I run on empty.
I tell myself it’s not really empty and it’s just what moms do and I try to not look at that gauge that is blinking that it’s almost empty and yet I push and push and push.
I think it’s noble. The push. The forgetting of self.
The filling up.
It’s kind of the nature of our society to push everything until the last drop.
We wait to get gas till the light warns us that the tank is empty, we save the last drops of milk, we scrape the peanut butter from the sides of the jar – and we do the same with our self. We push and give and push and give and we often ignore the warning lights telling us to refuel.
It’s hard to remember that you matter when you’re exhausted.
In fact, when we’re exhausted it’s so ridiculously hard to keep perspective because we’re just trying to get the next thing done on the list of never ending to-do’s.
I look at culture and society from years past – I look at the fellowship that women had – time together, helping each other, that utopian idea of barn building and moments of breaks. We don’t seem to have much of that in our culture – especially the community. Instead, we have weeks that are crammed full – packed with tremendous amounts of things to do and pressures and deadlines and never ending to-do lists – and not much space in the hyper schedule to simply chill.
Moms, there is no guilt in needing a break.
I believe, in order to give, you must make sure that you are replenished.
Sometimes we don’t talk about that need. We brush it under the table and ignore it with I’m great and no worries and yet, yet we’re burning out.
If your tank is dangerously low all the time then you will lose sight of the beautiful extraordinary and yet still kind of ordinary role that motherhood has in your life and the lives of your children. It can slip into drudgery. And in the drudgery will come discontent, sadness, fatigue and disillusionment.
I know. I’ve felt it.
Oh my goodness have I lost the joy and happiness in life.
It’s when I starved myself from my own needs and martyred and felt guilt over saying no to the busy and yes to myself.
So I’ve learned to take breaks.
Yoga here. Coffee time. And then, a couple years ago, by an absolute gift, a week in South Carolina with some sweet girlfriends. We had grand plans – go dolphin watching, visit shops, tour – and yet, we spent hour after hour after hour sitting at the edge of the Atlantic with the surf washing over us. We just sat. And talked. And sat. And decompressed.
Moms need moments of still.
Let me repeat that.
You need moments of still.
Moments of you.
Moments where you can just be you.
Now, I know it’s hard. I cried when I left home for those eight days last year. But, I came home better, stronger, and more intentional.
This post isn’t about hopping on a plane and leaving. It’s really not. Even though I know that there are somedays when that seems like the ideal option. And feeling that? That’s not bad – so no guilt for those motherhood days or feelings either. For real. We’re all real here and in that realness we’re admitting that there are days when we’ve had a crazy enough.
This is about recognizing the need for rest and recharging that is so easy to overlook.
You see, for years I didn’t give myself permission to leave — I’d come up with excuse after excuse after excuse to not take care of myself all in the name of motherhood. And I became worn out.
So today, I’m talking about being willing to recognize that some days it is okay to let the kids watch a movie and you grab your favorite book and a cup of chai and you just read. Maybe you schedule a date with your friends to grab coffee. Maybe you go in the backyard and work on your gardens. Maybe you stay up late to watch movie with ice-cream. Maybe you take the long way home. Maybe pizza is the answer.
You must take care of yourself.
If you don’t you can burn out. I did. I just didn’t realize it because I was so stubborn in thinking that the right way to be a mother was to never stop giving and I forgot to take care of me.
So today, I’m giving you permission to give yourself a break.
It doesn’t make you less of a mother. Not at all. In fact, I believe that by cultivating space within your schedule to take care of you that you will be a better, more intentional, mother.
I write. I play piano. I speak. I read. I garden. I travel. I drink Starbucks. And I have days where I’m super thankful for Hulu or Netflix or Minecraft. And that is all good.Recharge, sweet mother, recharge.
This is my encouragement to you today.
oh yes, and if you’re ever wondering if you’ve done enough read this. please. with over a million likes and millions of views, I’m telling you we all agree – you are enough. Read -> Why Being a Mom is Enough