Engrossed in watching “New Amsterdam” this morning running on my treadmill, I thought I heard something. So I hopped onto the side planks and took out my headphones to take a listen.
Early mornings like this, Dave and Magnus have breakfast together while I run in my bedroom watching trash on Netflix and getting my sweat on.
As the treadmill continued to run beneath me, I tried to listen. Was that Magnus crying? Can I hear Dave? Is Magnus calling for me?
Sometimes Magnus and Dave butt heads or Magnus gets hurt or something happens that Magnus will call for me crying.
Sometimes he’ll also come running down the stairs crying for me. I’ll sit with him on the floor holding him in my lap while he buries himself into my sweaty body with the noisy treadmill running in the background.
Was this going to be one of those mornings I wonder?
I tell myself, “Unless Magnus comes down, trust that Dave can handle it. It’s fine.” I pop my headphones back in and resume running to whatever sappy nonsense is happening.
One of the hardest parts of taking self-care at home, is that it’s AT HOME. The rest of your family knows you’re there and you also can’t help noticing that they are there too. This can make things challenging on both sides because kids want your help, your partner might want your help, and you may also want to help or intervene. It’s a tricky balance.
To have successful self-care at home a few things need to happen:
Boundaries – It must be made explicitly clear to your family members that when you are taking self-care, that they are not to interrupt you for anything. Everyone knows that your partner is now in charge during this time and they are not to come to your for anything.
Letting go of control – The other side of boundaries is that you also need to help reinforce those boundaries by not getting involved, trusting that your partner can handle it, and actually letting them handle it. For those of us who are used to being the one in charge, this can be one of the hardest things to do. Trust your partner and relinquish control for this brief time. No one will die. Promise.
Flexibility – Even when you have boundaries and you’re finally ready to let go, things happen. Like a fight between your partner and your child, or someone gets hurt, or your kid is inconsolable without your soothing touch. It happens. Being flexible (but not overly available) means that you can still interrupt what you’re doing for a few minutes until the storm passes and then get back to focusing on your time.
All three of these steps I work on daily. It’s a practice for me to set firm yet loving boundaries. It’s just as important for Magnus to see these boundaries as it is for me to have them.
It’s a practice to let my husband handle things. I’m used to being the one who handles it, and I know that letting them figure out their own relationship is just as important as me learning how to let go.
It’s a practice for me to be flexible. I like routine, predictability, and my time respected, and I also know that learning how to stay calm and open when things are unexpected is also valuable for me.
Like all of us, I’m a work in progress that is already whole and worthy. The wholeness and worthiness is what grounds me in being able to ask for what I need while I’m growing into the woman and mama I’m becoming.
I’m curious, do you struggle with any of these? If so, which ones? Tell me in the comments below!