Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Securing your own oxygen mask first

When my youngest daughter was a baby, I remember attending a Mother's Day Tea, where the speaker was encouraging us mom's to take better care of ourselves and our needs.  She called it putting on our oxygen mask first, just like the directions on an airplane.  Oh sure, it made lots of sense.  How much better could I care for my family, if I indeed was rested and filled up?!!  Probably lots.  Probably with lots less complaining and irritation on my part.  I didn't want much, just a few minutes in the shower undisturbed.  Maybe read an entire chapter in a book, (make that an entire chapter in a book not about parenting!), in one sitting.  Maybe finish a cup of coffee before it got cold.  Perhaps, while reading my book.  (If I could figure out a way to read a book, drink coffee, and shower at the same time...well, talk about the ultimate multitask!! )

At the time I was a stay at home mother of four.  Of our three oldest, one was in high school, one was in junior high, and one was in elementary school...and none of them was old enough to drive yet.  Within one week, all attempts at self care were abandoned to the frenzy of  get the kids out the door, dinner on the table, off to karate, ooh, the baby's stinky, life that is motherhood.  Then my husband brought me home a box of dark chocolate hazelnut candies for mother's day.  And I hid them.  And every couple of days, I would sneak away to my secret hiding place, and savor a bite size hunk of heaven.  A little treat.  Just for me. 

Sometimes that's all we need.  Just a little treat.  Just a brief moment, where it's all about us.

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