Lately, as a person I've been very much like my blog: It doesn't look bad, but it has been lacking substance, empty. I've let the hardships of motherhood get to me, it's broken me down, built me back up and knocked me down again. I've given and given, filled their little cups over and over, but seldom took the time to take care of myself, to refill the pitcher that fills their cups.
Deep inside I knew I was neglecting myself, but I shrugged it off. I'm a mother, I have other, more important tasks at hand than taking time from my busy schedule to spend just on myself. Have you seen the mountain of laundry or the floors that need swept, or the kitchen that needs restocked? Really now, I don't have time for *me* right now, I'll do it later. Later.
This is never a good thing. As mothers we must take care of ourselves first or we can't really care for our families. I know this, of course. I also know that the oven is hot, and yet I still occassionally burn myself.
So I neglected myself, and I felt like crud. Shocking, I know. I was harming not only myself, but my family as well. I am not a good mama when I don't take care of myself. It's hard to enjoy the important things in life when you're depressed and feeling lost. I felt a lot of guilt about this, but even though I felt something was amiss, I couldn't put my finger on what it was.
Slowly, I'm figuring things out. I'm learning what is missing, what is important. I'm learning to refill my pitcher, I'm going back to the Well.
Time for myself is key. Instead of being in-demand "Mommy!" every minute of every day, I've begun going out with my sister or friends, without children. My husband and I go on regular dates, and oh that is wonderful.
The kids have a new bedtime routine now that Gavin has moved out of mama & daddy's room and is sharing a room with Kairi. Now Mike and I take turns taking the kids to bed, which means we both get regular time to ourselves. We've been doing this for a couple weeks now and already I am feeling a change in the atmosphere here at home. Things are less tense, adults are less stressed out.
Rhythm, I'm learning firsthand, is extremely important. When there's no rhythm in our home, it falls to chaos. I think this is where a lot of my lost feelings have come from. Slowly we are building new, solid rhythms and it's helping so much. Rhythm is good. Rhythm is strength.
Not doing it all myself. For the longest time i felt like, because I am a SAHM I have to run the house, do all the housework by myself. Had to earn my keep. No one ever instilled this notion in me, it was something I made myself believe, without realizing it. This is changing. The kids have chores now and they love it. It's pretty amazing, the house has been cleaner and happier because of it. I'm not irritated about *grumble grumble* constantly having to pick up after my kids (darned ungrateful kids, *grumble*), and the kids feel good about themselves for helping out with the housework.
There is still work to be done. I am a work in progress. I've been rearranging furniture a lot. I'm decluttering, simplifying, purging. I have a lot of innerwork to do. I've been out of touch with my spiritual self for far too long, that's painful. I can't tell you the last time I meditated, or the last Esbat I observed. Bad pagan, bad Witch. But I'll get there again.
I'm reading books that are helpful. I'm re-reading "How to Talk So Your Kids WIll Listen And Listen So Your Kids WIll Talk" with a study group online. I'm slowly re-reading "The Spiritual Tasks of the Homemaker" which I'm finding very helpful, though I have to read it in small bits to digest properly. I have plans to re-read the "Green Witchcraft" series again as well.
I'm taking things, not day by day, but minute by minute. I'm doing the best I can, and always striving to better my best. I'm getting to know myself again, and I'm learning to take care of me. I must, because the alternative is to lose myself completely. I can't do that, my family needs me and I love them far too much to let them down so completely.