I remember the days when my 4 children were young and I had barely time to shower myself and much less time for any of my own interests.
YOU know the story - 2 boys on separate baseball teams, a daughter in softball, a son in scouts, and a husband who was just well, wasn't much help.
I volunteered my time at schools, game snack bars, scouts, teaching Sunday School and leading a children's Pilgrim Fellowship group at our church. I also offered to watch other's children after school and on weekends.
I made wholesome, homemade meals, cut coupons, kept up with laundry, tracked everyone's schedules (which was actually MY schedule too), Dr's appointments, practice dates, hair cuts, veterinary appointments, card and gift shopping, grocery store shopping, Valentine's, Easter, Thanksgiving, birthdays, Christmas shopping - (insert deep breath here). Can I tell you how much I have grown to dislike shopping?
So, within my typical day, within my typical week, it was not uncommon for me to impulsively pick up the phone and call someone to say; "How about dinner at our house on Sunday?"
Most times the invitation stuck. There it sat in the back of my mind - and a monkey on my back all week long. Oftentimes, waking up on Sunday morning, realizing that I hadn't given the house a decent cleaning in well over 2 weeks; still hadn't decided on what I was cooking and WHEN I would do all of this because one of my kids has a football game in an hour, and another is supposed to be at a Pail Shake an hour after that!
Then HERE IT COMES - my self talk.
"WHY? WHY did you pick up the phone with a dinner invitation? WHY?!!!
Were you board? Did you NEED extra work? Did you NEED to add to your 'to do' list?
What EXACTLY do you NEED?"
So, it took some time - by 'some' time, I mean decades later for me to finally answer that question: What exactly did I need?
I needed that feeling that comes with someone paying attention to you. I needed to create an opportunity for someone to ask ME how I am doing, or to notice what a good mom I am. But WAIT. Do we, as moms (or dads) ever feel confident about being a good parent?
I know now that I was looking to be VALIDATED. I was looking for someone to tell me that I was making a difference somewhere.
( And guess what? If some said to me, "Wow! How do you do it all?!" I would brush it off as if it weren't anything. )
Pay me a compliment? I'd give you 2 reasons why I shouldn't accept it.
"The house looks great!"
Me: "Are you kidding? It's filthy! I haven't dusted under the beds or cleaned out the fridge in 3 weeks!"
So, even if I got what I was looking for - I couldn't accept it for the gift that it was.
TODAY, I see what my need was back then. I had never heard of the term self-care before. I doubt if I had, that I would have acknowledged needing it.
Magic happens when you practice self-care.
You pay attention to the most vital person in your life. YOU.
You begin to notice what you need to balance and nurture your being.
When you begin to practice self-care on a regular basis, you start to notice a change.
Change YOU = Change Others = Changing your World!
Debbie Jaine lives in Woodbury, Ct. Helping women to see their wonderfully kind and powerful selves is what she loves to do best in her business and also in her personal life.