It’s 6 a.m. and I am up sweeping and mopping the floor. I know if I do it now, I won’t have to fight little people off the floor for a bit. The floor is pristine by the time my little lovelies wake for school. I help them get breakfast, blog a little, fix hair and drop kids off to school. I come home to do laundry and exercise then shower and run kids to appointments.
I continue my day by feeding kids, more laundry, more cleaning and lots of frustration as little tornadoes follow me around and undo all of my work. I help with homework, do crafts and read to my little ones. I multi-task feeding myself while reading part of a book on childhood anxiety. I drink my water and avoid going for the Pepsi.
It’s 9:30p.m. and I am finishing the dishes as exhaustion sets down on my shoulders like a four hundred pound dumbbell. I glance around and take in the clutter on the table and counter, then I proceed to dust crumbs from my feet by rubbing my foot on my pant leg. I worked all day, barely taking time to nourish myself. What was my reward? A partially clean house, children crying because I lost my temper, sticky spots on my recently cleaned floor, clean and folded laundry, kids taken and picked up from all of their activities and school.
And not once did I ask for help. No, not once. Because I can do it all. I SHOULD do it all.
And then I sat down and cried. I cried from exhaustion. I have been going like this for weeks. I have been doing it all; I even made bread. And my spousal unit, where was he? Well, he was at work because the new guy he hired to help ease the workload quit after two weeks and he doesn’t have time to hire and train another new guy before his September deadline.
So I was SuperMom.
But I wasn’t. Even after my late nights and early mornings attempting to get everything done, I noticed a strange thing. At the end of the day, everything looked the same, except I had spent the day exhausted and yelling at children. (Contrary to popular belief amongst my children, I really don’t like yelling at them.)
So in the morning, I got up at a regular time. I still got the children to school, but then I went to a Yoga class at my gym and I left my phone at home. Towards the end of the practice, the instructor said, “You need to heal your body and take care of yourself before you can even begin to take care of someone else.”
But I had been taking care of myself. I was exercising…with my kids. I would walk stairs and bark orders. Or, I would run and push them in the stroller and try to avoid WWIII. Somehow, I don’t think that’s what she meant.
I have forgotten myself. I have forgotten to be selfish. I am the MOM, and I should do EVERYTHING.
Because, you know, the President will visit tomorrow and I have to have clean floors.
Laying there on my yoga mat, I had an epiphany; one I’ve had before, but always seem to forget. I’m NOT SuperMom and nobody expects me to be, except for me. And in that moment, I vowed to recommit to taking care of myself. I vowed to find a better balance. I promised that I would take care of me, alone, without the children.
And guess what that means? A messy house, partially done laundry and maybe, just maybe, asking for help.