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Don’t Wait For Your Family To Give You A Mother’s Day Gift

On Mother’s Day,  Facebook is flooded with articles of What Moms Really Want For Mother’s Day.

For most of us, it’s nothing major.  It’s a day where we don’t have to take care of anyone else. Where we can sleep and have some alone time.

An opportunity to recharge.

But for many of us, it’s simply an appreciation for what we do every day.

My friend’s husband wrote this message on her Facebook timeline today:

Happy Mother’s Day to the glue to our family!  The lady that makes it all happen!

Oh, yes. YES, YES, YES!!!

Acknowledgment!

That’s it!

And this isn’t to say that husbands don’t do a lot or that they aren’t an integral part of the family machine.

But boy that would be nice to hear.

Because moms get shit done. And they get it done with efficiency, forethought, and an attention to detail.

 

They perform some seriously impressive logistical gymnastics.

They keep things running smoothly when all hell breaks loose.

If it’s lost, if it’s broken, if it’s due in twelve hours, if it’s impossible, moms find a way to make it happen.

Even when they are sick.

And so, Moms, I’m putting this out there to you.

On this Mother’s Day, don’t wait for your family to give you the perfect gift.

Give it to yourself.

Give yourself the gift of self care.

Because you are the glue.

And when the glue breaks down, then the family falls apart. And then you’re all fucked.

In the long term, take care of your body. Break a sweat every day.

Make time to rest. Get enough sleep. Sleep is the zamboni for your brain.

Invest time in finding a person (or people) you completely trust to spend time with your children. Because there’s no greater stress than feeling like you are the only one who can take care of them.

Find something that makes you happy. Really happy. And then do it. Regularly. Just because you have kids doesn’t mean you don’t get (or need) to have fun anymore.

Ask for help when you need it. We all need help sometimes!

Spend time with your friends.

In the short term, if you like having fresh flowers, don’t wait for someone to get them for you… get them for yourself. Book yourself a massage. Take the damn day off. Schedule a man-pedi. Go to the movies. Book a weekend at a hotel. Whatever gift you’d really like, get it!

You’ve earned it!

Sure, it would be nice if someone did this for us. But that’s not always how it pans out.

This Mother’s Day, don’t wait for your husband or your children or anyone else to do this for you.

Acknowledge and appreciate yourself.

You deserve it.

And just in case no one else has told you today, Happy Mother’s Day to the glue in your family!

 

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I CAN please more than one person per day. As long as I start with myself.

So I’m over feeling guilty about taking time for myself.

And going out with my friends.

And getting massages.

And accepting help.

In the past 6 days, I have done all 4 of those things.

I even did one of them twice.

You know what?

The world didn’t end.

My kids didn’t self destruct.

And neither did I.

In fact, quite the opposite happened.

It seems the more open I am to all of that, the more it keeps coming into my life.

Remember how Miss P, Number 4’s bus driver, offered to come help me with my laundry?

Well yesterday she actually came over.

And she said she’s not just here for the laundry.

She’ll help me with anything.

An. Y. Thing.

And I don’t feel guilty.

Instead, I feel hopeful.

I told you how I went to meet my new friends in the city last Saturday.

Well, last night I went out to dinner with an old friend.

Yes, twice in one week I went out with friends.

I haven’t done that since before I was married.

I was feeling kind of guilty about it.

But I’m so glad I went.

She’s a good friend.

And she offered to help me with something on the blog.

Something I’ve wanted to do for a while but haven’t been able to pull off by myself.

More help.

And more hope.

And remember the massage?

Well as soon as I set that up, I got a message from a woman who owns a salon in town, and she offered me a free facial.

How cool is that???

See what happens when you get rid of that guilt nonsense?

Some pretty good shit.

Now, I love my kids.

And I love being a stay at home mom.

It’s my choice to do that.

But sometimes it sucks.

A lot.

And, to be honest, I was starting to resent my kids.

I lost myself.

And neglected myself.

And feeling like I should always put the kids first was not making me a better mom.

It was making me a worse one.

My kids were walking into the room and instead of greeting them with a smile, I was almost annoyed by the sight of them.

But now I have an opportunity to miss them.

Not going out with my friends?

It didn’t make me a better wife.

It made me a bitchier one.

A little change in perspective.

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That’s all it took.

And I am benefitting.

My kids are benefitting.

And my husband?

Let’s just say a sizeable deposit was made last night.

Yep.

Winning.

Across the board.

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This is your brain. This is your brain on a massage.

I used to be awesome at doing nothing.

Before I got married and had kids, I would devote at least one weekend day to totally vegging out.

Sweats, the couch, and an MTV Real World marathon.

I miss those days.

I don’t recall having trouble relaxing because I couldn’t turn my mind off.

And now it seems with the addition of each child, the level of anxiety and the amount of crap I worry about has increased exponentially.

If I took a whole weekend day now to do nothing, to recover, I would feel a tremendous amount of guilt.

Even taking just an hour, I feel my brain starting…

You should be doing the laundry.

You should be cleaning the office.

You should be getting a head start on dinner.

You should not be immobile.

And I really noticed this on Tuesday.

When I got my free massage.

For an hour.

From one of my new favorite people.

The Awesome Massage Therapist (AMT).

I walked into her house.

She directed me to the basement.

It was neat.

And clean.

And warm.

And quiet.

Everything that my house is not.

We had some small talk, and then she gave me a couple minutes to strip down and get under the covers on the table.

“You can take everything off or leave your underwear on. Whatever you want. All your parts will be covered,” she said.

And I immediately went from eagerly anticipating to worrying.

Should I take my underwear off or leave them on?

What does everyone else do?

Will she think I’m lame if I leave my underpants on?

Shit…what underpants am I even wearing?

Jesus.

Shut the hell up and get on the fucking table.

So I got on the table.

I tried to remember why I was there.

I started to get excited.

But I was still having to exert energy to shut that stupid voice up in the back of my head.

You should be at the Y.

This is an hour of cardio you are missing.

You should have given this to your husband.

He really needs it more than you…

I told myself to shut up again and enjoy it.

Stay in the moment.

Stay in the moment.

AMT came into the room.

“Just get in your zone,” she said.

So I closed my eyes.

And started to relax.

Until I realized that I hadn’t shaved my legs.

Since October.

Shit.

I haven’t really thought about it at the Y because no one looks too closely.

And I’m not super hairy.

But AMT was going to be up close.

And touching me.

But she did tell me that she did yoga.

So I thought, well, if she does yoga, then she won’t mind a little body hair… I mean people who do yoga are all granola-y and in touch with their bodies, and down-to-earth and accepting.

Right?

Well, if not, she had made it through one leg, and she hadn’t thrown up on me…

To take my mind off the hair on my legs, I started obsessing about what the cellulite on my thighs looked like as she pressed her fingers into me.

Yeah.

This massage was really wiping all my stress away…

I told myself to shut the hell up for the 15th time, and I started to get back into my zone.

Then I really got into my zone.

And I was jolted out of it.

By the sound of…

…my own snoring.

Oh my God.

A nice big snort.

AMT must be watching the clock move in slow motion, waiting to be done rubbing my hairy, cellulite-y, ratty underpants wearing, snoring ass right about now…

I spent the rest of the time trying to stay awake, afraid I’d have another 6th grade Presidential Physical Fitness test episode.

I did have 2 more snoring attacks, but I’m pretty sure I made it through fart-free.

At least I hope I did.

And so that was my hour of “relaxation.”

My body felt great.

Now if I could only find someone who could massage my brain…

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Until then, I guess I’ll have to stick with the wine. 

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