Take care of yourself


You never know what life is going to bring your way.  On Sunday, we were planning to knock out a giant list of to-dos as a family around the house, but each thing proved more time consuming than anticipated.  It was also harder than anticipated to get “full family enrollment”, if you know what I mean.  I yelled. I complained.  I demanded, with all the consequences I could imagine . . . to not much avail.

Basically, what I’m saying is, I had some really strong wins on the parenting front. 

The boys are tired of moving.  They don’t want to unpack any more boxes.  Heck, we’re ALL tired of moving.  We know the move is an enormous blessing, but we’re human, and we’re so done with spending every spare waking moment sorting, organizing and unboxing things.  (Raise your hand if you’ve been here. I know we’re not alone.)  It’s wearing on us all, and some of us are handling it better than others at this point.  Looking straight in the mirror at this mama, who is past my threshold and needing a break.

When it was time to leave for Noah’s second soccer game of the weekend, I was cooked. 

I was emotionally spent.  The list of things I really needed to get done over the weekend was not much smaller than it was when I made it.  Add to that, it was the weekend after GNO, when I’m usually already mostly comatose.  I just couldn’t go.  In my heart, I have a goal to make every single ball game, so of course, the inner dialogue went rampant.  I had to tell my boy I was going to stay home to work on the house, even while his sad eyes confirmed the mom-guilt I was already feeling.  With hugs, kisses, and well wishes, they pulled out of the driveway and I waved goodbye.

Then I sunk down onto the bench in the hall and ugly cried.

I couldn’t hold it together for one more minute. I was feeling tired and overwhelmed.  Knowing I was alone made it feel safe to let it all out.  Until suddenly, the door popped back open and sweet Oaks appeared around the corner with my purse and keys, since they’d decided to take my car.  When he saw my tears, he immediately burst into tears and ran to me, asking what’d happened.  I hugged him tight, assured him all was well, that Mama was just tired, until he finally, reluctantly, returned to the car.

Off they went to the soccer field, right next to the skate park.

I pulled myself together and got to work.  Almost right at that moment, a got a text from a dear friend saying,  “It’s the third time I’ve thought of YOU lately!  Let’s get some time together.  . .”  I voice texted her back how much her timing meant as I was still wiping the snot and tears off my cheeks.  The timing of her message confirmed that I’d made the right choice.  Sometimes a mama just has to take care of herself.

Even if that means upsetting one of her beloveds temporarily. 

Turns out, the reason they were taking my car was to take their scooters, to the skate park.  Noah’s game was delayed.  While they were waiting, Oaks was practicing all his moves at the skate park.  After sticking the landing of one of his tricks five times in a row, he went for a sixth time and his wheel slipped.  He came crashing down on his wrist. (So thankful it wasn’t his head!)

The paramedics confirmed the break and Scott loaded him into the car to head for the hospital.  

Meanwhile, I’m in my zone in my closet, figuring out a creative way to hang my hats on the wall when Scott calls with the news.  Since I’d already met my quota of ugly crying for the day, I went straight into packing mode.  I gathered all the overnight gear, the luvies, pillows, blankets, sweaters and snacks.  Then I loaded the car and headed that way.  On the drive over, the mom-guilt tried to kick in high gear again.  “If I would have been there, this might not have happened.”But this time, I wasn’t having it.

I needed that time, and his fall had nothing to do with me.  

It turns out that I needed that time even more than I knew, because after a full day of Mama-nursing on Monday, Oaks woke up with a huge, painful swollen hand yesterday.  So we got to make another full-day trip to get the cast sawed off, re-X-rayed, painfully remolded and re-cast.  I needed to be grounded and somewhat well-rested.

All is well with Oaks today.

He has a beautiful new, blue cast and it’s shorter than the first one.  (Yay for that!)  And I’m here with a reminder for you today on “World Mental Health Day”:

Take care of yourself.  

Do it despite the fear of upsetting others.  Do it despite the guilt.  It’s all a lie.

The truth is you need to be able to show up when it matters most. 

Take care of yourself in some small way today.

to more love,


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