Mama, You Are Everything
You are only one person. But, here you are, filling some incredibly large shoes every day. You are the healer of scrapes and bruises, the warrior who battles monsters under the bed, the eyes that see far into the future and know your children’s infinite potential. Mama, you are the glue that puts all of the pieces back together day in and day out, tirelessly, lovingly, and with the best intentions.
Mothers are often reminded to take care of themselves. But, sometimes the lessons we learn come in packages that take time to unwrap. We can hear something once, twice, or a thousand times, and still not understand where all the pieces fit.
You Cannot Pour from an Empty Cup
I can’t tell you how much I hate that phrase. I see mamas pouring from an empty cup all the time! Now, maybe you should not pour from an empty cup. Perhaps it’s better to get your needs met before you meet the needs of others. Pouring from an empty cup is probably much more difficult than pouring from a full one.
When I take time for myself as a single mother, the things that fill my cup are very often unconventional. They are not the traditional “self-care” activities. It’s helpful for me to “take off” all the hats I wear and remember the woman underneath.
Self-Care is Taking Off My Hats
I’m a mom, social worker, volunteer, friend, daughter, and many other things. I really do wear a lot of hats! However, it’s not often that I get to take off my hats and just be me.
So many times, I’m running around, juggling work and motherhood, and life just doesn’t give me the permission to take off my hats and just be. Now, this doesn’t mean I don’t love being a mom and fulfilling all my life roles. But, before I was a mom, before I was a social worker, before I was any of these things, I was just me.
Wait, I’m Always Me, Right?
You see, it’s not that I don’t love the hats I wear. But, a hat is an accessory. It’s an addition worn by the person, but it doesn’t make the person who they are.
I want to issue a challenge to all the mamas out there. I know it’s hard to find time to reflect or take time away. Trust me, the days of getting through a peaceful shower without hearing, “Mom can you help me?” or “Mom, are you almost done?” are far and few between. What I would give to shower in complete silence and peace!
Although a shower in silence would be nice, I am suggesting something else. Instead, find time to take off your hats. Set aside whatever amount of time is manageable to you to get to know yourself. Spend time with the woman underneath the hats. Learn about her. I promise she’s funny, smart, resilient, and passionate. She is fierce, and I just know you’re going to love her.
Our Hats Will Change
Sometimes we get busy, responsibilities change, and life happens. We take a good hard look at where we are and realize that it is nowhere near where we thought we would be. Dreams change, circumstances change, and, most importantly, we change.
“At least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.”
Alice in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland said it perfectly. As moms, we not only carry ourselves, but we are the cornerstones of our families. We change, adapt, and grow. We put on hats when needed. As mamas, we wear hats that are often not acknowledged simply because they’ve become part of our to-do list or deemed a necessity. As your hats change, even taking paths you don’t expect, I encourage you to find the time to reconnect with yourself.
Take off your hats, mama, and remember that none of the hats you wear would be possible without the foundation. That foundation is beautiful, wonderful, you.