The Benefits of Staying Home, Resting, and Cleaning the Clutter In Your Life and Mind

Yesterday was supposed to be a very different kind of day than it was, a different kind of busy day. As Moms, I’m sure like me, you plan ahead for things, especially things concerning your children, especially things that concern your exceptional children. I was going to attend a conference that focused on helping kids with autism. I attended it last year, and learned some really interesting things, saw some familiar faces, and made some new friends. But I woke up yesterday morning, and my body was sending me a very different message. The message was “Skip the conference. You’re tired and need to rest. There will be other conferences, events.” I’d been fighting the feeling of exhaustion on every level for the past two weeks. Even my yoga and meditation were only temporary energy lifters, and all the coffee in the world can’t help you when you’re chronically sleep deprived from having a very clingy eight year old sharing your bed all night. Sigh, This too shall pass, I know. 🙂

At first I didn’t want to listen to that voice. I don’t like backing out of commitments I make, any commitments, but especially commitments to help Michael navigate the world better, and be able to pass on interesting information to other Moms who can’t attend some of these conferences due to time or financial constraints. But this time, it was me who couldn’t attend. My husband saw me in the morning and said, “Don’t go. You need to write, take a nap, do some yoga. You need to re-charge your batteries.” I was flying solo to this all day event, as Michael had church, tutoring, then was visiting his paternal grandparents with my husband. It was good too he had time alone with his Dad. He doesn’t get to spend a lot of time with him during the week. I started to cry and said I did want to, need to, stay home, but didn’t want to let Michael down by not going. My wonderful husband said, “You’re not letting him down.You’re tired and need a break. Take it. You’re a great Mom who does so much for him. Plus you’ve got a busy week ahead.” Smart man!

I do have a busy week ahead. As a Mom, every week was busy! I needed to rest and re-charge my batteries, right after I did some much needed laundry and other housework. With the radio playing on my favorite pop rock station, I moved through the house doing this mundane work, but it calmed me. Then, I had lunch, and as I looked around at my clutter free house, my mind uncluttered, and I wrote two poems and a short piece for my creative fiction workshop class I attend at my local library. After that, the exhaustion hit full steam, and I lay down and rested for an hour. When I got up, I felt like a million dollars. Even though I didn’t sleep, my mind needed that break, to rest from all the anxiety about behavior charts, summer camp paperwork, my job, and feeling like I couldn’t learn enough about what else to do to help Michael.

Have you Moms out there ever felt so tired and knew you needed to rest, but as a Mom felt guilty at the thought of saying no to something, to someone? I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling this. But ladies, sometimes the best and most sensible thing you can do for yourself, your child, and your family, is to lie down, rest and take care of yourself. Sometimes it’s good, as I am trying to teach Michael, to change our scheduled plans, spend a day at home to work at organizing our environment, and in that way, organizing ourselves. I will never feel any shame in listening to that inner voice again telling me it’s time to rest. It means I am putting my health first, and that, in the end, means I will stay strong, happy and healthy for the long haul. And so will you when you listen to that voice. Until next time.

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