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Somewhere along the way, I got lost again. It is easy for me to slip into the doldrums of motherhood and become overwhelmed by the barrage of tasks to accomplish. Perhaps you, too, are in charge of household management. We make the appointments, take the people to the appointments, complete all the paperwork, conduct the research, remember to keep the toilet paper stocked and the favorite granola bars in the pantry. We take note of the status of the laundry baskets and plan the meals. We are horrified by the state of our bathrooms and make a note to clean them tomorrow. Our calendars are just as filled with our own ambitions as they are with the needs of our family members. The modern mom goes all out in every area. She leans in when it comes to her family, her career goals and her hobbies. But does she fall to the wayside in the midst of it all?
I do. Every now and then, it becomes overwhelming to manage it all. I barely notice when I become too busy to exercise. It doesn’t occur to me until weeks later that I’ve stopped cooking healthy meals for myself while catering to my children’s selective eating needs. I look around and see multiple unfinished projects around the house. The papers on my desk are piled high. I loathe clutter, but not as much as filing paperwork. The weight of responsibility for managing appointments for multiple forms of therapy, implementing therapy, and continued learning on my part about the therapy implementation, is crushing.
I am the glue that holds everyone together, but even I don’t notice when I begin to fall apart. It’s time for a radical self-care intervention. One night last week, I went to bed at 6:30pm to catch up on lost sleep. For inspiration today, I put on the race shirt that is most significant to me. It was my first half marathon, for which I dedicated months of training. Months of going out every day and dedicating an hour or two to feel my feet pound against the trail. One foot after the other as my stress melted away. They say you need to apply your own oxygen mask before you can help those around you. Time and again, I learn this the hard way.
If you are a caregiver in need of self-care, here is a list of ideas. Let’s check some of these off together.
Note: In no way do I diminish my husband’s role in our family. He is the primary breadwinner, a loving husband and a doting father. He contributes to our family and around the household. I love him dearly and we are infinitely lucky to have him.