As a mother, it has always been interesting to me on how we... as mothers find the balance that we need in our lives. It seems like the world just keep yelling at us to "keep going, do better, be everything to everybody, and you need to be PERFECT!" When that was going on, I found it hard to be able to hear that sweet, calming voice that said "just do the best that you can and trust". I don't think this is even just a mother's dilemma ...but a Woman's too. Why is that balance so hard to find?
I believe the worst part is that our kids and families watch us almost fall apart, trying to achieve the PERFECT MOM or WOMAN role. I look back with a lot of regret that I didn't take better care of myself first. It always makes me think of the stewardess on the airplanes when she reminds you ...in the case of an emergency to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before your children. That way you have the ability to help them. Why is that such a hard concept to learn? When we take care of ourselves first (not in a selfish way) but in a healthy way, then, we have a lot more to offer our family and friends why? Because we are full, our barrel is full and there for, we have something to give. I don't even want to tell you how many years that I continually tried to keep serving others from an empty barrel. ( that hurts! ) Worse than that, physically and emotionally and spiritually, it takes years to recoup from constantly being on empty and still moving.
I spoke with a dear friend the other day who is struggling over some of the decisions of her children. As I listened to her, I wanted to ask her what have you done for yourself lately? Are you happy? Are you taking the time you need to fill your barrel? Have you done the best that you can? If so...then just trust ,that your kids have it in them, to make the right decisions. I know the feeling of watching your kids make decisions that you wish they wouldn't and some times just knowing what the consequences will be( because you have a little experience in this area)...makes it even harder to watch. But I am learning (of course it was the hard way) to just focus back on me and what I am suppose to be doing. I do know that kids (any age) watch more than they listen. Motherhood is one of the best and hardest jobs that there is out there, so remember to take it in stride and be patient with yourself.
So I hope you enjoy this poem about taking care of yourself first. Understanding that the only people we can change is ....ourselves! Thanks to all of you, that have continued to remind me of this and who have set the best example for me.
Start With Yourself
When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country.
But, it too, seemed immovable.
As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it.
And now as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realize: If I had only changed myself first, then by example I would have changed my family.
From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country and, who knows, I may have even changed the world.
Words written tomb of an Anglican Bishop, Westminster Abbey London