Today, my Husband surprised me with a really nice and incredibly generous Mother’s Day gift. He took the day off work, took Luna and told me to do whatever I want this morning. THEN, he texted me an address and told me to be at that location before noon. That “location” was a spa, a real fancy-pants kind of day spa. There, he arranged for me to have a pedicure, massage and a facial. It was heavenly, but I’m not telling you this to brag…though it’s definitely starting to sound that way. I’m telling you this because I learned a valuable life lesson at the spa today.
I was 100% excited and ready for my day alone, but the second Husband walked out of the door with Luna and headed to baby gymnastics I felt lost. I got busy quickly to take my mind off what I might be missing. A few chores and a blog post later, they came home and informed me that Luna had her first awards ceremony…and I missed it. The 27 photos Husband took made me feel a little better and before I knew it, it was time to head to my surprise spa appointment. At first, I was too overwhelmed by the refreshing aromas, luxurious robe, fruity water and peace and quiet to think of anything else. After a hot cup of tea and a pedicure, I started feeling anxious and guilty. I should be with Luna, I should be making dinner, cleaning, writing a blog post, volunteering, making money, working out, growing a garden, painting the living room, calling my Mom, ANYTHING, but getting a care-free day of pampering! What am I doing here???
The waves of guilt kept coming..
I have friends who deserve this more than I do. My Mom deserves it. (In fact, I made a looonnggg mental list of everyone who deserved a day at the spa more than me.) Also, why is my Husband wasting all of this money on me? Does he think I expect extravagant gifts? Shouldn’t we be using this money on groceries or starting a college fund? And, why am I getting all this time to myself? Husband works 12 hour days, shouldn’t I be taking advantage of his day off by spending quality family time with him and Luna?
I took a break from my train-wreck of thoughts by distracting myself with Facebook. Facebook is always a good way to numb your mind. Between some adorable baby photos and Ellen videos I saw a status from a very smart friend that made me pause. She said that ongoing self-care is not a luxury, but a requirement. You cannot serve from an empty bowl.
You cannot serve from an empty bowl.
I read it over and over. I thought about it over and over as I got the best massage ever. By the time my day was done. I felt like a very grateful, melted stick of better with an overflowing bowl. In fact, after my facial, I chose to sit in the “relaxation room” a little longer so I could finish the next chapter of my book. I decided to make sure my bowl was overflowing.
I brought Chick-fil-a home for dinner. We had a very rare family meal together. I didn’t have to cook or clean-up and we just talked about our days and enjoyed each other’s company. I felt relaxed, energized and excited to dance around the living room before bedtime, let Luna ride on my back and play “giddy up Mama” and got everything ready for Friday. I feel renewed, and I am so grateful that my Husband gave me this gift.
I’m not saying we all need a day at the spa to fill our vessels and prepare to serve others, but we definitely need to take some time to refuel, however it is that we refuel. I know that I am not the only person who feels guilty and selfish when I take time for myself. Becoming a Mom has made the guilt even worse. I put off hair appointments and showers, I don’t take time to read my favorite books, do yoga, write or anything that serves me. For me, Motherhood has always been about being completely selfless 24/7, but what if taking care of myself actually makes me a better Mom? It’s time to say buh-bye to that guilt. Self-care is necessary. I need to relax. I need to sit by myself, to read, write and express all of these crazy thoughts running through my mind. Not only that, but I need to show Luna that resting and caring for yourself is important and not shameful.
Take the time to fill your cup with love and peace. Then, you’ll be able to pour into others. This is not selfish. This is necessary.
On that note, remember not to judge others for taking the time to fill their own cup. This is something I need to remember. Others are just as drained and overworked as I am. (Including my Husband.) So, next time you need some alone time, a long drive, a run, a date night, a girl’s night out or glass of wine in the bathtub, do it and enjoy it. I promise you will come back full and ready to share your love with the others who need it.
Be kind to yourself…and others.