Taking Care of Mom

Today’s great post comes from Claudia of Rise365

As a little kid, the third of seven, I remember asking my mom a question and she would look at me with a blank stare. I would have to repeat it about ten times before she would shake herself from her mysterious world and look at me.

I would repeat the question again and slowly the lights would turn on and she would answer.

“Where was she?” I would think to myself. “Why does she go away?”

Now as a mom I know why. I understand the blank stare.

I was reading to my son just yesterday and I started falling asleep. Between the pages of zoo animals, playing peek-a-boo, and sheep riding in a jeep, my eyes drooped and I felt sweet sleep start to overtake me.

“I just have to close my eyes for ten minutes,” I said, handing my son over to my husband the moment he walked in the door. “It’s an emergency!”

An emergency!

I feel this pull as a mom. The pull to be everything to everyone. The pull to please and make everyone happy, to comfort and guide everyone but me. I’m beginning to wonder. Where have I gone and how do I get me back?

Between the rocking and nursing and washing diapers (yes, I use cloth diapers) andnighttime feedings, where and how do I find and nourish me? How can I make me a priority and still be a present, loving, and attentive mom?

I had this fear growing up that when I became a mom, I’d be so focused on that task that I would lose myself. I would push all else aside, such as marriage, friends, God… just to be the all important mom. I saw it played out all too many times.

I now think that was a healthy fear. It has called me to constant action to preserve me and my dreams, interests, and hobbies.

This is necessary so that years from now, when my children do leave my home, there is still an alive and vibrant me there. So that life doesn’t stop when my kids leave and I can happily pursue life as I have been all along. I need to pursue action so I can be an active participant in the health of my marriage. I need to so that I remain a well rounded individual.

I am more than a mom. Though it is my ultra important role in life at the moment, it is not who I am.

I am me and I will always be me.

So, here are three practical ways I have found to preserve me.

1. Get up early. This means before my baby! This is a challenge when I am still getting up through the night. It requires discipline to go to bed early. When I do this however, I feel revived, energized, and encouraged. I feel one step ahead of the day rather than constantly trying to catch up.

2. Have a clearly defined mission statement and goals for both me and my family. This helps me focus beyond the moment. Goals help me define my daily tasks. On the days when it feels like I am spinning circles, I work to at least achieve one of my goals and the day then feels fulfilling.

3. Keep my bucket full. This is huge for me. I need to be able to refuel so that there is some to spare on those crazy days. I do this in four ways: exercising, listening to encouraging podcasts and audiobooks, spending time with God and journaling.

I call myself to action daily. I will preserve me while being a mom. I will always seek to grow, learn, and embrace adventure. It is who I am.

Question: What helps you preserve and nurture you?

Claudia Good

Claudia Good likes the sound of crickets at night, the smell of fresh hay and horses in a barn, and seeing her husband rock their baby boy to sleep. She likes the way the sun shines through green leaves, drinking raw milk, and getting her hands dirty gardening.She laughs a lot and writes even more. Writing and living life to its fullest are her passions.

You can connect with her on her blog, rise365, or ontwitter.

Latest posts by Claudia Good (see all)

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Comments

  1. Jenny says

    For me it’s not being too busy that there’s no down time/fun stuff going on in my home. Just housework, cooking, homeschooling, laundry, shopping, etc. would terrible! We have an quiet hour every day where we all get some down time and quiet to pursue personal interests independent of each other. The older moms I know personally who have all their children following the Lord and that their kids love being around them have all gave their lives up for their children in amazing ways. They focused on making their children’s dreams come true and helping them fulfill their goals when they were young. All of them are doing just fine now with the kids out of the house…no empty nest syndrome…and I think that’s because they had a balance, too. Including your children in your interests is a great thing as a mom to do…I’ve been encourage by older moms with happy families to do this!

  2. says

    Jenny,
    I really love the hour of quiet time that you do with your family. What a great idea!

    That is wonderful that you preserve that time for yourself and your children!

  3. says

    This is a much-needed, timely reminder! I need that time outside, hiking & running, seeking solitude with the Lord…
    When I don’t carve out that time, my attitude & faith starts to tank. And when I make it a priority – as hard as it is to peel myself away from kiddos (yes, SEVEN) and responsibilities – the whole family functions better!

  4. says

    Teri,
    I’m glad you are able to purse those things that bring life to your body and spirit! You are totally right… as hard as it is to peel away (and I can’t imagine having 7!!… even though I grew up in a family of 7 and my hubby 8) the whole family does function better when you are functioning better!

    Blessings to you as you pursue the things that God has put deep in your heart!!

  5. says

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