I never imagined that at the age of 40 I would be mom to seven kids. Just the sound of that scares most people I run into. Throughout this foster to adopt journey I have lost myself more than once. It is so easy to get worked up in helping and saving the children that many times we forget to take time for ourselves, at least I know I do. But I am learning to take better care of me one day at a time.
When you have seven kids personal space and alone time are merely myths. You can’t take a shower much less go to the bathroom without the sounds of little footsteps following you down the hall. And if you do get a free minute to yourself try sitting down or calling a friend, the kids will come from nowhere needed their shoes tied or a pull up changed. It’s an endless cycle. Beautiful but endless. This makes me time almost nonexistent.
But there comes a time when you have to learn to just let go and take care you. I’m not talking just the physical you but also the emotional you. Yes as a mom we must take time to fit in our own doctor appointments, cancelling them for the third time does not set well with your PCP. Make the appointment while the kids are in school or get a babysitter, heck have the hubby take time off to watch the kiddos, whatever it takes get there. Once you are there be honest with your doctor. He can’t treat you if he does not know what’s going on. Next listen to what he tells you to do. I know that’s hard but sometimes we just need to do what we are told. No arguing just do it. I have problems following through with this myself, but I have been thinking what if something were to happen to me who would take care of my kids? My husband and I have talked about this and jokingly he said “I would find a young someone to help me raise them we will be alright” Then I said “Jokes on you sweetie, no one in her right mind would agree to help you raise 7 kids lol” But in all seriousness it’s up to me to be well enough to care for my kids. So I am learning to make time to get to the doctor, take my medication, and exercise even if it’s just a few minutes a day.
Then there’s the emotional side. There are days, like yesterday, I feel completely drained, defeated, and questioning myself if I am even cut out to be a mom. You know those days. The boys fight all day, the baby is cutting a tooth so she cries all day, then your 1st grader misbehaved something awful at school that the teacher sends home the third note for the week. Those days where you just want to find a small closet,grab yourself a Dr Pepper and a doughnut and hide. These days are when we need to focus on our emotional self. I have found that even just a few minutes of “me time” can make a world of difference on the not so great days. The kids will be ok for a few minutes while you go to your room. Try grabbing your Bible and read a few of your favorite verses, or read a few pages out of the book laying on your nightstand. Go outside and just sit on the ground and look around at Gods masterpiece. It’s all around us from the trees to the sky to the river and grass. Breathe it in. Take it in. Clear your mind. Take a few minutes just for you. I personally started writing this blog as part of my me time. Its not about how many people read it, its about me clearing my mind and writing our story for our children to look back on later.
I am also a wife and it is important for me to remember that as well. My husband and I try to do something every month just the two of us. It can be as simple as going out to dinner or going shopping without the kids. We also do bigger things from time to time such as going to watch a NASCAR race, riding on the Harley, or going to watch the Green Bay Packers play. It does not have to be big just as long as its just us. The important thing to remember is that it’s our time together as husband and wife not as dad and mom.
Learning to make time for myself has been one of the hardest lessons in my adult life. I have always been the care giver not the receiver. I am many things to many people. I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend, a foster mom,an neice, a granddaughter, I am Momma C, but most of all I am Crystal. In order to be all of the things listed I have to take care of Crystal first. By God’s grace I am doing so one day at a time.
From our beautiful chaos to yours take time to learn who you are today.