Is it selfish to take care of ourselves?
My mom is 89. She busted her butt for our family.
She took care of the house, the pets, the groceries and she babysat 15 other kids as a licensed daycare worker.
Her house was spotless!
I’m talking “don’t touch the china” spotless.
At any moment someone could walk into that house and seriously wonder if anyone lived there.
We also had mega meals on the table every night. These were not microwave boxed soups or frozen lasagna. I’m talking spaghetti sauce that takes 3 days to cook, fresh rolls with Italian sausage, homemade lasagna, roast chicken, pork and beef. You get the picture. My Mom loved to cook, she was good at it and everyone loved her for it.
Mom didn’t drive so the only time she had to herself was on Saturday mornings when my father drove her to get her hair done and that was followed by food shopping and back home to be “Mom and wife” again. She knew her role in the family, she loved it and she did it well.
I don’t ever remember her taking time for herself, reading a book, going out with friends or leaving us kids because she was so stressed, she needed Mommy’s sippy cup and a time out. The kitchen was her domain, that’s where she was her happiest.
Flash forward 40 years.
I’ve been married for 28 years and we decided that I too would be the parent who stayed home with the kids. We wanted our kids to have access to at least one parent at all times and that worked for us.
I never imagined at almost 50 with 2 grown kids that I would still be home, but life happened.
In our 28 years together, i’ve had more than 30 surgeries/medical procedures, we lost a baby, I went into menopause at 27 and then at 36 Breast Cancer, adding in chemo, 6 additional surgeries and chronic fatigue, and somewhere along the way my body got tired and I was forced to stay home longer than expected.
Then something strange happened to me, I started loving being home and caring for my husband. I respected that he worked hard for our family and I wanted to keep the house clean, do the bills, grocery lists and attempt to cook foods he may or may not like. Hey I never said I took after my Mother, at least the food is fully cooked 🙂
And that’s all great.. Except…
Somewhere along the way I’ve started to believe that taking care of myself, having something for me, enjoying something other than caring for my family and wanting more is selfish. I felt like a bad Mom/wife if I did something for me and I have forgotten what I even like anymore.
Recently I’ve been really sick with something I’ve battled for almost 15 years.
I showed signs of Multiple Sclerosis. I was walking like I was drunk, pain, swallowing issues, you name it, I’ve been sick as hell. Test after test and the neurologist tells me its not MS.
THANK YOU JESUS!
But whats wrong with me?
As my Dr. decides its best to treat the symptoms, we talk about self care, diet, stress, how health issues can wear a body down. I’ve had a ton of them, my body is exhausted and sometimes stress can manifest itself as symptoms of very real illnesses and we need to take better care of not just our bodies, but our emotional needs as well.
It sounds crazy. I should know this, I raised kids, I have pets, I have a very happy hubby, I have a clean house, the groceries are always taken care of, the bills are paid, but crap on a cracker I have totally and completely ignored myself.
Think about it, do you know what your body needs?
Do you know what you need emotionally?
What your heart yearns for?
What your soul seeks?
And IF you do, do you take the time to practice self care?
Do you give your body & mind what it needs to stay happy and healthy?
I do not!
I am sitting in my office and I am drawing a complete blank as to what I need or want.
If you’ve ever read any previous blog posts you would see I love to write.
So I came here to write.
I don’t know whats next for me and that’s ok, I have a faith in God that tells me he is in control and I’ll be just fine BUT, our bodies are temples and he wants us to take good care of the ones he gave us, no matter how broken we feel.
So I am going to embark on a self care journey.
I am going to learn what I need emotionally, physically and mentally.
I’m going to cut myself some slack, cry if I need to, spread my wings, read, write, pray, meet new people, try new things and heal this body from the inside out.
Thanks for hanging out with me and wish me luck!
13 I can do all things through Christ[a] who strengthens me.