Save Yourselves!

Pushing antioxidants should not be a top priority Sunday morning, unless you want to head out the door to church with a child who looks like that inflatable blueberry kid from the Willy Wonka movies. This I have learned. Magoo can do some really amazing things with frozen blueberries.

Periodically I let one of the kids shower with me. I say “let” them but really I force them to shower with me so I can clean my body without worrying about how much trouble they’re getting into as the steam fogs up my brain.

towelEvery time it’s the same dilemma. When the shower ends and it’s time to get out, I slide open the glass door letting in freezing cold air. The wet child begins to shriek or whine as I step into my bathrobe, “Ahhhh…I’m FREEEZING! HELP!” or in the case of Magoo, “AAAHHHHHH WAAAHHHHHH.” He’s not much for verbal skills.

Within a few seconds, with my bathrobe safely in place, I snatch them up in a warm cozy towel and carry them off to be clothed and cuddled. During those few seconds I always wonder, “Maybe I should wrap them up first and then put my bathrobe on.” Then I think, “NAAH! They’ll live. Besides, if I wrap them up first, then I’ll have to get them completely ready while I freeze in all my glorious mama nuditude for 15 minutes.”

It comes down to this. If I take a few seconds for myself first, I’m much better equipped to help my family for the long haul. They say (this time I’m not talking about the ominous overarching “THEY” but rather airline steward-persons “they”. Is that right, “steward-persons”?) that in the event of an emergency you should put on your own oxygen mask before helping those around you. I thought about this as I was getting out of the shower this week and Magoo’s little teeth were chattering.

I wrapped him up and started thinking about how taking little snippets of time for myself can make me a better mother on so many levels.

-Sometimes it means a quiet moment of prayer and reflection before anyone else is awake.
-Sometimes it means hunting for frogs in the middle of the night with one of my best friends.
-Sometimes it means locking myself in the bathroom for a couple of minutes to have some time where no one is TOUCHING ME.
-Sometimes it means going for a late-night drive alone along the waterfront downtown, up past the Space Needle and across the 520 bridge with John Mayer and Aqualung blasting on my stereo.
-Sometimes it means forgoing some sleep in order to get the laundry done so I can start tomorrow fresh with no leftover chores from the previous day.

As I’ve been going through my post-partum struggles this year, my mom has reminded me of that old adage about not being able to pour water from an empty pitcher into other people’s glasses. It’s true.

This year I’ve been running on half-full most of the time. If today I pour out what would have been a totally reasonable amount a year ago, I might come up empty. There will come a time in my life again where I am overflowing and able to give freely to anyone in need. I have to keep going back to the Source and I have to keep doing what I need to do to maintain my reserves and my sanity.

Whatever it takes to fill you up, do it. My real life friend over at RGLHM wrote a post today after a long blogging absence that I found so profound. Just reading it helped to top me off a little and give me the resolve to change some things in my life that need changing.

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