I don’t know why we stay at home parents become comfortable with letting our own interests take a backseat to the interests of the rest of the occupants of our home. Our kids come before us, as do our working spouses, our pets, and even our family members. It is depressing. It is especially sad when the people within your home encourage you to do things out on your own, but you keep finding reasons not to.
My breakdown led me to silence my loud, self-sacrificing voice and to listen to the more quiet “Cindy” voice inside of me who wanted me to do things that were fun for me. The first order of business was to buy an eBook that was fun to read. In my efforts to conserve money, I’d deprived myself of those. I talked to my husband, and we quickly agreed to a reasonable family budget. He was also very supportive of my doing anything I needed to in order to stay stimulated and happy. I told my friend that I was going to commit to spending some solo time with her. I even asked a trusted friend to watch my son while my husband and I went out to dinner (the last time we’d been on a date was two years prior).
I am happy to report that I am getting back there - back to the place where I remember to think about what makes me happy. However, it is something I have to stay on top of. Just this morning, I found myself feeling stretched and stressed (while I loaded the dishwasher) because I was thinking of everything I had to do for everyone else and wondered when I would have the time to do it. Then I remembered about my voice. To combat the stressors I was putting on myself, I took a step back and decided to postpone or cancel some of those things I thought I had to do. Off my list went making the bed as well as getting to all of my son’s daily homeschool assignments. (Please don’t judge me; it was a VERY busy morning!) Instantly, I felt a good bit of weight lift off of my shoulders. Perhaps the lesson to take from this morning’s momentary lapse is that I have to start taking things off of my “to do” list, instead of adding to it.
I pride myself on being a great listener to family members and my friends. I am simply going to have to keep telling myself that I have to keep listening to my own voice, too.