A new week! Reset. Here’s another chance to be who I want to be, do what I want to do. Do what I ought to do. Exercise. Eat healthy. Do Laundry. Read aloud. Clean. Cook. Nap. Go to the library. Work. Play. Live life—the mundane, the sacred, and all that’s in between.
I’ve got to keep going, keep giving it my best shot. I’ve got to think without overthinking. Eat without overeating. Do without overdoing. I neither know what tomorrow is made of nor the very next minute, for that matter. There’s only now to do what counts.
As I write this my daughter is sitting on my lap. I can feel her little body pressed against mine. There’s no other place she’d rather be right now. She knows we’ll be reading a book soon. I’ll go outside to exercise, then we’ll eat breakfast.
I’ve crafted a comfortable cocoon for her from the predictability of our everyday. I’ve spun a safe web with the invisible threads of our routine. She knows I’ll kiss her booboos and hug her when she’s sad. If she stumbles, I’m there to catch her.
But who’s there to catch me?
My own web is tangled and messy. It needs tending to. I sometimes forget I’m not only responsible for taking care of my child but also taking care of myself.
I need to weave my own cocoon. I need to nurture my soul. I need to rediscover the woman standing behind the mother I am.
What do I love and how can I make it a part of my life right now?
I love music. I can upload my favorite songs to my phone so I always have them with me. I can put music on when I cook or clean to add a dose of fun to my obligations. Life’s better with a catchy tune.
I love nature. I want to get out daily. I can sit on the beach with the wind in my hair. I can lie down in my yard and count the clouds. I can stargaze at night. Life’s better when I commune with nature.
I love sleep. No matter how much I fight against it, I need sleep. Lots of it. There’s no way around it. I simply must go to bed early every night. If I do that, everything else becomes easier. Life’s better when I’m rested.
I love quiet. Quiet time is my primary love language. I need alone time. Every day. I’m a work-at-home, homeschooling mom. Alone time is not common fare around here. When I do go to bed early, it is easier to wake up early and have some peace and quiet before jumping into the demands of the day. I’ve also reserved Wednesday mornings for going out alone. It’s only been a few weeks but claiming this has positively impacted my well-being. I am much more pleasant and patient with my family the rest of the time. Life’s better when I’m replenished.
I love my husband. Although we are together every day, we are not necessarily being together. It’s so good to talk and share what matters to us. It’s so good to watch a silly show and belly laugh together. It’s so good to hold hands and look into each other’s eyes. Life’s better when we take time to remember why we love each other.
I’m going to be a mother forever more. There is great value in mothering, but I mustn’t wait for my daughter to be out of the house to take care of my marriage or to take care of me.
Before there was a mother, there was a woman.
A woman who had dreams and aspirations.
A woman who stood at the altar and said I do.
A woman who grew a baby in her belly.
A woman who’s been with me through it all.
A woman who deserves to come out of hiding and stand beside me. Today. Every day. For the rest of my life.
She needs me…and I need her, too.
QUESTION: What did you love doing before you were a mother?
CHALLENGE: Incorporate at least one thing from your answers to the question above in the next week. Actually schedule it!
Edited by Lisa Hoelzer and Megan Roxas.
Image provided by author, graphics by Julie Finlayson.