I had a huge to-do list this week. Every week I think it can’t get any busier, but this has been a crazy week. My husband was out of town and our oldest daughter was in DC on a school trip. This left me and our youngest daughter to take care of all the usual stuff and continue housebreaking our new puppy. All this while dealing with sleep deprivation…puppies are like babies, they don’t sleep through the night!
My to-do list is sometimes overwhelming, I have two teenage girls and my husband and I both work. Between the kids’ busy schedules of school activities, dance and sports, work and errands, I have days when I collapse into bed exhausted.
Not so long ago, I was a control freak; I would not ask for help and I found it hard to say no, which explains why at one point I was leader for both daughters' Girl Scout troops (and “cookie mom”) and a committee chair for our local Relay for Life. I was tired and seemed to catch every cold that passed by, and here’s my other big confession, I was cranky….a lot.
My life changed in an instant one day, I got sick and had to have major surgery. Recovery took months. I had to rely on other people to do just about everything for me–my kids had to clean the house and do laundry and my husband did the grocery shopping and drove the girls to all their activities. I had an epiphany; the world did not stop revolving just because I was not “doing it all.” I realized that for years when I had been creating my huge to-do lists, I had forgotten to put myself on that list. I made sure my girls got everything they needed and some, but never took time for myself and this was why I was cranky and sick a lot. I was not taking care of myself.
These days I make sure some “me-time” is on that list and there are days where I am at the top of that list! I took up tap-dancing and will not miss a class unless I’m sick. I go to my monthly book club meetings and I get together with friends regularly. I am a much better person these days; I am a lot healthier and not as tired and I feel my kids have a better mom. You really need to take care of the caregiver to be in a position to give the best care. The first thing I did when my husband came home today? I handed over the dog leash and went for a nap!