Prior to my weekend, I had a very different plan for today’s post. However, I was reminded of something this weekend that I needed to share. It seems like I am one of those people that needs to learn the hard way when my body needs a break. About a year after my second child’s birth, I was running myself ragged. I ended up getting mono, compliments of my daughter, and was in bed for a week. I don’t get sick very often, but when I do I get really sick. It is as if my body is trying to tell me to slow down. Since I am sure that I am not alone, I wanted to share why every mom needs a break. Based on what happened to me this weekend, I realized I was long overdue.
I took Friday off to get some business work and errands done. Prior to getting down to business, I went on a morning run. I had so many things on my mind and I got lost in my thoughts as I was running. I was listening to an amazing podcast called Mother’s Quest and it was so relatable to what I was going through at the moment. You see, the morning started with my daughter pushing my buttons and I lost my patience with her. I was angry with her and I was angry with me as I was running and my adrenaline was already high prior to my feet even hitting the pavement. As I was listening to the podcast, I kept thinking about how I should have handled things differently. Unfortunately, my run and my reflection session were cut short.
I have no idea what happened, but one minute I was running away and the next minute I was face first on the sidewalk.
Thankfully, outside of some pretty bad scrapes, I am okay. I did ruin my favorite pair of running leggings, but at least I do not have any broken bones. It could have been a lot worse. I didn’t realize it at the time, but this fall was something that I needed. Like they say, everything happens for a reason!
After my run, I had every intention of coming home and being a badass. I had errands to run and a lot of business work to get done before the kids got off the bus. I cleaned myself up and met a friend for brunch. We had a good time catching up. However, as soon as I got up from the table, I knew that I was going to have to change my plans for the day. My hand was pretty sore and there was no way I was going to be able to do any house cleaning. Yeah, I got out of cleaning bathrooms!
Change of Plans
When I got into the car, I received a call from the school. In the interest of keeping my daughter’s life private, I am just going to say that it was not good news. I was devastated and I went home and I cried. I cried for so many reasons that I am not comfortable sharing at this point. No one wants their child to experience pain and I was upset just knowing what she has been going through. When she got home, I was strong and let her cry. She needed me and I needed her at that moment. Thanks to Only Love Today, a book that I have been reading, I knew that I needed to put everything aside and love her. I needed to be there to hug her and listen to her. The work and the to-do list could wait.
The next day, I woke up and knew it was going to be a long day. My knee was swollen and my leg was aching. I had a training class to go to in the morning, so I got ready and headed out. The class was great, but sitting for a long period of time was not easy on the knee. I got home and I was in pain. Once again, I put the list aside and sat on the couch and read and watched Nicholas Sparks movies. It was a relaxing evening and one that was long overdue. If you are a regular reader, you know that in addition to this blog I also have a full-time corporate career and run two different side business. I love every minute of it, but I don’t typically have a lot of time to just take a break.
I figured that I would use Sunday to catch up on everything that did not get done over the weekend. Life had a different plan.
While my daughter was doing better, I could tell that she needed me. She helped me with some of the household chores that had to get done and then we cuddled and spent the day together. In the morning, I was a bit annoyed because I knew that I had so much that I still had to get done before the workweek started again. As the day progressed, I realized how much we both needed this special bonding time. We do spend a lot of time together, but it is usually doing chores or running errands together. Lately, there has not been many days in which we just hang out together and do nothing.
Listen to Your Heart
As moms, we need to give ourselves the time to breathe and recharge. Despite all of us trying to be superheroes, our bodies and our minds have limits. There were so many signs that indicated that I needed to just stop and take a break. While it would be great to have that break be on a tropical island, it does not have to be anything extravagant.
My “break” looks different depending on what is going on in my life. There are days in which I know that I just need a kid free day to just to be Diane and not mommy. That is the nice thing about being a working mommy, you can take a day off while the kids are in school. Stay at home moms or work from home moms, I know that you do not have that luxury. If you need a kid free day, do not feel guilty about leaving your kids. They will be fine and you will find out you will be an even better mom if you are happy and are taking time to give yourself a break.
Mom Needs a Break
There are days, especially since my kids are in school, in which I need to recharge by spending time with one or both of my kids. I know there are times of the year in which I need to lean into work. During that time of the year, I am most productive when I get to recharge by spending time with my kids and being reminded of why I live the life that I do. There are other times in which I need to reconnect with my husband. Being a dual working, busy family makes it a challenge to find one on one time. If we cannot get a date night in, we will both take a day off of work and spend the day together. I love those days!
No matter what your break looks like, you need to take one. You will find that you are a better mom if you take the time to make you happy. My best advice is to schedule those breaks on calendar. Do not wait until you are forced to take one and have a crash on the sidewalk, like I did. While I am still recovering, it was a good reminder of where my priorities need to be. My health and my family always need to be the priority in my life.
What do you do to give yourself a break?