Feeling resentful? Angry? When is the last time you slowed down to check your people pleasing meter? There’s nothing wrong with baking cupcakes for your child’s class or running errands for your parents or making crafts for the Christmas Bazaar. But when we say “yes” to everyone because we want them to feel good about us, we wind up exhausted and disgruntled.
Playing martyr may sound like a noble cause, at first. But when we become so run down, taking care of everyone else’s needs and not our own, we’re left exhausted and mad at the world because no one seems to be giving us what we’re giving them.
Even when you try to meet everyone’s needs, people will still find something to complain about. They’ll even make you feel guilty for not doing more. It’s human nature – some people will keep piling sacks of potatoes on your back until your wagon breaks down.
There is nothing wrong with caring for others, of course. But there is something wrong if we are continually neglecting our own need for rest and recreation.
Now is the time to take a step back. You may not be able to take a 2-week cruise around the Caribbean, but there are restorative moments you can give yourself. Here’s a few ideas
- Trade babysitting with a friend and use that time to read, lay in the sun or whatever recharges you.
- Keep a magazine that you love nearby and visible. Savor the pages, even if it’s only a few minutes at a time.
- Talk to a friend.
- Make something with Play Doh.
- Your writing doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s about getting your thoughts out.
- Take a nap.
- Take another nap.
- Play music that lifts you up.
- Leave the laundry and dishes undone and go to bed early.
- Take up a hobby.
Mothering is hard work and we never completely catch up on our rest until our kids grow up and move out of state. But if we can make it a habit to do even a little self-care every day, maybe we’ll be around long enough to smirk at our children when they become exhausted parents.