Take Care of Yourself, Mama
I had decided to go for a run. There were exactly 45 minutes of uninterrupted alone time left before the kids were home for lunch. I had already squeezed a trip to the bank and DMV, farm bookwork, vacuuming, and a load of laundry into my unexpected free morning. It was gorgeous out, I was kid free, and I needed the time to clear my head. My husband had just finished planting beans and it rained the previous night, which meant a rain day (and all the farmwives said, Amen). He offered to take the kids to the shop for the morning. We had been going nonstop with field work; I was in the beginning stages of launching this blog; and I was running on empty. I needed the sunshine. The endorphins. The time to clear my head. I needed this run. In the last month, I had been using the small pockets of time while the kids were off in the tractor to run as a creative outlet to brainstorm for content ideas. Just me, Jesus, and my country road. Lauren Daigle blaring and ideas flowing.
It was perfect…except for my shoe lace. My shoes have ridiculously long laces that I always have to double, sometimes triple knot. I could feel it flopping around, tripping me up occasionally. I knew I should stop and fix it. I knew this. We say these things to our kids all the time, right? Stop and tie your shoe. Take time to use the bathroom. You need rest. Slow down. You’re going to get hurt. Why is it that it is so easy to give this advice, but not take it ourselves? To see the upcoming stumbling blocks for other people so clearly, but be blind to it in our own lives?
As mamas we’re always so busy doing and fitting it all in that we often push past these simple tasks. Just one more mile, one more stop, one more thing until we push ourselves too far. I don’t have time for this. These are my famous last words. These are the words that always get me in trouble. And they did. Again. I tripped yet again on the lace, but this time on a loose spot of gravel on the road and could not catch my balance. I went down. Yep, there I was a thirty-six year old woman laying on the blacktop. Well, cuss. I got up, brushed off the gravel, and assessed the damages. I was bleeding on my hand and elbow. My knee hurt. My pride was hurt more. No wait, my brand new leggings were hurt more. I had ripped them. Well, cuss, cuss.
On the run home, my mind was flooded with all the times I had let these types of things happen. Overextended. Overshot. Overscheduled. And then walked away wounded in some way. See mamas don’t always get sick days. Little lives still depend on us; obligations and deadlines are still present; life is still happening regardless of our needs. And so we often feel like we have to just keep going, and sometimes, honestly, we do. Welcome to motherhood.
Take care, mama
But sometimes, mama, we just need to stop and tie our shoe. Sometimes, we need to take care of ourselves in the form of a nap, a date night, an extra hour of sleep, a quiet walk, a trip to the doctor, a canceled commitment, a lowered expectation, a day where cheese and crackers on the dinner menu is good enough. We need to acknowledge the impeding fall ahead and take measures to prevent it. Even if it means stopping or slowing down. This seems like such a simple concept, and yet, somehow I struggle with it time and time again.
Friend, let’s stop and tie our shoes when we need to. Let’s not squeeze so much in that we find ourselves injured limping home mourning the loss of our beloved leggings. What if we made good use of our time, energy, and health by taking care of ourselves in the same way we want our children to? What if we took better care of ourselves because we don’t have time not to? What does this look life in your life, friend? Are you ignoring the warnings that you are pushing too hard? Do you find yourself falling flat on the pavement?
If you like this post, check out this post for more mama encouragement.
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