This self-care stuff is so hard!

“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I admit it ok? I can’t do it very well.  Trying to sit on the couch and read a magazine when there is disorder around me is almost impossible.  Well, for me.  The other members in the house have no problem with it.  I seem to be drawn to the things sitting around the room that need to go back to where they belong or be thrown away or straightened.

In this alphamom post, I was reassured that it is hard… raising a child AND taking care of a household.   Someone wrote asking for advice on how to “do it all” and said that rather than feeling like the smart and competent individual she was before her son was born, she now feels frumpy, overwhelmed, and incompetent.  Hello… me! Part of the answer is to change your expectation of what you’re realistically capable of RIGHT NOW. In a few months things may be different.  Kids change so fast.  She also advises us SAHMoms to let go of the expectation of having a spotless house, home-cooked dinners, and all that.  Sigh.

On Friday morning, I was in a funk with all these little tasks running through my head and I only had two hours since preschool let out early (let alone an entire week of spring break to figure out) and so much to do.  I hate to say it but I forgot all my recently-learned lessons and I was going a mile a minute, barely keeping up with myself, going from the garage organization project to my new kitchen binder of go-to recipes to setting up some semblance of a system for our files, when I just slumped on the sofa and started crying.  Nothing is getting finished and I can’t work on any of them when my daughter is with me.

So that blog post helped me as did my hubby, who told me to lower my expectations, be realistic about what I can accomplish in a day, and to focus mainly on what I have gotten done and feel good about those things.  If I get two hours to myself, I should not spend that entire time thinking it’s not enough and it’s almost over.  (Totally guilty of that!) And then he had to tell me again on Saturday and yet again on Sunday.  Thank goodness for him.

For our March assignment for my One Little Word, we are supposed to identify one thing this month, related to our word, that we want to focus on.  I just decided that I’m going to be mindful of the time I do have for myself and the things I do accomplish.  (In that vein… you should see our craft closet since I attacked it yesterday.  Everything is sorted, bins are labeled, and all the mismatched papers are in the recycle bin! I am leaving the closet doors open just so I can get a little thrill every time I walk by. I am trying very hard not to think of the two other closets that I really want to organize.)

So please share with me what struggles you have with stopping and caring for yourself.  How have you gotten past any obstacles?

Here are all my blog posts related to my one little word – “mindful.”

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6 thoughts on “This self-care stuff is so hard!

  1. Hi Naomi, I can definitely empathize with you on this! I think the biggest challenge for me is feeling that I am shortchanging my son if I take time to take care of myself. For example, when I tell him in the morning that I need to take a shower and he can entertain himself for a few minutes, he clings to me and cries, “No, don’t take a shower!” And I find myself explaining that it’s very important for me to be able to take care of myself so that I can take care of him. Fortunately, he usually does seem to understand or at least accept what I am saying, though the amount of time he will “allow” for my caretaking is very limited. In terms of the housework, I too have a hard time sitting down to relax if things are out of place. I feel as if I must stay on top of it all or it will overwhelm me. (It’s close enough to overwhelming now with two teens and a toddler and a new baby on the way!) But generally, on a good day, I try to feel happy if I remember to brush my hair before I leave the house (and am sorry to admit that many days I’m halfway through the work day before I realize that I did not).

  2. I have no useful advice, Naomi, though I can relate to you that my wife not infrequently feels much the way you do (and she doesn’t have a child to raise!)…and I’m not sure I do her much good either :), though I try to tell her what your husband apparently tells you. (I told you I was absent useful advice. :))

    (It’s completely off the subject, but I really like what you’ve done with the selective focus on the images accompanying this post.)

  3. Pingback: Mindful progress – April OLW Bloghop | Poetic Aperture

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