Nov. 9 — fellowship.
About a month or so ago I was feeling aimless and a little antsy. Like I needed something but wasn’t sure what it was. Just…..something. I was feeling overwhelmed and anxious and pulled in a million directions and needed something that was just for me. So I called Kendra and basically invited myself to be part of the Bible study she goes to weekly. Wednesday nights have now become my time, which is something I’ve never really done for myself before.
As mothers, we are easily caught up in that martyr cycle, aren’t we?
It’s just easier if I do it.
I know what they need. Let me handle it.
I can’t take time for myself! I have way too much to do!
And the one we don’t often say, but probably think: Everything would fall apart without me!
But it wouldn’t really, would it? Kyle often encourages me to take time for myself. To go out with friends; even go on trips without him and the girls! But I’ve talked myself out of such things because of my responsibilities at home. But breaks rejuvenate and re-center. To go and go and go without taking time for yourself? that leads to burn-out and resentment. It’s easy to get to that point without really realizing it. Those frustrations manifest themselves in other ways, like exhaustion. Snapping at the kids or husband. Depression. Low motivation. And maybe in even more tangible things like headaches, loss of appetite (or increased) and illness.
I am tired pretty much all the time. I still feel pulled in a million different directions. My responsibilities overwhelm me sometimes, but what’s different now is that every week I can count on three hours of me time. Where I don’t have to worry about bedtimes and what’s for dinner and baths and books and wiping butts and noses. I can leave all of that to my tremendously-capable husband and have my own fellowship time with a great group of ladies. It’s nice to talk about other things besides inexplicable rashes and toddler eating habits. Adult conversation — what a concept!
I am grateful for pushing myself to let myself have me-time. For making the call to Kendra and inviting myself to the study and then being consistent in my attendance. It feeds me. Re-centers me. And overall it makes me a better mother and wife because I am selfish with just a little bit of my time.
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Nov. 10 — those days that start out crappy but turn into Awesome.
Yesterday morning started off innocuously enough, but by the time we were ready to leave the house I was frantic because I was running late. Somehow during our morning routine the clock fast-forwarded 15 minutes without me realizing it and by 8:10 I was practically throwing the girls into the car while it was moving down the street. I got halfway down the road when I realized I’d forgotten Jovi’s lunch on the kitchen table. ARRRRGHHHHHHH.
No time to go back; I was already cutting it close. I had to have Aven dropped off at my mom’s and Jovi at pre-school in the next 10 minutes. (related: stupid school zones!) I had to be at the career fair by 8:30 to set up my table so it was ready for students when they came at 9. I felt rushed and stressed out and on-edge. Jovi will you PLEASE stop screaming You Are My Sunshine at the top of your lungs??? Aven! Leave your boots on! Stop touching each other! Keep your hands to yourself! For the love of all that is precious and holy if I have to tell you ONE. MORE. TIME—
So that was our commute yesterday. By the time I got Jovi to preschool I had decided to go pick her up at childcare after I got done with the career fair and just take her out to lunch. I had no time for any thing else — I couldn’t go home and get her lunch off the kitchen table. I didn’t have time to go to the store and get her a stand-in lunch. A spontaneous lunch-date was the only solution I could think of.
After the career fair was over I packed up my things and hustled to get to her school. I didn’t want her sitting around watching the other kids eat their lunches, wondering why she didn’t have one. I fended off the Bad Mother feelings while I was stuck at the train tracks while the SLOWEST MOVING TRAIN EVER ON THE PLANET went by at like .2 miles an hour.
When I finally got to her school she rushed me like a football player (seriously – I almost went down) and she waved goodbye to her friends and we went on our date. By that point I was in a way better mood and frame of mind. She chose McDonald’s because she wanted “chicky nuggets” and apples. She ordered her happy meal by herself and chose where we sat. She talked and talked and talked the entire time and I just laughed. And so did the woman two seats away who was there on her lunch break. I kept hearing her giggle after Jovi would say something. Finally, the woman turned to me and told me how cute and beautiful Jovi was (while Jovi was chewing a way-too-huge bite of chicken that was half-hanging out her mouth, covered in ranch dressing. Yeah. cute.) and how neat it was to see a mother taking her daughter out to lunch.
I need to do lunch dates with Jovi more often. I’m so thankful for that little hour we had together, just the two of us, to talk about her school and what she wanted to make for dinner and what she wanted to do this weekend. She says the most random things that have Kyle and I rolling sometimes. For instance, last night (Ona is my brother’s dog we’re watching while he’s on tour):
Daddy, Ona’s last name is Axe!
Oh yeah? Mommy’s last name used to be Axe, too!
When she was a little puppy?
I love that how something starts doesn’t dictate how it ends. It’s so true for many facets of life, but it was very apparently true for me yesterday. Although it started off rushed and stressful, just a few hours into it it became something sweet and memorable and something I’ll treasure. It wasn’t anything super amazingly special – just a lunch with my daughter at McDonalds on a Thursday afternoon – but those little things are what make life special and unique. And I am thankful that I got to share that moment with my growing-up-too-fast daughter.