device for the apnea yet--long story. I guess what it comes down to is that I don't have the energy I used to, but those aren't good excuses. I am cutting myself no slack here.
I've been really bothered by all of this....until early last week....
We were sitting at the dinner table. The Warden called on #7 to bless the food. As soon as he did so, this little voice in my head/heart said, "You don't have to give every prayer."
I have a friend right now who is pregnant. She was the oldest child raised in a very large household. I guess I thought of anybody, she'd be up and doing it ALL for her family. I've heard of women who were nine months pregnant and out working in the fields. That's what I, at times, have aspired to. I thought that's how this woman would be.
In the past two weeks, I've been described as "tough" by my children first, and then by the Warden in front of my children. I've tried to prove to them that I can "fight through" anything. That I can take a licking and keep on ticking. I haven't wanted to be a marshmallow that backs down at the first sign of adversity. But, that all brings a big price with it. That price is called self-neglect.
I made arrangements to have one of this friend's children to come play at our house. The night before the playdate, I received a text from her stating that they wouldn't be ready because she wasn't sure she'd be up and about yet at that time of the morning. Could we arrange a little bit later so they could take their time?
It hit me, as I pondered her text, that in taking care of herself, she was really taking care of all in her household--even the not-yet born. She wasn't being tough. She was being tender and thoughtful and careful...of HERSELF! Wow, I want to be like that. I want to be able to say "I'm not going to be ready yet" and not feel guilt. I want to be able to cut myself some slack.
I've been married for 20 years. How do I train my family, after all of these years of martyrdom, that it's okay to take care of me? Oh, my goodness, and then, where do I begin?
My heart churns most of the time lately. I have no other way to describe it than that. Those must be my super powers trying to break out. Well, I think I need to quiet the powers and stop trying to be super woman everyday. It's the falling short that's disappointing me. Maybe I need to extinguish those feelings. Maybe that's where I need to begin. Maybe it's in the little things I do to quiet those churnings that I'll find what it takes to care for myself. Maybe I need to stop motivating myself with the guilt I've heaped upon myself in my attempt to be tough and super and everything I have expected a mom to be.
No, I don't say every prayer here in this madhouse, and there is no manual written that says if I don't do something, the world will fall apart. Maybe it's time to take care of me a little bit more. Maybe it's time to stop running the hamster wheel, let others help me flatten it out, and run forward together.