Fill Your Cup

Hello Fellow Mom. 
You who does the laundry only to find a pile of dirty clothes hidden under the bed. 
The one who hides in the bathroom, seeking a little solitude as fingers slip under the doorframe and children call your name. 
You who have played referee for the hundredth time between your offspring who claim rights over an object that will be forgotten tomorrow. 
To the mom who wonders why some days feel like years, especially when there is potty training involved.
The woman who searches for the dinner recipe that will cause all of your children to call you blessed. Or at least eat it without complaining.
To the mom who has felt she has lost her identity to the name of taxi driver or teen atm. 
For those who are struggling to hang on to the days because the years have become short. 

I have been there. Don't get me wrong, I am completely devoted to motherhood. It has been my calling since I was a little girl. I've made it my profession for most of my adult life. I adore my kids. I love being a mom. I soak it up and savor the moments.

When my mojo reserves have been syphoned and there isn't much left to give, I become weary. My guard is lowered and my heart attitude is vulnerable. Even those things which typically bring joy can become annoyances. They want to eat dinner... again. Bedtime becomes a formula rather than a joy. The car ride becomes too loud. The sibling rivalry sounds like war. The laundry becomes a mountain that no human should be expected to climb without an oxygen tank. The Legos get stepped on and vicious words choke my throat. 
When I am drained dry, the joy is shrouded. 

Are you taking care of yourself so that you have the mental, physical, and spiritual energy to pour back into your kids? Sure, a day at the spa would be great. Ok, heavenly. But most of us can't afford that luxury (cost or time). So what can you do to refill your cup? Some of us need an hour of quiet. Others need an hour with a friend (sans kids, of course). Most of us need to increase our prayer life. 
I think this was a subtle hint that I need to "pray on." Ha! Just popped up on my screen like this.
Even when you can't get away, search for serenity in the day surrounding you. I discovered this scene on my way home from taking my daughter to school one morning. I had been struggling with feeling out of control and holding on too tightly. When I saw this dew-kissed meadow it was as if the Lord said, "I hold this day in the palm of my hand. It is not your burden to bear." 

Ask for help. Your fellow mommies understand the need to recharge. Swap mornings with a friend. Don't use that morning to go grocery shopping or to get the car fixed. Talk to your husband and figure out an evening you can have to yourself... guilt free. When my kids were little, we had a standing rule. When I got a night out, I didn't want to hear about anything that went badly at home (unless health was involved) while I was gone. It helped me truly be free and not feel guilty. 
Do something you wouldn't normally do with the kids around. Make an appointment with yourself (it's cheaper than counseling later).  Get coffee and settle in with a magazine. Treat yourself to a new journal, if that's your thing. It's totally my thing...

 Linger. Go to a store you wouldn't normally venture to with children in tow. Last week I had a 30 minute window so I stopped in the local spice store and enjoyed every minute.

Be inspired. The spice store had the cutest pumpkins out front. If I had had my kids along, I probably wouldn't have noticed. Take the time to notice non-mommy things.  It's okay. 

Everyone's cup is filled up differently.  I'm not an artist, but there is something soothing about picking up a paintbrush. Would I have found the time to do this when my kids were toddlers? No. But every season has its new struggles and blessings.

 Look for fun. Laughter is healthy. Looking for the joy in the mundane is worth the effort. My car has been in the shop this week.  My sweet dad let me drive his sportymobile (okay, it's a revved up sedan, but when you drive a family SUV, anything feels like a sports car). It's amazing how much joy a sunroof has brought me this week.  Oh, and XM radio.

Take a break. Even Wonder Woman has to get her invisible jet refueled once in awhile. You are worth it. Your kids are worth it. This sacred thing called motherhood requires mind, body, and soul. With your cup filled up, you will be ready to pour back into your little gems.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful words...much needed truths. Thanks. And photography that inspires...I love your blog.


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