A self-care manifesto for tired moms
Dear, tired, hard-working mom,
I give you permission. Shut your phone off, sit down for awhile. Grab some hot tea, light a candle, take a deep breath. Eat an apple, admire it's color, enjoy it's tartness. Slow. Down.
Your work is good, but it's not everything. Take some time to enjoy the work of the Lord and the fruits of your labor. Enjoy your kids, your back yard, the colors of the sunset. Take it all in.
Play. They won't be asking you for much longer. Build a tower, wrestle, make a fort, read a book, sing a song. Live this moment with your littles. Don't think about what you should be doing. Just play.
The to-do list is not your master. Let the dishes pile up, dance in the kitchen, bake something. Remember what life was like before responsibility - remember what you love, who you are.
Kiss your husband -- hold his face and look into his eyes for a few long seconds. Smile at him. Laugh. Remember those silly things you used to do -- tickle, poke, flirt. Listen. Say yes.
Say no. You don't have to please everyone - only Jesus. Make space for yourself, your family. Stay home once in awhile. The world will go on without you - and your family will thank you.
Drink a cold glass of water. Take your vitamins. Shower. Go to bed early. Eat your vegetables. Go for a walk. Make a doctor's appointment for yourself. Feed the body that bore your children.
Pray. Open your dusty Bible, eat it up, soak it in. Cry out to God. Forgive. Remember how loved and treasured you are. Remember how loving, strong, powerful, present, and beautiful He is.
Take care, love.
(P.S. After a postpartum year of four sinus infections, hand foot mouth disease, anxiety, and now shingles -- I need to take this letter to heart. Self care is important. Our bodies and spirits need daily nourishment; we are not made to operate on auto-pilot.)