From the time the kids were little I have struggled with balancing all the things I needed to do with, what I was suppose to do. I used to think that taking time out for myself was selfish and that is only something you saw OLDER women do. Now I understand why, they had finally figured out ...that if you don't take time out for yourself, then there will be nothing left for everyone else. I have always heard that from those OLDER women, but personally I didn't believe it. I thought I was suppose to be WONDER MOM. I got up early, went to bed late, made their clothes, tried to fix healthy balanced meals, grew a garden, made all their snacks from scratch ( granola, fruit roll ups and etc) I made matching pajamas for every Christmas, plus all the decorations for our home. Ran a small business out of my home, exercised and tried to spend one on one time each week with our VIP child ( Very Important Person) and have Date night with Jeff, every Friday. I Volunteered at school and bused all the kids back and forth to all their activities. I did all that on only 5-6 hours of sleep a night and yet I still felt like I wasn't the mom I should have been ! I was right....I wasn't ! Maybe I was a SUPER MOM accomplishing all that stuff but...I really wasn't teaching my kids that it is important to take care of yourself first,so that you are healthy enough to do for others.
I remember one particular Christmas Eve and we had just finished our Family Tradition of reading the Christmas Story out of the Book of Luke while all the kids and their cousins acted it out. We had our traditional dinner with them and they when family had left and Jeff and I were just about ready to put the kids to bed, prayers were said, cookies and carrots were left by the fireplace for Santa and the reindeers. Everything was done I thought....then I remembered that I forgot to finish the kid's matching PJ's! Now it was about 9:00pm and the kids were probably around 11years old down to 2 years old, and they were eager to head to bed, Santa was coming and they knew that Santa wouldn't come unless they were fast asleep. But I insisted that they stay up a bit longer until I finished their matching Christmas Pajamas. Like I said ,they were already cut out and I had a serger so it didn't take very long, but I did have to have them try them on for size and they kept complaining that Santa was not going to come if they were still up.
Now I was up in my room where the sewing machines were, and I was sewing so fast that I still can't believe that I didn't sew my fingers or two pant legs together. Jeff came up and tried to tell me how unhealthy I was being for me and for the kids. I just couldn't seem to make him understand how VITAL it was to have the kids in their matching pajamas for Christmas morning. I told him to put on another Christmas movie and then send one of them up at a time for their fitting. By 11:30 PM the darling pajamas were done and put on each sleepy little head. They were so tired and so was I, Jeff was still looking at me shaking his head and I of course felt like the Ultimate mom, because I did that for me kids!
Now before I go any further, just in case there are any young mom's out there reading this. Just for the record.....I didn't do it for the kids (because they didn't care at all what type of Pajamas they had on) I did it for me and for the beautiful Christmas morning photos that I took, after having only a couple hours of sleep. No...I was not the SUPER MOM, I was the Silly mom who thought I had to do it all. I still laugh and yet feel guilty when I look at those Christmas morning photos, the kids did match but so did the looks of exhaustion on their little faces, they had waited for hours to go to bed on Christmas Eve. Jeff finally put his foot down the next year and said if the pajamas aren't made before Christmas Eve were aren't going to worry about it right Lynn?
Balancing Act ...is exactly what life is all about. I think it is for all of us, yet maybe it is a bit more confusing when you have kids. So now my kids are mostly grown, two are married and two left in High School and yet I still realize that I need to be conscience of my time and how I spend my days. After having battled with Cancer for the last 7 months it feels a bit weird to now have time again for me. There are days that I still wonder if I am doing enough to keep fighting off cancer? It is just that you are so ACTIVELY doing something everyday from the time you are diagnosed, till the end of your treatments and then BOOM all that stops, and then you have everyday life to think about again. I know longer have my cancer dictating my schedule and life and so I am trying once again to find the balance. Trying to put some fun back into my life, plus regular family schedules and yet do my exercises, massages and stretching (for the surgery site) and trying to read up all I can on eating healthy and still taking naps. The biggest thing I have to remember is to stay on top of my thoughts. One of my dear friends said this once to me..."Don't let anything rob you of the time you have, by having the discouraging thoughts." She was and is so right, some times I think WHY SHOULD I PLAN THAT OR DO THAT, WHAT IF THE CANCER COMES BACK, MAYBE I SHOULD BE DOING THINGS IN PREPARATION FOR THAT? You may wonder what preparation for that means to me? Well, like getting all their scrapbooks done, writing letters to them about all the important things in their life, in case I am not here. Getting every thing cleaned and organized. Making all their quilts for them and all the grand kids so, even if I don't get to be here when they are born... then at least they will have something hand made with love from their Nana.
I would go on, but I am afraid that all of you are going to do an intervention on me... and turn me in ! Ok, that does sound crazy, but I am sure I am not the only cancer survivor to think that way. So the Balancing Act continues for this two time cancer survivor. I am trying to remember not to let anything rob me of enjoying each day, loving my family and friends and fulfilling my personal mission here on earth. I look back on those days and wished I would have paid more attention to those OLDER MOMS because I think I would have been in much better shape... emotionally, spiritually and physically.
So take this piece of advise from this now OLDER MOM....you need to take care of yourself first, your thoughts, your habits, your body, your health, your relationship with your Heavenly Father. You need to find out what your purpose is here on earth. You need to learn to love yourself. You need to get rid of all the baggage from your past so that you don't pass that on to your children. You need to eat right, sleep more and take time to prioritize your life. Motherhood is the best but it is vital that we watch the example we are setting for our kids, remember they are always watching! Make sure you are more Balanced or... you could turn out like this OLDER MOM! :)
Take care and know that you are the best, you are loved and appreciated... you are of great worth!
Ok, I am going to get down off my soap box and head to bed. Good night dear friends!
"Most of us are trying to balance work, home, and a family life. We tend not to accept the early symptoms of burnout and carry on our daily lives." ____Yasmeen Abdur-Rahman,
"We have overstretched our personal boundaries
and forgotten that true happiness comes from
living an authentic life fueled with a
sense of purpose and balance." ____Dr. Kathleen Hall,