Let that shit go. Wash, Rinse, Repeat. Mother’s Day. The joke’s on us, isn’t it? Let’s be honest: Every day is Mother’s Day. We are ALWAYS on duty, a 24/7 full-service one-stop shop. So, here’s what I’m thinking, and yes, it’s a bit radical, but I’m going to give you a Mother’s Day gift anyway … a Hall Pass, a reminder to give yourself a much-needed break in the middle of all of life’s crazy. As in, you have no other option but to take it. I’m even going to go out on a limb and hashtag it: #MomHallPass
Let me lay it out for you: You are a great Mom, even on those days when you think you’ve fallen short. You are a great wife, even on those days when you fantasize pulling off a Thelma & Louise. You are a great daughter, even when you avoid your parent’s call because you “just can’t deal.”
What you are, what I am, what the Mom Next Door is … is depleted — wiped out, exhausted from being everybody’s roadie. And the month of May, with all its blossoming flowers, shows us no mercy.
It’s high time for some no-nonsense self-care. No one’s going to hand it to you – so I am. Read closely. This To-Do list is all for you.
1. Don’t stress about dinner – order in, especially if it’s one of “those’ days. Why wait? Order in TODAY. You’ve got your #MomHallPass. You don’t have to cook unless it relaxes YOU.
2. Next time you go to the grocery store – ask yourself, “What do I want?” — The first time I did that was after my three daughters went off to college, and truthfully, I was lost … I didn’t have a clue what I wanted. It was all about what my kids like, my husband likes. One grocery shopping … that’s all. Start there. Make it all about YOU. This will force you to remember what it is you actually like … and I promise, kale does not make it into the Top 10.
3. If your kid is not following the “Plan” – let it go. I’m personally working on this. I tried it yesterday and I felt so much better, and my daughter felt so much better. (She told me so). Win-win. It’s their life, their choices, their successes and failures, their life lessons. I’m a “saver” … but sometimes you gotta stand back, buckle your seatbelt, and let them save themselves.
4. Sex. You’re so tired … the last thing you want … Just do it. If it’s not with your significant other, then find that special time for yourself. (Yes, I did just write that). It’s all part of self-care. And if sex isn’t on the table … then get into a bathtub with candles and your fave music, and just veg … The key is, it’s your time, your body. The part of you that belongs to you … the woman (not Mom)—yes, she’s in there somewhere. Let her out.
5. Buh-bye Peloton, treadmill, trainer, and dictator Spin cyclists. That’s work/torture … if weather permits, take a walk/stroll to nurture your soul, with your dog or no dog, but definitely with your playlist and NO RETURNING CALLS during your precious Me-Time.
6. I’m still working on this one … I’m Lisa Barr and I’m an iPhone-aholic. I LIVE on it, breathe on it, for work/kids/everything else. Take an hour – just one (not a lifetime) – off your phone/Facebook/Insta and the rest of those time/energy social networking suckers to hear the rhythm of your inner voice – the true connection. If you listen to you, then I promise others will follow suit.
7. Demands … My husband tells me every day to just say NO. I’m the quintessential YES WOMAN. Guilt is my middle name. I hate hurting anybody, and I lose sleep over it. But choosing No when you truly feel it, is best for everyone. Saying Yes but meaning NO leads to more depletion, anger, and resentment.
8. BUT, always say YES to you … it’s not selfish. Do you want a massage – do it. Do you want to buy that little dress you’ve been eyeing or those shoes – ABSOLUTELY YES. Don’t wait for that special occasion. Do you want a glass of wine before 5 p.m. – have a rosé at lunch? Umm, yes, please. I was so stressed the other day by so many demands – work and family combined — that I just said, “Enough. I’m SO done.” And I turned off my phone, shut down my computer, grabbed my dog into my arms and watched a Netflix guilty pleasure — a show that my husband hates (not on our ‘list’) in the middle of the day! Huge departure for me – but afterward, I felt great, guiltless, and energized to take on my world.
Here’s the deal. Sometimes we just need a break and our lives simply won’t allow it. The raw truth is we can blame everyone else for feeling mentally and physically wasted, but it’s on us — WE won’t allow it. We are afraid to let go of those things that “define” us, shackle us, To-Do List us.
So … #MomHallPass
We CAN do this, do US first. The greatest Mother’s Day gift that you can give yourself is permission to embrace YOU. Who’s IN?
Lisa Barr is the award-winning author of THE UNBREAKABLES and the historical thriller FUGITIVE COLORS, which one the Independent Publishers Book Award (IPPY) gold medal for “Best Literary Fiction 2014” and first prize at the Hollywood Film Festival (Opus Magnum Discovery Award). In addition, Lisa has served as an editor for The Jerusalem Post, managing editor of Today’s Chicago Woman, managing editor of Moment magazine, and an editor/reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. She is also the creator and editor of the popular parenting blog, GIRLilla Warfare. She has been featured on Good Morning America, Today, Fox & Friends for her work as an author, journalist, and blogger. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and three daughters (aka Drama Central). This article was originally published on Girlilla Warfare.
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