Last night as the stress and hustle of the holidays surrounded me and the exhaustion of several days' lack of sleep came crashing around me as my daughter got mad at me at bedtime and looking me right in the face, peed on me. I would love to say I took a calm breath and handled the situation with grace. In reality I jumped up in anger and surprise, took her toy away, took her to her room while calling for my husband for assistance then left her crying there on her floor while I stomped down the hall to change my pants. It is not how I prefer to handle situations and I found myself in tears later at the disappointment on the gap between how I wanted to handle it and how I responded.
Sometimes as a mom I fall short of my own expectations. Partly because my expectations do not fluctuate to account for exhaustion and other factors. But it was once again a reminder of the need for self-care. Yes, yes, I know, I say this every couple months and every couple months I rebuild a practice just to have it fall off when new demands (like Christmas) are introduced. Somehow, even after all these lessons, my own self-care is the first thing I drop from my list.
Last night I realized that taking a breath for me is truly taking a breath for my family. They rely on my so much that if I am not calm the whole system quickly comes crashing down. And as my dog's wheezing increases as she struggles to gain her own deep breath, I need to be taking more breaths for myself to brace my heart for the day when she gives in to eternal rest. Even as I type I feel my heart shatter and resist this thought and I have to pause to take several deep breaths.
I'm grateful to take time to breathe. I'm grateful that my family understands when I react less than gracefully. I'm grateful to have their forgiveness and patience when mine has run out. I'm grateful to forgive myself for being human. I'm grateful to have a heart that feels so much and for all the years I have had with my sweet dog. And I'm grateful to see, now more than ever, how I need to be taking the time for self-care and deep breaths for myself and my family.
Who are you breathing "for"? How can you find ways to add self-care into your day? For the moms out there, how do you find balance?
May today provide forgiveness and second chances. May we find balance and deep breaths. Have a beautiful day!