I am tired. Just plain ole “wake up early, nonstop days, and stay up late” exhausted! I feel like I am juggling a million tings lately and managing to keep all balls in the air, which makes me very happy. But I cannot deny that at the end of the day, when I need to somehow find the strength to work and do the things I cannot do when my son is awake with me, I simply want to lay down on the couch and not move an inch. Of course, there are the times when I do just this, turn on a movie, curl up with a book, or even go straight to sleep, yes right with my son at 7:00 PM!!
Then of course, the guilt and anxiety come knocking and threaten to set up camp. I start worrying about falling behind and not being productive. I think about all the things I need to be doing. Even though I know that I am being harder on myself than is fair and necessary, there are times when I simply cannot stop the thoughts. I keeping thinking: “keep going, keep moving, and do not fall behind.” I think these are messages many of us moms often hear in our heads. Unwelcomed words, especially when we truly just want to be unproductive and lazy and not have a single care in the world.
The truth is though, once you become a mom there truly is never a moment where there is absolutely nothing to think about. Where you can let yourself go completely void and forget it all. We can find moments to quiet our minds and put ourselves first, but there really is always something that needs to be done, cared for, fixed, solved, or answered. We commit ourselves and our hearts one hundred percent to these beautiful beings we bring into the world. And then there are the rest of our lives; whether it is a career, relationship, commitments to friends and family, there are all the other facets of our lives that we attend to. All the other places that we are needed and also desire to be.
With so much to do and so many things to be, how do we avoid depleting ourselves? How do we make sure that we are filling ourselves up with what is necessary for us to thrive as individuals, partners, friends, and mothers? How do we let go of all the balls we juggle and trust that they won’t all fall to the floor? I am not sure there is a simple answer. Not sure there is some magical way that works for us all. What I do know is that our ability to find a way to nurture ourselves is essential for our own mental health and happiness, as well as the mental health and happiness of those around us. Especially our children!
And so I know that I will continue to at times face the guilt and anxiety as I force myself to detach from responsibility in order to submerge myself into the world of freedom. I will struggle with those messages in my head telling me to keep moving. But through all this, I will find a way to let myself go and give myself the things that I need to fill up and thrive. And so, I leave you now to go eat chocolate covered almonds and lay on my couch in the land of doing the essential nothing!