This has been a tough two weeks for Michael and I with both of us fighting cold viruses and adjusting to summer schedules. Short tempers and exhaustion have been prevalent on both sides. I have noticed that when Michael has been pushing the envelope with getting his way and frustrated at his lower energy level, I too have been fighting back or rather yelling back and not modeling the calm, composed reaction I want to show him for handling conflict and stress. Yesterday afternoon, after a particularly bad fight coming home from the library, I told Michael to go to his room or the basement to calm down and to leave me alone in the kitchen. I was attempting to calm down and cook at the same time. Not a good idea. He chose his room. I told him if he came out of his room before five minutes were up, I would be going to the Holiday Inn. What possessed me to say that you say? Exhaustion. I need to sleep more due to this virus, get back to my meditation and yoga (hasn’t been happening this week), and leave the housework alone. Of course, I haven’t been doing anything of the sort. Plus, I am looking for another part-time job to supplement the job I already have. We have major renovations to do in the house, and I feel immense pressure to deliver more financially. Of course, this could all wait until I am over this virus, but me being me I push myself hard. And now, I have no patience and energy left for me or anyone else.
It struck me last night when Michael and I were talking about ways to calm down before yelling, hitting or breaking things, that the options I was giving to him I was not exactly modeling myself. Ok I don’t hit or break things, but I was yelling. I needed to recharge. I wasn’t taking care of myself. What kind of example was I to Michael if I didn’t practice what I preached? I needed to get back to self-care for me which includes, resting when tired, meditation, yoga, pleasure reading and writing, and maybe a nice walk in the neighborhood. Until my energy is fully back, Zumba is unfortunately out of the question. So thanks to Michael, once again I looked at what I needed to fix in me to better help him handle his stress and anxiety. As he gets older I see how hard this is for him. I need to be strong for him. I need to be strong for me.
How are you Exceptional Moms out there faring with self-care this summer? Are you taking time for you at this very challenging time of year? Are you modeling healthy reactions to anger for your kids and showing them it’s ok to be upset just as long as they find ways to handle it calmly? If not, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Call up your Mom friends and ask them what they do. Talk at your support groups, and if you can, find a good therapist or counselor who could give you some pointers. But, above all, take care of you in small ways everyday, especially if you’re not feeling well physically or psychologically or both. You running on empty does not bode well for anyone. Trust me on this. Here’s to the remainder of summer being a time of relaxation, fun and happiness for you and your children. Until next time.