I Choose Me!

A few hours ago I walked into an empty, silent house—quite a change from the morning I’d just spent volunteering in my son’s class for its 100th Day of School celebration.

I sat on the bottom step of our staircase and took a few deep breaths to decompress from the chaos (but adorableness!) of my day so far. In. Out. In. Out. In. Out.

Pulling my phone out of my back pocket, I braced myself for the onslaught of tasks surely waiting for me. You can imagine my surprise, though, when I opened my calendar to find…nothing.

Not believing that scenario for a second, I clicked on my inbox. Obviously something urgent was waiting in there—some deadline creeping up, some time-sensitive request from those I serve at my part-time job, some appointment reminder for a meeting I totally spaced out on.

Nope. Nothing.

Free time doesn’t pop up for me very much these days. My job outside the home, my freelance writing gigs, my efforts to spare us from living in filth, and my role as our seven-year-old son’s primary caregiver (and all that entails) all keep me moving pretty much from the time I get out of our bed in the morning until I schlepp back into it, usually well after midnight.

I know I’m not alone in this. I also know that you know how hard it can be—to be “in charge” of so many things, each of them important and demanding in their own special ways. And when the work feels endless, you wind up at the end of yourself very quickly.

As I sat on that bottom step, multiple hours of unencumbered time staring me in the face, my mind started racing with possibilities…

I could finally make that trip to Costco.

Laundry has been piling up. I could put a dent into that today.

I should sort through those clothes and take a load to Goodwill.

If I spent some time outlining articles today, the new few weeks of writing will probably feel less crazy.

I really need to start pulling together all of our tax info.

Or, I thought, I could just do…nothing.

The thought felt almost scandalous to me in that moment. Sure, there wasn’t anything I had to do right then, but there were so many things I could do—things that might even serve me well in the long run.

But do you know what else will serve me well in the long run?

Taking a pants-off, guilt-free nap.

Drinking a hot (yes! still hot!) cup of coffee while staring out the the window.

Texting pictures of fat cats sitting in tiny boxes to my friends.

And (apparently) writing blog posts about how sometimes choosing to do nothing is very much choosing to do something. It’s choosing to choose yourself for once—hopefully more than once, really.

Motherhood—whatever that looks like for you—requires so much of us: our brains, our bodies, our hearts. Pile that on top of everything else that comes with being an adult and, if you’re not careful, you’ve got the perfect recipe for a meltdown that goes to 11.

Stop. Breathe. Rest. Take care of yourself. Yes, so you can be the best you for your family, but also so you can be the best you for you.

As for me? I’m gonna go nap my face off now. Probably without pants.

(Image by Ethan Hickerson)

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