A few weeks ago, Hannah and I had an argument. She was upset because I was working with her brother on something and not helping her. She was tired and cranky and, well, you know how that can go. Besides telling me how mean I was, she then said, "I want to run away!"
Later, when we were both in a calmer state, I asked her about that. She expressed that she felt jealous and left out, and wanted to leave. Ahhh...I remember this feeling from when I was a little girl. Just wanting to escape. I acknowledged her feelings, and together we agreed to create a little space in her room for her to "escape" to when she needed to be alone, feel safe, and reconnect to herself. She was immediately soothed and comforted by this idea, and started fantasizing about what she would put in her space.
Just this weekend, I was relaying the story to my mom. She said, "kids aren't the only ones who want to run away," and then proceeded to tell me about a time, when I was in middle school, that she really felt like this. My sister and I were apparently being brats (hard to imagine;), and she had had enough! She asked me if I ever felt like running away, and I was surprised when I said, "I used to, but I really haven't in a long time. I think it's because I do take a significant amount of time for myself, to stay tuned in to "me." It really helps."Don't get me wrong: It's not that I never lose my temper or need a break from my kids! Because YES I do! But what I was aware of, in that moment, was that I have, more and more, been listening to that inner guidance...the guidance that is telling me to take care of myself, honor my instincts, and create time to be "me."
Just like Hannah, we all need our own "space" - to think our own thoughts, to soothe ourselves, to just "be." Yet as moms, we often don't create this space and time for ourselves: to reconnect to ourselves, our hearts, our desires.
We are busy. We have so many other people to take care of and frankly we may put ourselves last on our list (who has time? it feels selfish! the kids need me! I feel guilty!) Yet when you go un-nourished on this level, it's not helpful for anyone. Although I don't remember (consciously) knowing that my mom had a run-away fantasy, I do remember wishing that she felt less overwhelmed, less stressed, and happier. I knew, intuitively, that her feeling better would help me.
So I want to gently encourage you: if you're feeling depleted or tired or overwhelmed or like running away sometimes - to create your own "space" and "time" for you to honor your SELF this weekend. For you to rejuvenate, replenish, reconnect to YOU. I promise - this will be a gift not only to YOU but to everyone around you as well.