Tending To You

Because Parenthood is A Journey

Tending To You

What did you do today that placed you near the top of the priority list? Did you spend some time tending to you?

Being a mom that wears many “hats” each and every day, I find that there is this struggle to be able to make myself the priority.  I tend to find a myriad of excuses – I am too tired or stressed or overwhelmed; I should be making some meal or lunches for the next day; I should be sitting next to them doing their homework or listening to them read; I need to take the dogs out or the trash and recycling out; I should put that load of laundry in or fold those clothes in the dryer; or whatever excuse I can find to put everything else but what I may possibly need near the top of the list.

These are usually the things and feelings that give me my out and I don’t do what I wanted to do for me.  Inevitably, I end up putting everyone and everything before what I need.  And then, I wallow in the fact that I did not do what I needed for myself.

Today, I decided to take a little step away from my excuses, looked at what I wanted for myself, and took some action.  I decided to find the balance.  To spend the time with them as mom but also to make some time for me as a person.

And you know what I discovered??

It was GREAT!! And so very much needed

It is school vacation week and both the kids and I are off for the week. 

I look forward to these weeks.  They are valuable.  They are time with my kids where we are not focused on all the “school” things.  We focus on being together – watching movies, going to stores for no other purpose but to walk around, eating as many meals together as possible – and that uninterrupted time together is so important to me.  Isn’t there the saying that “they are only little once” as a way for us to take this time with them. 

On any typical school vacation, I find a ton of stuff to do – all of us to do.  And it is always fun and will be memories I cherish.  But I forget to add in some me things.

Our morning started with some heavy rain and wicked thunderstorms rolling through (oh my aging dogs did not like this at all!) that woke us all up early.   We took advantage of this early rise with some snuggle and cartoon watching time together before getting up.  One day they won’t want to do this and I treasure that this gives me time with them and some extra zzz’s. 

I made 3 different breakfasts (yes … 1 for each child and 1 for me … because that would be silly if we all at the same thing!) and we ate it on the couch while watching some more cartoons.  While it was not an ideal morning, it was just how it should be.

Our family babysitter got to the house about 11:30 so that I could take some time to do some coaching business work.  There was my inner critic mom guilt that was full of excuses about why I should back out and cancel but I used some of my learned skills to address it and move forward. 

I had arranged a couple of weeks ago for her to come and hand with the kids for about an hour or so in order for me to attend a local women entrepreneurs networking meet up.  I have been trying to make it to one of the meet ups but I always found an excuse for why I couldn’t.  I had let my inner critic take over and hold me back (but that is a post and discussion for a different day!).  And my business is important to me so going is a must and I needed to cut out the excuses.

When I got home, the kids knew we needed to run to the store to get some veggies for our dinner tonight – a chicken, noodle, and veggie stir-fry.  Of course, going to the store was full of “I don’t want that in my food” and “that looks gross” from my little darlings (remember … I already made different breakfasts today and lunch was no different why change the game now!). 

It was exhausting … let me rephrase, it is exhausting to figure out a meal that everyone can eat, every single day of the week.  Going into an already busy grocery store, knowing the things I needed to get, and having to listen to the endless complaining was about where I hit my limit with mealtimes.  I ended up stating in the middle of the store “you will eat what I put in front of you!” in probably my sternest mom voice ever! And I am so sorry to anyone that had to hear it and the see the “ugly” look on my face.

I took that as a sign that while I tended to my business, I had not tended to me.  As soon as we returned home, I changed clothes quickly, set the kids up with some crafts, and started a workout.  Now granted I changed the workout video about 4 times to something different, I did manage to get a combined 35-minute workout. 

It left me feeling a bit better and clear-minded; hoping to take on the rest of the day with a better outlook. It was not perfect or ideal but I did make sure that I carved some time out for me and that proved to be 1 accomplished action step that I checked off in putting myself at the top of my own list.

In the end, he kids had a blast with the babysitter, I had a great time meeting new women and sharing this little business of mine, and I did something for me that made me feel good and is important to me.

So why share this story?

Like a garden, we can’t just plant the seeds and hope that beautiful flowers, plants, herbs, veggies, or whatever grow.

We have to water, feed, weed, and tend to these seeds so that it can sprout roots, grow, and eventually push through the surface.  But even then, the work does not stop.  We have to continually water and care for these plants so that they continue to thrive and flourish.  Sometimes we have to weed out some stuff to give it more space to expand.

Taking care of ourselves is a lot like taking care of seeds that will eventually grow into plants.   We can plant that seed that we want to put our needs on the priority list.  But we can’t just stop there.  We have to tend to ourselves and do the things we say we need to do so that we can sprout our own new roots and eventually emerge the person we envision ourselves to be. 

And after we have done all that, we can’t forget to keep tending to ourselves so that we continue to grow and flourish.  We may even need to do some weeding from time to time of our own inner critic.

So my encouragement to you today is to answer these questions …

What did you do today to make yourself a priority? How did you help yourself grow?

And if maybe you didn’t … don’t get down on yourself or let that inner critic run amok.  Instead, take this as a gentle nudge from me to you to figure out what you can do … In the next 5 minutes, later on today or tonight after the kids are in bed, at some point tomorrow, or even over the next couple of days.

Because when you start to spend some time tending to you — making you the priority — you will see a new world of possibilities open up.  And that just sounds AMAZING!!!

As always … Take Care, Kristin

Experience The Journey!

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