Who else in this motherhood journey, has a million and one things to do? Who else makes hundreds of to-do lists, while they are laying awake in their beds trying to fall asleep? Who else plans their car’s trajectories, based on how many errands they can check off their lists, everyday? Who else cooks, washes dishes and eats all at the same time? I suspect we are many here! You see, this is not unusual for me, I always loved and excelled at multitasking. In fact, I get bored with single tasks, and I struggle to stay focused! I take an immense pleasure planning my days/ nights and weeks. I love crossing off things of my to-do lists, and so far it has been an absolute delight.
Few days ago however- a Sunday afternoon to be exact- my son and I were not feeling well, so after we had lunch, I was wondering what we had planned for the day, not feeling like leaving the house at all. My calendar was empty, so we stayed home, made a cake and played in our little garden. A little over 24hours later, after I put my son to bed, and finally sat on my sofa to relax, I remembered that we have missed our French class, the previous day! The class was a simple class for a 3 years old, so not really a big deal, yet knowing that I forgot, that I missed something, that I failed to keep my schedule up to date killed me! So right there in my living room, I sobbed for 10minutes, because the system that I have been counting on, and that has been working so perfectly well for me, and my very busy schedule, has failed me. Because I wasn’t perfect, because …… Well I don’t know why exactly I was crying, but it felt like I have FAILED!
The feeling was horrible, I always took pride in being so very organized at all times, and in always being on top of things, but that day not only have I missed something important, but I only came to remember that I did, more than 24hours later! It took me a good 10 minutes before realizing what was really going on: I was crying because I missed a stupid class (The class is great, but it’s definitely not something I should be crying about!), I was crying because I failed in doing ONE thing that day, and overlooked the fact that I woke up that same day at 5am, taught a Tai Chi Class for an hour, trained myself for another hour, came back home, made breakfast, got my son ready, did our homeschool class for 3 hours, cooked lunch, made a cake with my son, played with him outside, had so much fun throwing water balloons at each other, then finally put him to bed! And all that while being sick!!! How can this be a failure? I was caught up in that web of what I should do, and forgot all about the things that I already do. Partially because I never give myself credit, because I am always sitting with a red pen in hand, waiting to make mistakes, ready to correct them with a big frown on my face. I rarely pat myself in the back and say: “You are doing great!”
Even though I am always trying my best not to forget to take care of myself, because I know how important it is, I still … well, I still fail at that too! That’s why I do Tai Chi every morning at 6am, that’s why making time for my books, and my readings, is vital to me. That’s why I try my best to meet the few friends I really enjoy their company, and just laugh as much as I can, yet somehow I sometimes forget to give myself a break. Sometimes I am way too hard on myself, sometimes I forget to laugh over silly mistakes, and just go on with my day.
Luckily God is always there to remind me of what’s really important, and to send me few wake up calls here and there, from time to time. Sometimes I need to cry for a good 10 minutes to finally see it clearly, and that’s fine.
The point of this post is to remind each one reading it that self care is not just a good manicure, pedicure, or a massage. Not just a coffee date with a friend, not just a nap, but also and most importantly to give yourself a real break! To accept that in this crazy journey we will make mistakes, and that some nights we will put our heads on a pillow, glad that the day is finally over, that sometimes all what we would like to do is pack up and leave, sometimes we will fail and mess up greatly, sometimes we will hate ourselves, and cry, but what really matters is to be kind to ourselves. To give ourselves a pat on the back and to remember that tomorrow is another day, and another chance. Cry if you feel like it, but always be kind to yourself.