With two small children and a man who just had major surgery I have plenty to do. At the moment the kids are on day one of my summer nap plan, meaning that if they remain quietly in their rooms for an hour they may have half an hour extension of bed time. DD is sleeping. My cats are curled up on the couch, one on each side.
We are in the midst of one of our howling New Mexico dust storms. The sky is brown and a step out the door means choking on dirt and debris. I listen to the wind howl and relish my minutes all to me. They won’t last long.
I love my family and love being here to take care of them. But after being constantly on call and on the go for several days and nights in a row I have made an extra effort to look after myself a bit today. DD is definitely on the mend so I lay down for a while and had a nap myself while he and the kids watched movies earlier. And now I write, just for me.
I look back at my marriage and think how it is that Man-baby couldn’t stand if my entire attention wasn’t focused on him all the time. It was absolutely exhausting. I still feel like I haven’t rested up from it. My newborns were lower maintenance and less work than my ex-husband.
DD’s first night after surgery was about as restful as the first nights at home with my babies but, like them, looking after him when he needed me was a gift I was happy to give. He has always given me my freedom and granted me my independence. That is the difference. He has never demanded anything from me. Thus I am happy to give because it is my own choice from my own heart.
But now that the immediate needs are met it is good to re-charge myself. The house and garden chores are a bit behind but they will still be there.
My years of raising my kids alone have left me with a strict rule that I cannot adequately meet the needs of others if I don’t take care of mine first. No child thrives with a mother who doesn’t not model how to take care of one’s self. No man loves a woman for long who does not love herself.