Sometimes I just need a day.
I could blame the pandemic or the incessant life or death decision-making of the last few months.
I could brush it off as my anxiety or my full plate of homeschooling, work, and grad school.
I could dismiss this feeling as overwhelm and over stressed, under appreciated and misunderstood.
But, friends, the truth is that sometimes I just need a day.
Not five minutes before my kids wake up.
Not enough time to shower.
Not only a hot meal.
Not just any other daily activity that we’ve somehow shifted to the “self-care” category of motherhood–the ones we celebrate when men (I love you, dads, but I speak truth) are expected to have hot coffee, meals, and showers daily but moms should somehow be grateful for these “luxuries”.
Sister, I can’t keep going on the gratefulness of one hot mug of coffee in the morning.
I can’t continue to be thankful if I manage to shower no more than twice a week.
I absolutely can no longer move forward when my time working from home is counted as my “down time” just because my kids aren’t beside me (notwithstanding the eleventy interruptions I get for snacks, drinks, or to “watch this”).
Friends, this is a painful truth, a call for help, a wide-eyed end-of-my-rope shouting from my darkest and most cob-webby places that I can’t do it anymore.
And I expect you can’t either.
Because I know you struggle, too.
I see you with your mom bun and three-day dry shampoo aimlessly wandering the aisles of the grocery store that you got excited to go to JUST so you could get a break for an hour. And I can see the exhaustion behind your mask.
I notice you because I AM you.
My husband is loving, thoughtful, and generous. He is a caring dad and a hard worker.
But here’s the thing . . .
If I’m telling you the truth, I need to tell you the WHOLE truth.
Part of this is my fault.
See, I am a fixer. I’m a nurturer, a doer, a striver, a manager of all the things.
My plate isn’t full because others loaded it up, friend. I did that. I heaped on the meetings, the projects, the responsibilities.
I said yes and OK and reluctantly agreed to take on things that didn’t make me happy and now here we are tired, worn out, and exhausted beyond recognition.
So I need a day.
Yesterday I threw a birthday party for our child with extra needs. I loved decorating the cake and hanging balloons with little LEGO faces on them.
I loved seeing my son’s face light up when his few friends arrived because, honestly, being an extreme parent comes with a load of fears and not making friends is near the top.
But here I am, the day after hours of decorating, planning, cooking, cutting, scooping ice cream, twirling blindfolded kids for games, pinata pick-up, gift wrapping, smiling, and I. NEED. A. DAY.
And here is what I’m learning:
My well-intentioned, sweet husband wants to help me but a lot of the time I struggle to let him.
I have a hard time handing over control and trusting he will do it right (aka MY way).
I can’t seem to be honest when I need help or when I need a break.
But, lean in sister, because here is where it gets good.
When I ask, when I am honest and humbled and just wave the white flag and am willing to ask him to step in and give me some relief (without taking it back over), he is happy to help, excited for an opportunity to ease my load, and I am a much better person after resting.
Maybe, for you, it’s a girls’ night, a day at the spa, or a long run.
For me, it’s a good book, hot coffee (or wine), and silence. I am talking I can’t hear the word “mom” for miles.
Whatever it is that you need to recharge, please ask.
If you aren’t married, seek a grandparent, aunt, or trusted friend. It may feel foreign at first—it did for me, but I was better for it and so were my husband and kids.
So today, I need a day and I’m going to take one. Not just 10 minutes for coffee or 30 seconds for a power shower. I’ll be MIA until I can breathe again.
For you, it may not be today but reach out, get help, plan it, and put it on the calendar—in pen so you can’t cancel.
And refuse to allow yourself to feel guilty for having basic human needs. It doesn’t make me—or you—less of a wife, mother, friend, or Christian. It makes us honest and really stinking brave.