25th October 2018

giving from the overflow

Hands up if you ever felt like you were just trying to keep your head above water? Or if you’ve looked at the clock only to realize that it’s 4pm and you haven’t had lunch? Maybe you’re just running so fast and hustling so hard towards something that everything else, including yourself, gets put on hold?

That’s been this mama for a good six months now. Hear me, I have loved, loving on my boys and I feel so blessed to finally wear the hat of momma. Mom-ing has been a beautiful yet crazy, rewarding yet challenging, fulfilling yet stretching journey. They are my world and I wouldn’t change a thing, but I finally feel like we’re starting to grasp what our family of four (five including our fur ball) looks like. Through navigating this new season and now, after a little health knock back, I’m beginning to learn that I need to start implementing some time for myself.

Everyone throws around the phrase of “mom guilt”, but it’s not until you walk through it that you realize what it really means. I was adamant from the beginning that I could do it all and wanted to do it all. Showing up as a wife and a mom was my identity and I didn’t want anyone else to take that away from me. I had this handled and would wear the mom cape proud. Until this last month when things started to shift and my health took a hit because of my lack of self care. I was jolted into realizing that I needed time for myself in the midst of everything else that vies for my attention. I’m starting (stress starting because this is a journey) to understand that before I can pour into others I must first fill myself. I’m learning and realizing that actually my giving to my kids, my husband, family, friends, community, church – should come from the overflow of my cup. Anything other than that is just giving my second best. My best, comes when I am filled.

That may look different for each and everyone of you. To some it may mean taking some time out to sit and read an actual book. To others it might be a case of saying strategic “nos” in order to make space for some you time. Maybe it’s just grabbing a coffee + catching up with a girlfriend. Whatever the case, we all need some space for ourselves, even if it’s only thirty minutes. Without it we will be no good for no one.

Here are four ways that I am starting to better care for myself.

Quiet time. I have to do this first thing or it just doesn’t happen. Plus, there’s something special about the stillness of the morning while the rest of the house is fast asleep. Every time I make time to read, sip my coffee + journal, I always feel better for it. It’s such a great way to start my day, it clears my head and positions me for what is ahead. Without space to think, dream and pray it’s easy to just get caught up in going with the flow of everyday life with little thought of purpose, and no time for dreaming up what’s next.

Exercise. I’m always, always better for it. My mind benefits, my lungs benefit, my capacity benefits, it just generally makes me feel better overall. It can be so easy to make this the first cut out of the calendar, but I’ve never regretted making myself get up and go.

Time out. This may look different in any given week. Sometimes it might be heading out to get that overdue manicure and other times it might be catching up with the girls over a drink. Whatever the case, I know that I need to be better at making some time to get away, some time to lay down the to-do list and do something outside of the house and, if possible, without the babes.

Oils. After much hesitation I decided to buy my very first starter kit and give this oils thing a try. I can’t make this stuff up, I’m three weeks in and I can already see how these are starting to transform my family’s lives. From the little things like teething (sometimes not so little!), to bigger issues like lung care and anxiety, these oils are contributing towards freeing us from being held down by different things we face and life throws at us.

Hydrate. This one may seem so simple, yet I can’t seem to make this habit stick. I know how important it is outwardly and inwardly to hydrate your body and get down the H20, I just need to be more intentional at actually doing it. You’ll find me armed with a new water bottle and consciously sipping away until I hit my goal of at least two liters of water a day.

I’m still working on this, but I now know that without being renewed I will burn out. I have to constantly remind myself that by keeping my cup full I can pour into others. If we’re not intentional we can get on the hamster wheel and not know how to make it stop. We just have to remember that if our cup is empty we have nothing to give, but if we’re full than we can give from the overflow.