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I took a little longer in the shower today…
I woke up exhausted and miserable today, the pollen here in North Carolina is horrendous. I didn’t have the energy to do anything but I did need to shower. I turned on the TV, powered on the Firestick, quickly clicked through the menu to STARZ, and came across Frozen—yup he likes it just as much as his older brother did.
As the beginning credit song played I quickly ran into the bedroom to start the shower. I tip-toed back to the living room to briefly check on my little one—he was content watching Anna eagerly demand to build a snow man. And so, shower I went.
I found myself standing there longer then I usually do.
I generally take a quick shower when he’s in the living room by himself. He is safely secured away from the dangers of the kitchen and bathroom with baby gates. Some may frown upon leaving him to watch the journey of saving Arendale, but today this Mama needed a minute.
I soaked in the shower for a good fifteen minutes. Listening to the sound of water hitting my back, and feeling a bit guilty. I felt a little relief to have time to myself but couldn’t help but feel a little ashamed. I stood there as the water continued to trickle, and tried to relax.
Today, for the first time since my husband left for training
I didn’t feel rushed, I took a little longer in the shower today and it helped me feel calm. As a Military Spouse and stay-at-home / caregiver to a differently-abled son I barely have enough time for myself. I shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting fifteen minutes to myself, but I do. As a society we are told that moms can do anything and put their children’s needs above their own—to an extent. As mothers and Caregivers we still need to make time (even if it is five minutes) for ourselves.
I often hear that other children have it far worse as far as needs go. I guess that’s where majority of my guilt comes from. Yes Jaxson isn’t tube fed or relies on oxygen—but that doesn’t make my stress any less than others. Yes he is thriving and reaching his milestones slowly, but that doesn’t mean I have nothing to worry about. I shouldn’t have to justify why this Mama needs fifteen minutes—but I do.
Set aside Mom and Care-giving guilt
Care-giving—no matter the needs—is exhausting for anyone involved. It is emotionally and physically exhausting. I have that constant fear in the back of my mind, “is today going to be the day he develops seizures?” He is also non-verbal and cries and hits when he can’t communicate what he wants out of frustration. He has severe anxiety and it makes it hard to get anything done.. In the rare occurrences I do, I’ll take advantage of it and give myself 15 minutes of silence.
We, Caregivers, are not Wonder Women or Supermen—we all need a moment to ourselves to recoup. Caregiver burnout is definitely real my friends, if you know anyone who is one—come by with coffee and give them a small break. Stopping by and bringing a cup of coffee can make all the difference—it can be the motivation they need to keep on going.
A quick reminder
Remember, it is not selfish to take care of yourself a few minutes a day. Hire a respite provider to come in and give you an hour or two to yourself. Grab a movie, go to dinner, read a good book, or sleep! If you can’t find one ask a friend or family member for some help too! Just remember to take care of yourself too, we all (myself included) need to remember that.
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