Quote of the Day: Be sure to secure your own oxygen mask first, then assist others. Pre-flight safety instructions
In the case of drowning, maintain your own safety and reach, throw, assist while attached to your own life-saving device.
These are important words of survival. What good are you to others if your breathing is impaired or you’re over your head, drowning in the sea of life? How can you effectively care for others if your own health is suffering?
Would you ever consider going off by yourself, without your family? You might bring a friend, or you might just need time to take care of yourself. So many women give of themselves so much that they completely neglect their own needs. They wake from much needed sleep to nurse a baby or calm a nightmare. I’ve helped kids get to school and take care of them in between runs to the bathroom to puke, or while my body is shaking from the chills and fever of the flu. No one else will do it, right? Not really. I could have called a friend. I could have insisted that their dad come get them. I could have said, “I just can’t do it.” But, a real woman doesn’t say that, does she?
When women hear messages like, “Take care of your neighbor,” and “Don’t live a selfish life,” followed by, “You are only truly living when you live for others,” they take it to mean that they shouldn’t even buy themselves a pair of new socks, much less get a massage, or go off on a weekend by herself. If she were to do any of those “selfish” things, she feels she must earn it, win it in a radio contest or something like that, or sell her own plasma so that the guilt of it all won’t ruin the experience. We give our friends and family our time, our health, and our possessions. But, what if what they really needed was a happy, healthy mom (friend, daughter, wife, etc)? Have you ever considered the message you’re sending your daughters or your sons by being totally self-sacrificing? What could they learn from your self-care and watching you pursue your dreams?
What fills you up? Do you need someone to rub your sore muscles? Would you relax as you soaked your feet and had someone paint your toes? Do you need to eat dinner at a restaurant where they wait on you? And, if you do, don’t wipe up your own mess! Coffee with a friend? New socks? Or, do you need a morning of listening to music and sipping hot tea because you’re stuffed up from allergies?
The women’s retreat from this month, a recent massage and pedicure, and time with a good friend have done much to heal me and fill me with the energy and love I need to care for others.
Journaling Prompt: What’s your oxygen mask? Find a way to take care of yourself today and write about it. How do you feel?
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Another beautiful post, Mary. I hope it influences others out there. Because years ago I read an article that focused on the fact that men don’t make apologies for being what women call Selfish. They think they’ve worked hard and feel justified in rewarding themselves with a round of golf or a fishing weekend and so on.
The article, written by a man, questioned why women didn’t think to reward themselves.
For some reason, this article hit home. I stopped not asking for help and so on. I started going to the spa upon occasion and pampering myself a bit more. The response, “I don’t know why you didn’t do this before.” *hub turns newspaper page*
A Cancerian and nester by instinct, I’ve learned to include myself in the nest.
You are a great role model for my girls. It brings me happiness to see you filling yourself up, taking care of the unique blessing you are. Love you my sistah.
Fabulous and much-needed post!
Walking fills me up, with my daughters, when the walk is so much more than just exercise. And live music. Concerts are the perfect food for my soul.
*sigh* I would love to relax at a retreat like that – it sounds wonderful and renewing. Is this the one you went to with Roxane? 🙂
This is a great analogy. Quiet time and/or talking to writer friends fills me up.
Wonderful post. As more and more of my friends are having children, I understand what you are saying. It must be very difficult to balance.
Mar, how appropriate, especially since we’ll be donning the oxygen masks soon. 🙂 It’s so true, and cannot be said enough. You and I have both gotten better at this in recent years. I’m proud of us! And the message needs to keep being passed on.
Counting down…six more days! Got my manuscript pages yesterday afternoon!
I do crave outside time, and solitude,
and music is a great.
I think I realized pretty early on in the parenting years that I needed to recharge, even if it meant going out as my husband came in, with dinner on the table, but me not sharing it, and a trip to the local library, and parking the car under a street light somewhere, and reading until I knew bedtime was nearly done. It didn’t cost anything
strange , but it worked.