‘Me Time’ for Moms – The Importance of Self-Care

Insane Mothers

So, I was going to write an update on the herb garden… but I just couldn’t do it. I owe it. I promised it. I didn’t have it in me. Instead, I’m going to tell you about the last few days of my life. Grab the popcorn.

My weekend was the stuff of soap operas. We’re going to start with my grocery shopping trip on Thursday. Stay with me.

I am a total Aldi fangirl. I try my hardest to only go grocery shopping once every two weeks, for the sake of my budget (and my sanity). So, every 2 weeks I drive to a city an hour away from me – all 4 kids in tow – to do a gigantic shopping expedition. I try to block them out of my memory, but this one is permanently seared in my brain.

It started on the drive up. About 30 minutes in, my mini-van started overheating. Yes, I drive a mini-van… again, 4 kids. Focus on the story. I have literally never had a vehicle overheat, so I started panicking. I called my car-savvy brother, who (thankfully) talked me off the ledge. I should have taken it as a sign, and turned right around and gone home. I didn’t.

As I pulled into the parking spot at Aldi, ready to get the whole experiment in self-torture over with, my 2 year old projectile vomited everywhere. Guys… everywhere. I had nothing in that van to deal with the situation. Not even a baby wipe. I used a reusable grocery bag to wipe her off, and decided I was going in to battle anyway. I mean, I had just driven an hour, and I’m pretty fond of eating. As I’m getting the kids out and closing the door a yellow jacket flies in. Do yellow jackets like vomit? I don’t even know. That blasted insect crawled up between the windshield and the roof, and stayed there. I decided that I’d crack the windows and open the sunroof. Two birds, one stone. Devil insect can leave, and as a huge bonus, the vomit smell could (hopefully) keep to a minimum. Yay (kind of).

I take a deep breath, hike my vomit-soaked kid up on my hip, grab my 5 year old’s hand and proceed forward, determined to accomplish this hellacious task. Then my 5 year old trips over the parking curb, rips her jeans and skins her knee. Because of course she did.

By some strange miracle, we make it through the grocery store and up to the checkout line physically in tact, though psychologically scarred, and start loading things onto the belt. Previously mentioned 5 year old decides to “help”, and immediately shatters a big glass jar of queso all over the floor. Thank God for nice employees (again, I love that store), who assured me it was no big deal, happened all the time, and wouldn’t let me help clean it up. Probably because I looked like a crazy person, and was fighting back tears.

I walk out the door and see that it’s raining. Into the sunroof and open windows of my vomit soaked, devil insect plagued van. I should have gone back in for a bottle of wine. I mean, it was only 10 am, but seriously…

I load the groceries, use the new roll of paper towels to wipe out the car seat, and pray I’ll make it home.

The van keeps intermittently overheating, but at this point I’m pretty copacetic about that. I just want to make it home… then the yellow jacket buzzes by my head. IT WAS STILL THERE! I screamed, my daughters screamed, my tween son laughed (because he doesn’t want an inheritance), and I’m trying to drive and shoo this thing out of an open window. Fun times.

By the time I made it home, my brain was toast. I absolutely could not deal with another freaking thing. Who knew that a grocery run could be so stressful. So, that was my Thursday.

Friday. Dear Lord, Friday. Friday we had a crazy person show up to our door. A perfect stranger strolled right up, rang the doorbell until it was answered minutes later, and proceeded to tell us she needed thousands of dollars. Um, what? Then she acted all put out when she was told to leave. Long story short, now I feel like she was scoping out the house to rob us. So now I’m tired, frazzled and paranoid.

Saturday was uneventful, so I held on to hope that things would simmer down.

Sunday we woke to news of the sudden and tragic death of a family friend.

Tired, frazzled, paranoid, and oh so very sad.

That, my friends, was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I couldn’t write about my herb garden. My brain was in overload mode.

I’m not telling you all of this (just) to vent. Everyone has times in life where they get a whole series of incredibly strange, stressful and frustrating things that seem to happen in rapid succession, and it just gets to all be too much. Life gets to be too much. The logical part of our brain… the part that knows it needs to keep “adulting”, tells you to just write the herb garden post. Or do the laundry. Or clean the toilets. Or mow the lawn. Put in the extra work hours.

It’s ok to say you can’t.

It’s ok to stay in your pajamas all day, eat a cupcake for breakfast, and binge watch ‘Call the Midwife’ on Netflix for 4 hours… not that I did that. *guilty look* It’s also ok for you to spend half a day at the gym working out your aggression. It’s ok to do whatever it is you need to do in order for you to feel like you can function again. Like you can mentally re-center yourself.

Magazines like to make ‘self care’ look like spa days and manicures and salons. That’s not attainable for my day to day reality, and I bet it’s not attainable for a lot of you, either. You know what? Yesterday, instead of doing Language Arts lessons with my kids, I sent them outside, locked myself in my bathroom (cliche, right?!) and ate chocolate while I talked to my mom on the phone without (many) interruptions. I felt like an irresponsible idiot, but holy cow, did I ever feel better 20 minutes later. Then I did 20 minutes of yoga, and went on about my day. Lesson got done, meals got cooked, the house was cleaned. Game changer. Giving myself 20 minutes away from the general daily responsibilities of my life was NECESSARY.

It’s ok to take care of yourself. In fact, you have to. You absolutely cannot take good care of anyone or anything around you unless you do. If I don’t take that ‘mental health time’, I’m a lunatic. Grouchy, short-tempered, flustered, scatter-brained… just an utter joy to be around. While your signs may be different than mine, everyone has some less than desirable personality traits that tend to come out when we’ve had enough. When we’re mentally exhausted and overwhelmed. We all have to recognize that having time to let go and relax is not only ok, but important. Imperative.

All of this to say, please take the time you need for you… you can write about the herb garden later.

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2 thoughts on “‘Me Time’ for Moms – The Importance of Self-Care

  1. 20 years ago I could’ve made this post! Seriously it gets better and, yes, self care comes in any form YOU need it to! You’re doing great! Thanks for posting real day to day content. Life is messy…we just have to deal with it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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