|This picture has nothing to do with|
today's blog, it just makes me happy.
This year I am not going to make a resolution, but a pact with myself. Sometimes the universe whispers in your ear when you are ready to listen. I have shared this before, but I am a bit of a martyr. I am a mother and I take that calling very seriously. I feel that it is a sacred calling for me. I know that sounds very over dramatic, but it's true. Somehow in this sacred calling I have confused being a good mother with being a Nun (except for the sex thing, I think with 5 kids, we know that though). Somehow I have confused being a good mother and wife with giving everything away and leaving nothing for myself. On the odd occasion that I do take something for myself I feel guilty and like a bad person, oh I know it's messed up. I suppose I learned by example. My mother never really took for herself, maybe I figured that's what it means to be a mother. It is so bad that for my birthday when Christopher's Mom sends me money for my birthday she usually writes a big note in the card that says "DO NOT SPEND THIS ON THE KIDS! THIS IS TO BUY YOU SOMETHING!"
I have often heard it said that you need to put into play the rules of the airplane. On a plane, flight attendants remind parents that if the plane cabin loses pressure, you should apply your oxygen mask first, and then your child's. If you pass out before you get your child's mask is on, you're both in trouble. It's also kind of the rules of life. I have shared with you before that I am by nature a martyr. I give and give thinking it almost Godly, but then I resent it when I have nothing! I resent that no one is appreciative that I have given everything, and kept nothing, and yet why should they? If that is all the kids have ever known and all my husband has ever known of me, why would they notice? If I give everything I have, then what do I have left to give? If I feel worthless, then what message am I giving my children? I am teaching my girls that is how a good woman is, and I am teaching my son that is how to treat a woman. I have slowly begun to make small changes to rectify this, but change is difficult. It is not easy to change deeply rooted behaviors.
I realized recently when we all had the stomach flu that changes needed to put into place, I think that is what really hammered home my resolution / pact. We all had the flu at one time, but my husband lay in our bed, while I walked around holding a bucket to throw up in while I cleaned the kids up, and got them all drinks, and medicine. I did loads of sheets and towels in the washing machine, all while holding that bucket, all the while my husband was able to get well. By the next day everyone was feeling a lot better, and was able to be up and about. Christopher thought it odd that I still felt awful. I explained to him that while everyone else had the flu and was able to sleep and be taken care of, I had been on my feet. It was that little ding that went off. I will grant you that this is an extreme case, but I should not have to come last.
There are days that at dinner time I am starving, and it is only then that I realize that I have forgotten to eat that day. I get so busy looking after everyone else, that I forget to look after myself. Christopher has been known to shout to me as he's leaving "Remember to eat today!" Do you know how ridiculous that sounds? I am an overweight person, anyone that heard him say that would think that he was either a crazy man or chubby chaser. If I looked after my children the way that I look after myself, Children's Aid would have taken them a long time ago. If I would NEVER treat my children (or anyone else for that matter) the way that I treat myself, then why would I treat myself like that?
This year I vow to be kinder to myself. I need to treat myself the way that I treat my children, with love. It is not going to be easy to break old habits, but I think I may be worth the effort. I'm not saying that I should put myself above anyone else, but perhaps I should sometimes not be at the very, very bottom. This year I am going to be good to myself, and if I am good to myself, then I will have more to give (at least that's my theory).