Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Journaling Exercise: Putting Yourself First

Oy. This lesson keeps coming into my life. Funny, I can say it until I'm blue in the face, I have "take care of you" written all over my calendar, but I haven't internalized it yet. I have a friend that refers to this as the oxygen mask approach. When you're in an airplane and the pressure drops, they say to make sure you put your mask on first BEFORE you help others.

I feel guilty when I do things for myself. I am a stay at home mom of 3, (ages 3, 6, & 9) so my days are pretty busy. I often forget to take time for myself, or I stay up until midnight or so in order to have some peace. BUT, I also don't want to teach my children that being a martyr is OK. I want them to learn to take time for themselves, to understand that it is imperative to have alone time, or together time for the parents, or to be interested in things that have nothing to do with the family, and one can do that and still be a good parent.

I belong to another online group of women, and we've discussed this issue of not taking care of oneself, or not putting oneself first numerous times. I'm amazed that so many women don't, and yet, I'm not amazed at all somehow. It is so easy to deal with other people's problems and ignore my own.

I don't like feeling guilty all the time, and I've asked friends before about where this antiquated feeling comes from. (Feeling guilty because I'm not working outside the home and my husband is; feeling guilty because I can't handle EVERYTHING with aplomb and grace; feeling guilty because I want to take time to read a little, and there's dishes and laundry and vacuuming to do and kids screaming "mama mama mama mama".) Obviously, I didn't listen very well last time I asked!

It's all related to not taking the time to connect with the spirit. Putting pressure on ourselves to be perfect, not carving out time for what is really Necessary.

Sunday, July 15, 2007