Fill in the blank...
Last week, I got pushed to my limits. As I navigated the crazy, I kept thinking to myself, "I am going to put my body/health/fitness first." It is the thing that helps me navigate the crazy best.
At some point in the week, I was texting Annie our writer today. We were talking about our "crazy" days, and she said, "This morning my daughter asked me where the "crazy place" is...I almost lost it."
Thank goodness for our loves who point out all of our truths, strong and weak. Today, a little bit about putting yourself first from the lovely and amazing Annie.
Rebecca + Team
Me. Me. Me. Me me me me.
These words echo in my ears long after my toddler or my preschooler shouts them. He demands it as I pick him up while I’m in the middle of cooking dinner so he can “help.” She screams it while pulling something out of his hands that’s technically hers even if she hasn’t looked at it in months. They holler it over each other in an apparent game of attention and giggles.
And then sometimes I take their chubby little cheeks in my hands, look them in their adorable little faces and respond right back to them: “Me. Me. Me.”
Because there are moments, hours and even days, when it needs to be about me.
When the love flow goes inward instead of the constant stream of love out. That doesn’t mean the outflow doesn’t stop, it only means that I pay a little more attention to my needs, my sanity, my health.
We’ve all heard how important it is to take care of yourself, that others can’t be cared for until you are. It’s a fairly common refrain of motherhood and a piece of advice doled out with such frequency that I really didn’t hear it for the first year or so of each of my kid’s lives. Or maybe I did hear it but I didn’t recognize how important it actually is, or how hard it is to put in place. More accurately, I don’t think I knew what it meant for me in my life.
The generality of the sentiment to “take care of yourself” didn’t resonate with me; I didn’t connect with it.
Until I had to.
Until even my reserves were almost depleted. It was only then that I took note of this advice to put myself first. It didn’t matter how many loving, trusted mamas who came before me told me to do just that, it wasn’t until I almost lost myself in the love I have for my kids that I began to take care of me.
By that point, I wasn’t even sure how to do me. I had to go back to the basics. Like way back to where I found joy when I was a kid. I had to get outside and let nature renew me, just as it always has and always will. The sky, the air, the dirt - those are my elements. Now I remember and won’t forget again.
When I a need a boost, when I need some peace, when I need to be alone I know all I need to do is put on my hiking boots and go on an adventure, even if it’s only around the block.
I feel whole again. And all those wise women I didn’t hear for too long were right, without a whole me, there’s no me for anyone else. I encourage you to find and nurture your elements so you too can be, and stay, whole.
Annie and her partner of ten years are making strong efforts to raise their two kids with an appreciation for adventure, laughter, love and being at the kitchen table at the same time while eating the same meal. When she’s not outside hiking, swimming or snowmobiling with her family you can find her madly trying to catch up on all the damn laundry, oh and working full time.