Yooooo guys (using the same tone of voice as the most brilliant Tumblr on the internet), today I have the distinct pleasure of having my favorite blogger – perhaps of all time – festooning my virtual living room with her whimsical sketches and frank humor and general superiority. True story, the first time I met Heather irl at last year’s Edel gathering I was like ….. because I’m socially awkward without alcohol and she was like THE PARTY DON’T START TILL I WALK IN, just with her general being. And it was love at first buffet-line encounter. Also, she loves cats and I love cats, and if you were to go ahead and share some of your favorite cat memes on her Facebook page I’m sure she’d be thrilled.
But seriously? Heather is my people. And then she goes and writes something like this and I’m even more convinced of that. Maybe you read her piece last week when it was burning up the internet, but in case you haven’t yet had the pleasure, may I present to you Mrs. Heather Schieder, wife to Dan and mother to 5 and runner/sketcher/humorist/tundra-dweller extraordinaire. (And maybe something about Crossfit, too? I don’t know, it’s hard to keep up with such a social climber.) Enjoy the fruits of her Prismacolor labor. And do be sure to check her archives for this Downton Abbey inspired episode involving room service and extreme morning sickness.
This one’s for the moms.
Let me tell you about a little thing that happened to me last summer.
A woman I know of whose kids are all grown up became a marathon runner in her fifties. As a brand new baby runner , I thought this was the coolest thing – and when I ran into her one day, I told her so.
“I just started running this summer!” I told her enthusiastically. “I really want to run a 5k in the fall.”
She took a deep breath.
“Oh,” she said, as if I had told her I’d like to dance naked in the kitchen gadget aisle at Walmart on the Lord’s day. She seemed genuinely taken aback. “You’ll have plenty of time for that when your children are grown. Right now you need to focus on your children and your husband.”
You know what I wanna say, right? You know what it is. Three little initials, my friends. Three therapeutic little initials.
I can’t hold it back.
Sometimes people say dumb things to me and they catch me off guard and I don’t know what to say because I can’t even believe the level of ignorance. You know? Like would you ever expect anyone to say something so crazy and condescending and…poisonous? But I looked right at her and said, “WHAT?! That is absolutely ridiculous.” And I gave her a nice little speech on why and it felt so good.
Let me just say this. Dear moms of the world: you are not a locust.
You’re not supposed to go underground and hide from the entire world, putting yourself last to the point of not taking care of YOU until your kids reach adulthood.
That is absurd. That is a flawed message. And sorry, but that is not of God.
Locusts can hibernate for 17 or so years and reemerge and wreak their havoc on cornfields or whatever like they haven’t missed a beat. But you? That’s not you.
Believe me. I’ve had to tell myself this message about balance about a million times. MAMA KNOWS. Mama really do know. I don’t say this stuff because I’m an expert. I say it because I know that struggle is real. It’s real for me.
You’re the only one who knows what you really need. I mean, besides God. And I happen to think that our husbands can be really good at knowing what we need too. At least mine usually does. Sometimes he just knows when I need to get out of the house without anyone else tagging along so I can do something that will bring me peace and joy so that I can come back and do the things that I need to do for my family.
That’s not wrong. That’s not sinful or selfish. It’s necessary.
Maybe there’s another mom you know who feels reenergized by getting together and praying with other moms, but maybe that’s not what reenergizes you. Maybe you like going out for appetizers and laughing with your homegirls. You know what? That doesn’t make you some kind of heathen.
Maybe you like to exercise. Maybe you enjoy writing. Maybe you love to swim or go zip lining or hiking, reading or shopping or getting your nails done or maybe you like to sit on your behind and scroll the fb or pin on the Pinterest or watch YouTube videos of the double rainbow guy while you drink a nice ice cold beer, baby.
Maybe that’s what you need to do to recharge.
There’s nothing wrong with that! It’s NORMAL.
Take care of yourself. You deserve it. I know it’s not easy because it isn’t easy for me to do it. I mean, it’s easy for me to be LAZY. But me being lazy isn’t me taking care of myself. There’s a difference.
There’s nothing holy about burning yourself out to the point of complete misery, to the detriment of yourself and those you love.
And not only that – but being a wife and a mom isn’t all that you are. You’re a daughter of God, a woman, a human being, a friend. You have interests and likes and THAT’S ALL GREAT because that’s part of being a PERSON. It’s what makes you balanced and what makes you you. God isn’t interested in making clones. He’s interested in individuals and in true relationship with you.
Don’t let anyone make you feel like a locust. And take that break when you need it, mama.