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Goodbye Mama Guilt, Hello Grace

This week I had an epiphany.

I am a busy person.  I always have been.  I’m not a fan of quiet, although I desire it from time to time.  It was natural for me to take on grad school while working, running a business, being a single mom, and volunteering my time.  Some people will say this “busyness” is unhealthy – that I need to learn to be okay with the quiet.  I honestly believe I’m just not wired for much down time.

Recently my “busyness” got the best of me.  It always catches up to me for a day or two each month.  I freak out.  Then I get my sh*t together.  Period.  That’s how I’ve always worked.

Until this week.

I had a fun date planned with some friends to meet up at a winery on a Sunday afternoon.  It was my weekend with the kids, so I arranged some help to watch the kids.  I went to the winery on Sunday and had a fantastic time.  It doesn’t get much better than girlfriends and wine on a beautiful fall afternoon in Minnesota.

Sunday night hits and I feel horrible.  You see, earlier last week I took a break to go to yoga class.  I love that class and it absolutely fills me up.  My mom watched the kiddos for an hour and a half and I got to speak to my inner yogi.  Good stuff.

A few weeks before, I had yoga on Monday and a rough meeting on Tuesday night.  Both nights, my wonderful mom stepped up to help out with the kids.

Literally all summer long I have been training for my first marathon.  That meant 3-4 hour long runs every week.  On weeks when I had my kids, that meant more help from family.  Some weekdays I had 8 mile runs.  I couldn’t have gotten through that training without help from my family.

I haven’t even mentioned all the evenings or mornings where I have to tell the kids “Mom just needs one hour to finish this research for school and then we can get going”.

My sweet dog, Izzy, had some sort of epileptic episode this week in the middle of the night.  This was her third episode and it is absolutely eye opening to realize that I would be very broken without my Izzy.  It reminded me to love her and give her my time.

I think this week has been a combination of complete overwhelm, momma guilt, and a little post-marathon blues.

This week was all about life smacking me across the face and saying “WAKE UP!”.  “What the H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEYSTICKS are you doing?!”  I’ve been giving people my time that do not appreciate it.  Things and people that used to fill me up are no longer serving me.  It sounds selfish as I type that, but I promise, we all need to put ourselves first.  If we are not operating at our best, we cannot give our best to our kids, our families, our spouses/significant others.

We all have weeks like this, yes?  I think so.

How we handle ourselves in these weeks is what matters.  I sucked for two to three days.  I mean, I was crabby, tired, and definitely not myself.  Then, I realized I was the only one who could change what I was feeling.  I felt like all this stuff was happening to me when, in fact, I was the one allowing it to happen.

I’m letting go.  I’m saying no.  To all things that do not serve me or my kids. Simply, no.

I’m also learning to cut myself some slack and remind myself of how great I am.

For example, most weeks, I am awake late at night working on research for my graduate degree.  Last night, I hit the bed just before midnight after researching medication options for schizophrenia.  The same bed I laid in 3 hours earlier, rubbing my sweet Emily’s back so she could fall asleep (Yes, she is sleeping in my bed. . . don’t judge).  Or how I was able to get the lawn mowed and bagged between picking up the kids from school and a therapy appointment.  Or how I helped Ryan pick out a new tractor on his XBox game.

We are all rocking it.  Let’s say goodbye to mama guilt and hello to grace.

Hello, grace.

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