I have a hard time showing up for myself. I’m all over the map. I’m up and down. I’m all in one minute and then out the next. I make excuses and utter words like:
I’ll work out when…
I’ll start eating better when…
I’ll start taking care of myself when…
Tomorrow, next week, a month from now, when the babies no longer in diapers, when the kids get into school. Someday. Sometime, just not today. I have too much on my plate. I have zero time and no energy.
Day after day I put myself dead last. I check off my lists and ensure that those around me are happy and accounted for. I do my due diligence to be the picture perfect image of what motherhood is supposed to be. And every single day I’m left exhausted.
The other day I was running late, per usual when my low fuel light came on. Story of my life. I didn’t have time for this crap. Didn’t the universe know I was running late and short on time. The last thing I need is to take five minutes out of my day to pump freaking gas. So I did what any normal person does in that situation, I checked to see how many miles I had left on reserve and I ran that bad boy bone dry. I took a risk. I limped along. I scraped by and coasted in on fumes.
Guess what? I was still late. I ignored every sign that my car was on empty because I didn’t have time. AND I WAS STILL LATE.
It got me thinking, how often do we do the same. How often do we rush and move from place to place, chauffeuring kids from school to practices, we field conference calls in the car and grab dinner through a drive thru. We volunteer and fill our calendars until there isn’t any white space left.
We lie to ourselves and smile through tired eyes while telling others, “We’re just in a season of busy right now.” It will settle down in time.
Sis, listen to me. You’ve got to stop ignoring the signs. Stop lying to yourself and making excuses. When every bone in your body is telling you to slow down, to take a rest and refuel – you have to listen. Stop avoiding what’s staring you right in the face.
There’s no golden ticket at the end of this motherhood journey for putting yourself dead last. So what are you doing? Stop filling your plate with crap that doesn’t matter. Stop buying into this idea that you have to be busy 24/7 or you’re somehow failing.
It’s OK to slow down. It’s OK to say I need a break and prioritize yourself somewhere in the mix. When you show up for yourself, you start showing up better for those around you.
I don’t care if it’s five minutes or thirty minutes, do something to fill up your own cup – today. Not tomorrow. TODAY. Work out, read a book, meditate, take a shower, lock yourself in the closet for ten minutes of silence and a warm cup of coffee – just do something.
You’re lights on, sis. It’s telling you to fill up. Don’t ignore it. Don’t coast on fumes and call it living. You deserve more. Not tomorrow or a month from now – TODAY.
This piece originally appeared at They Whine So I Wine, published with permission.