Friday, April 24, 2009

When Mama's run out of gas.....

I have a confession to make. I have been trying to run a whole family around on an empty tank. As in I am running on empty. I am not sure how it happened, or when, but I just know that I am running on fumes. I put my hubby first, my kids first and the house management stuff first. With all those firsts, there just seems to be nothing left for me.

I took a long hard look in the mirror this morning. Who is this woman standing in front of me? Not the outgoing, feel good girl I used to be. What I see now is a nurse, driver, event planner, cook, maid, lover, counselor and the list could go on and on.

Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining. I love my job as a wife and mama. I wouldn't trade it in for anything. I have neglected myself however. I have been giving so much of myself for so long that I realized today that there is little of me left. I had to think a long time about what hobbies I had or what I loved to do. I somehow talked myself into thinking that if I did anything for myself, I was taking something away from my family. How crazy is that ?

We women are convinced from an early age that we can do everything for everyone and look cute doing it. The sad, harsh truth is that something has to give and many times its us mama's. I realized that any free time that comes my way I do something for my family. ( Bills, clean house, laundry)

Let me just say right now that if you are a mama and have experienced tired beyond comprehension, all night rocking sessions, sick and teething babies, whiney kids, messy houses, laundry piles that are close to touching the ceiling, not having enough time, sacrificing your own hygiene, saying no 1,456 times a day, being the bad guy for putting healthy food in front of your kids, daily lessons on morals and values and worry and guilt like you have never experienced before...... you are so not alone!!!

I have started to read an awesome book called 'Taking care of the ME in mommy" by Lisa Whelchel. I cannot tell you how it has given this weary mama comfort and peace today. I thought that maybe there was another mama that needed an on-line hug today. So I thought that I would share this cup of comfort that I received.

So here it goes...... it is not selfish or wrong to take care of yourself so that you can take better care of your family. When we spend time doing something by ourselves, with girlfriends or the Lord we are regrouping and become refreshed. We then come back to our family refreshed and ready to be the mama that we want to be and they deserve.

As a Christian mama, I am especially convicted about giving and shunning receiving. I felt selfish for wanting something for myself. I often feel like I should be volunteering at church or helping others in some way with any free time that I have. I then read the most profound statement in this book that I feel opened my eyes. Are you ready?.........

"God's passion to be glorified and my passion to be satisfied are not at odds."

WOW. Maybe this post is just for me but I was totally uplifted in that. Can I just tell you that I took 20 minutes to sit on my deck alone,read a couple chapters in this book and pray. I then sat on the deck in the quiet ( the kids were inside with hubby. I asked him to take them for a couple of minutes which I must admit almost killed me! What?? Me need help?) soaked up the sunshine, listened to the birds and took a breath.

You know what? When I went inside to make the peanut butter samwhiches, I felt lighter. I felt like I was serving my family and not a slave to them. Maybe Lisa is on to something here.

May 7th is National Moms night out night. Get a sitter or leave your kids with your hubby. Grab some girlfriends and go get an ice cream. Or go for a walk by yourself. Or go to a bookstore and curl up on one of those chairs you never get to sit in (You know because your running around chasing your toddler at storytime) and read a book with a cup a tea. I guarantee that the you will return home less crazy than when you left :)