Hey ladies! Had some beautiful weather which was nice. Hope you are getting some too this week. We might be all over the place having each season it seems this week . Well that is February for you here.
Welcome back for this weeks Torah Women Thursday. Today’s topic is one pretty much every woman can relate too. Self care is the term that is used.. I really don’t like it though. I would like to make up a new name that is all encompassing for purposes and needs that doesn’t get confused with all the stuff you see about it today, LOL. Hmmm, drop a comment below for any ideas you have?
So many women put themselves on the back burner and for such long extended periods of time. There can be so many reasons for this. Including absolute necessity which hopefully doesn’t last too long. Many of us tend to do this a lot particularly when we have kids and/or when seemingly super busy.
So many women say I just can’t take care of myself in the ways I would like. A lot of us say we are so busy and just don’t have the time. Does this have to happen? I daresay, NO!
Even if you are busy there is often something that can be adjusted to free time up. Even something as simple as getting off pinterest and go for a walk, even with the kids. That is good for your body. You won’t be as useful to your children, to your husband and certainly not to yourself if you don’t make taking care of yourself a priority.
Taking care of yourself is part of loving your family. When you are at your best or at least better than you would be otherwise, it benefits all of you. Making sure you are drinking a decent amount of water, eating healthier, exercising, enjoying something that is meaningful to you or helps your relax and enjoy are all important ways you can do that.
If you have noticed much about me yet, you would see that my family is extremely important to me. They are my biggest earthly priorities. Hubby is first and our kids are a close second. Yah is absolute first as a whole to me. Yet, I still take time pretty much daily to do things for myself that is good for me. It makes me a better believer, wife and mom. Bible study is extremely important and I start my day early with it, I get into that when my husband leaves for work. Sometimes I craft after. I often watch the weather, I have no idea why that is a something I like to do but the national weather just is something I like to watch. Who knows why but I like to have that going in the morning lol. I’m a big book nerd so I love to read whenever I can. Music is dear to me so I have started listening to some more again. I am trying to listen to podcasts as can. I always have many things that calls out for my attention. Balance is something I have to keep honing in on. It has been built into my day to do the things that I need to do like Bible study and prayer and also the other things that make up who I am. In our home it has been made a priority to be able to do things for ourselves and my husband was adamant that I do things for myself and the kids know I get to have my things too.
There are times though that when I am feeling pulled in so many directions and feeling stressed that it is my own fault. Those are often times I am not managing my time as good as I could and I am not being diligent in making sure to get the Bible study and prayer in like I should and need. Sometimes that is because I am choosing to do things that are distractions. I can sometimes spend too much time on my phone and I could have the tv on too long. Now I am rarely having tv on to watch other than the weather channel I put on. Crafting can at times get out of balance for me too. I have had to adjust things depending on what we have going on. Sometimes I get unbalanced and need to get refocused. On top of being a procrastinator sometimes, I really can’t stand when that creeps in but am grateful it is a lot better. Always room for growth.
When we don’t evaluate where we can make changes we can stay stuck in a perpetual busy mode. We aren’t meant to live continuously in this constant state you see so many “running to and fro”. I used to be so busy too, but years ago I BANNED busy! I read about the need to do that and years later agree just the same. I still have that book and read many times. Of course we can have a busy day and even a busy season. Sometimes we just can’t avoid it. No longer a way of life though! That is what needs to get banned, busy as a way of life when it is unnecessary. Are we being honest about the necessity of it?
However when we are constantly busy and running to and fro it does a disservice to us when it is unnecessary to be doing. So much of what we say we need to do as a society is unnecessary. We don’t always have to entertain our kids and cart them around to every activity we can get them involved in. We don’t have to run here and there constantly. We can limit the ramming around to a healthier amount and adjust how we run our errands to be more efficient and helpful to managing our homes and families. Tasks don’t always have to be done NOW. The list can go on and on. Some things can wait even half an hour so you can do something you like or want to do. It doesn’t mean you are being an idle woman when decide to take a short time to read something, craft, go for a walk or whatever else.
When we unnecessarily run ourselves ragged it certainly doesn’t help us. How loving are we when we are constantly burnt out, grumpy, tromping around irritated because we can’t catch a break and whatever else we do when in those states. How joyful do we feel when we are like that? Are we displaying the Fruits of the Spirit when we are running on empty especially when we don’t need to be? Are we really in prayer and studying and reading His word very well during those times?
