I Took a Little Longer

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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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8 Comments

  • Reply Sonila

    I totally agree that it is so important to give some time to yourself and develop a self-care routine. You can’t run on empty. Hugs mama

    March 17, 2019 at 11:46 am
  • Reply Giselle Sarasa

    Love this post so much. I preach this to all my mommas and followers!
    self-care is non-negotiable and not optional for me. Great article. Thanks for sharing this. <3

    March 19, 2019 at 1:16 pm
  • Reply Despite Pain

    Such a good post. Self-care really is a necessity. Nobody can pour from an empty cup, so sometimes you need to take time for yourself. Even if it’s just 15 minutes in the shower, it can be enough to catch your breath and recharge your batteries.

    April 2, 2019 at 9:21 am
  • Reply Arun

    First thing, I am sure you are an amazing mom. It really takes a lot of effort for a caregiver too to be there for us all the time. And seeing someone closest suffering is also mentally taxing. I am glad you took time out for yourself.

    April 2, 2019 at 1:48 pm
  • Reply Blythe Neer

    I love this. Thank you for sharing. I can relate, even though I am not a mom yet. 🙂

    April 2, 2019 at 2:05 pm
  • Reply Natalie

    Different situation but as a mum with a chronic illness I can completely relate to the guilt over not feeling enough when I can’t do everything and I can’t always put my child’s needs above my own. Definitely good advice that we still need to make time for ourselves, it’s just remembering that our kids will benefit from this too!

    April 2, 2019 at 2:50 pm
  • Reply Sheila Yale

    As a sufferer of Bipolar l Disorder, I feel guilty as the nurtured and the nurturer. If I don’t take care of myself, I am a destructive mess and can become non-functional. But if I do take care of myself by staying away from stressful situations and doing less then I am perceived as spoiled or lazy. I know that anyone else having to take care of me would definitely need some time for themselves. So take some extra minutes for you mama…you deserve it!

    April 3, 2019 at 2:20 am
    • Reply Jennifer

      Thank you Sheila! I try not to stress out a lot myself, so much easier said then done <3

      April 8, 2019 at 7:14 pm
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