We should probably talk…

Foster Parenting

about that buzzword that’s been going around.

Self. Care. 

I know. I don’t know why I felt the need to bring it up yet again on the interwebs. But I think it’s important. And as we are getting ready to welcome our 5th! little person into our home tonight, I thought I may need the reminder too.

You see, there seems to be this debate going on as to how to incorporate self care into our daily routines. People usually list a long list of reasons as to why, we as mothers, need to practice some sort of self care. Julie Bogart from Brave Writer talks about this all the time and I am so grateful for that (and for her).  There’s usually a list of things we should do. Take a bath. Read a book. Do something we love. Go out. Get dressed up fancy.

What I think we are missing in this whole conversation is that the main reason we should care about ourselves, that we should take time to make sure that we are actually ok and not walking around acting like the martyrs, is that we are human beings who deserve to be treated that way.

We are moms, yes. We are foster parents, yes. We are homeschoolers, yes. We clean the house and cook the food and drive people everywhere and get dressed at some point before our husband gets home. We wear all the hats and do all the jobs and budget all the money.

But really, the whole point I’m trying to make,  is that we should stop treating ourselves like crap.

Just stop.

You are worth so much more than that.

Last year my husband and I make a commitment to go out on two dates a month. We traded nights with friends and family, we hired sitters and we found a wonderful respite girl that comes consistently. TWO dates a month. Someone once told us that going out together was an investment. An investment in our family. That paying a sitter was significantly cheaper than renting an extra apartment. He was right. Our marriage has never been better. I look forward to that time with just my husband and no one else. This is not a time for us to bond with friends. It is not a time for us to spend with our kids. It is time for us to be friends. And it’s important you guys. Because we are humans and we deserve it.

This past year is also the year that I gave myself time off. A huge chunk of time on the weekend to reset, run errands, write, sit, get my nails done, shop. This is not something nice that I get to do every once in a while. It’s a nonnegotiable. I get time off too. I’m a human too.

 I started “office hours” as well. From 4:30-7:30ish am and 2-4ish pm. I use this time to respond to emails, make phone calls, work on paperwork for the county and plan our homeschool. This gives me a chance to catchup and plan my day along with providing me with an out to being on call 24/7. I’ll still respond to emails and check instagram during the day but once I started giving myself a starting and ending time for work it doesn’t seem quite so endless. Anyone that works outside of their home knows that they take breaks for lunch and they close their computers and they drive to their house and eat dinner. We are humans, after all.

 Automate the hard stuff. Hire a housekeeper. Get your groceries delivered. Find a sitter. Find six sitters and keep them ready to go. Do it until you are ok enough to find a system. Put time on the schedule where you get to do what you actually want to do. Read a book you enjoy. Knit while your kids are playing. Watch a totally awesome movie in the middle of the day with popcorn and m&m’s. Go out with your friends and don’t feel bad about it for one second.

You get to do this job because you decided to do it. That doesn’t mean you have to be miserable all the time. You get to live a passionate, exciting, fulfilling life. It’s a nonnegotiable.

And you are worth every second of it.

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