When you go out of your way to see what you can eliminate from your schedule or at the very least move it around to be more balanced it benefits you and your family. I remember years ago the first while that I was trying to lighten my load I kept thinking, but I have to do this, I have to do that. If I don’t do this with my kids then I am not being as good a mom as I could. It wasn’t easy and even now at times I have something that pops up I don’t want to eliminate or say no to but it definitely is in my best interest to.
Different seasons are harder to do this. My husband required the kids to leave me alone at times. He made it lovingly clear that I got to do things too and let mommy be. He made sure I got to go to knit night to learn how to knit and crochet and spend time with those ladies at the local library for the knitting club. I didn’t always go every week but I did go for those few hours and loved it and sometimes rarely missed. If it wasn’t for his encouragement I probably never would have gone. I felt the guiltiest I probably ever had up until then. It felt wrong to go by myself for myself. Now I can knit and crochet things I would have at one point laughed at if you even suggested I would be able to make them and understand it all so well. Going relaxed me, I got to unwind, I could look for books and not have to pay attention to little kids. I could just be me in the moment without having my focus on children at the same time enjoying what I was doing and there was nothing wrong with it. I loved being there with my kids but I also loved being there learning, practicing and chatting. I am grateful I even had those opportunities because my husband had that desire and made it work. There have been many times he changed around things he needed or wanted to do so I could do something. Those times made it even more meaningful to me because someone else adjusted what they wanted for ME. I know many women don’t have the same opportunities so I recognize how much of a blessing that truly is.
Taking care of ourselves IS loving our family. We should be loving ourselves enough to take enough care of ourselves so we can be a better believer and every other thing that our lives are about. I can’t stand this self care movement that has become incredibly selfish. I also have had my burned out seasons. I know what it is like to feel like can’t wait to get out of the house alone. I don’t know a single mom that hasn’t felt guilty for doing something we enjoy or just want to do. It doesn’t make you a bad mom. When it is taken to the extreme is when it isn’t good.
Being cranky, burned out and busy when we don’t need to be is not a badge of honor. It hurts you. If it feels like it makes you a better believer, wife and /or mom beause you are always doing something for someone else or always running to and fro, it probably isn’t doing you any good service. It just isn’t good for us. We aren’t meant to be in that state constantly.
Make adjustments for the season you are in. Prioritize what needs to be and drop or rearrange what you can to benefit your families needs.
If you are in a hard situation or season and you really are truly unable to do any of these things much make the most of it when you can. I pray for those who are unable to. May He bless your ability to and help you find things you can do to have the time and chances to achieve it. I understand how hard it can be. We didn’t have ability to have dates alone away from home for many many years and didn’t have anyone to take the kids for us except rarely. It was hard but we did make the most of our situation and seasons.
We also understand busy from necessity. I was in hospital for preterm pregnancy problems at 31 weeks for our daughter. A week later she was born at 32 weeks and 5 days. She was in NICU for nine days. Those two weeks are a blur. Most of it I was alone for. Some of it my husband was there regularly, some our son was there. My husband had to work and we had a four year old. He put 1000 miles on the car in first week. I spent over a day running back and forth to hospital every couple hours when I should have been sleeping so I could pump because I needed a new one since mine wasnt working and not a single one at the house worked. It was beyond exhausting. I had just delivered a baby a couple days prior after an already exhausting week of preterm contractions and issues. I did not prioritize myself and I crashed. I will never forget when the nurses so lovingly encouraged me to take some time for myself. They saw all us parents running ourselves ragged to be there for our children. I hated leaving our new baby there. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. Thank Yah for the Ronald Mcdonald House. It wasn’t healthy to run on empty and putting myself last. There was another mom who needed it way more than I did, she had to be encouraged too. I will never forget she and her tiny little one. Even in times of necessity we MUST take care of ourselves. Not doing so makes it much harder. It feels terrible to but it must be done.
It is harder to truly relax on and enjoy the Sabbath when we are constantly not taking care of ourselves. We need to make caring for our temple a priority and in turn showing love towards ourselves and loving our families. We treat ourselves and them better when we implement these things.
So many of us say I can’t afford to do things like that. I think the better statement is you can’t afford not to!
It is easier to live out the fruits of the spirit, loving ourselves and loving our families when we find ways to take better care of ourselves. However we can in even little ways then in turn we truly benefit us and our families. It is worth it and you will be able to grow in ways you will be grateful for.
Until next time!