My mornings are a 1000 times better when they start with a workout.
When my alarm went off at 5 am today, I did not want to get up.
I’m so glad I did it anyway.
I came home feeling energized and looking forward to the day ahead.
I wanted oatmeal for breakfast, not a chocolate chip cookie.
I even had a few minutes to read in the quiet before all the kids were up.
Those few minutes with my coffee and something to read fills me up far more than sleeping in ever does.
In the past 2 years I’ve come to realize that having 2 hours of “me time” before I start on my 14 hour shift of “mom time”, really puts my head and heart in the right place.
In those 2 hours I don’t have to think about anyone but me.
Does that sound selfish?
For a long time I thought it did.
And I felt guilty that I wanted time to fill up my own cup.
What I didn’t even realize was that it was more than a want; it was a need.
Ultimately, I ended up burning out over and over again, and sometimes becoming bitter, as I filled everyone else’s cup while never bothering to fill my own.
I had less to offer everyone else, because I didn’t take care of myself.
Learn from my mistakes ladies, you can’t do it all!
To be a better you, you need to spend some time on yourself.
In my early morning me time, I sweat, I smile, I laugh, I pray, I sing, I run, I chat with friends, I admire the sunrise, and I thank God for a new day and His love for me in it.
It fills up so many different parts of me.
It makes me better physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Most of the time I’m on the clock as soon as I’m home from boot camp.
There are breakfasts to make and my husband’s lunch box to pack.
On the days that I get out of bed with the kids, my attitude is less than stellar.
I just want to wake up slowly, not plunge into the day.
But when I’ve already been up for a couple hours, cultivating my soul, I can plunge into the day with a smile on my face.
Maybe you’re thinking, “but doesn’t cultivating my soul mean sitting down and reading my Bible?
Yes, it does.
But it also means working in your garden, reading a book while the baby naps, going for a run and moving that amazing body God created, walking on the beach and being soothed by the waves, or laughing with friends.
God ministers to us in so many different ways.
We don’t need to box Him in.
He’s much too big for that.
Thoughts of self care are filling my mind as I think about the upcoming school year.
There will be a lot of new: teaching all 3 big kids, having a non napping toddler underfoot, and a husband starting his MFA program.
It is a lot to take on, and I need to be up to the challenge.
In the past, I would have tried to do it all, until I finally just fell apart.
But I am learning every day, the value, the vital need in fact, for caring for myself.
In that way, I can better care for those nearest and dearest to my heart, my children and my husband.
Mamas, I encourage you to make some time for yourself this school year..
It might be a 10 minute walk around the block before your kids wake up, or a monthly night out with your friends.
It might be a daily, or weekly run, or reading in the bathtub with candles lit and the door locked.
Whatever it is, it doesn’t have to be a burden to your family.
It’s probably going to take some work, some adjustment, some sacrifice (i don’t always want to get up at 5).
But in the end, it will be worth it.
It will be good for you.
And for those you love.
All the best,