Yesterday, I was able to weed some beds and plant some flowers. I love Lantana because it attracts Hummingbirds, and it grows really well on my front patio. I put in six plants and put down grass seed on a bare spot in our front yard. By the time I did all that I was pretty sweaty and gross, so I took a shower before I went to get my older two. While I was getting dressed, I realized that I felt better than I had felt in a while. I had energy and something about the way I felt made me feel more positive about things than I'd felt in a while. SO I called Josh and let him know that I wanted to go run. It generally takes me about an hour to get up to the school and run three miles. Since I want to do a 5K later in the summer, I figured I should start running now so I'll be in good shape by then.
I'm not particularly fast, but I feel good when I run. I feel good when I've exerted myself enough to get sweaty and tired. Today my arms and legs are sore from the work I did yesterday, but the positive outlook and the good feeling has lasted. For a while I've felt a bit like I'm getting burned out on being at home with my kids. It makes me impatient and crabby with my children. I'm not fun to be around. I don't want my kids to feel like I'm always mad at them, but I know they must feel that way when I feel this way.
Rule #6: Find the thing that makes you a good Mom, and make the time to indulge in it.
I can't run unless Josh watches the kids, which is hard on him. He's been at work all day and the kids can be tired and difficult in the evening. That is enough to make me feel guilty and stay home, but I know the truth. I'm a better Mother when I've been running. I'm a better person. I like myself more and I'm healthier. My mind isn't as cluttered and I have exponentially more patience. I'm happier and calmer. All it costs me to be more myself is a few hours a week of time. Those few hours are the difference between me being impatient and losing my temper, and me being able to step back and give my children a little more grace.
Maybe you don't run. Maybe you paint or write, or need time alone to do some once-a-month cooking. Whatever it is, the small investment of time- with or without your children- will repay itself in full.