Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome

DSAM17 – Day 29 – Warning Lights

on October 29, 2017

On Friday when I left school, I glanced down at my dashboard and frowned.  Glowing up at me were my low-gas and low-tire lights.  On a Friday, with an hour commute ahead of me, I just wanted to be home.  But, I knew I wouldn’t make it without stopping to take care of these needs.

The irony of me writing a post about self-care tonight, after my husband’s very sweet post yesterday is not lost on me.  But this year at my Rockin’ Mom Retreat, Laura Bruckner’s talk about compassion fatigue and self-care really struck me.

Do you know what your warning signs are?

Most of us are caretakers in some regard.  Small children, maybe grown children, aging parents, students in our classes –  I suspect that very few people reading this blog are void of any other human being who requires their attention on a fairly consistent basis.  And for a lot of us, those humans are pretty tiny, pretty needy, and may or may not carry some extra challenges that can really wear us down.

For example – we are potty training.

I probably don’t need to explain beyond that statement, but just for grins, let me tell you how well it is going:

Last Saturday, she pooped on the (carpeted) floor of my closet.

Today, our “sit on the potty every 20 minutes” game turned into every ten minutes (literally), because in between alarms, she thought it was a riot to tell us that she was going to poop.  And due to the Closet Pooping Incident, we take no chances.  This went on for about 3 hours.

At 5:30 PM, my warning signs began to creep up.

Warning Sign 1:  Anger

Warning Sign 2: An unrelenting desire to eat carbohydrates

I can be patient.  I can be kind and compassionate and loving toward my children.  And, I can be a total b-word.  So when the b-word mom is coming out, I have to find a way to take a healthy break.

My surprise in all of this is how hard is really can be to find the healthy way to take a break.  Before Tessa, when there was just one little one to keep track of, it was easier.  I don’t know if I needed it less, but finding the time to just be on my own to recharge was not nearly as hard.  My calendar has become my best buddy, as a routine has been crucial to finding the time to chill the heck out.  I have found that I am much better at sticking to my strategies when I have them written down.

Walking.

Writing.

Reading.

Wandering through Target.

(There is some debate in our house as to whether that last strategy is *actually* a healthy habit for dealing with stress.)

In any case, I implore you – take care of you.  You must.  This marathon (whatever it is for you) is hard.  You need your oxygen mask; you cannot take care of anyone else if you cannot breathe.

Do you know what it takes to take care of you?

Mom’s Night Out….  Thankful for this tribe. ❤

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