Last week, when I went to my mom’s for my brother’s graduation, I walked into her house and was disappointed to see the work I had ahead of me for the next few days. We spent most of the time packing up odds and ends things. Things that could have been packed prior to my arrival, but my mom stretched herself too thin with work, increased responsibilities, and lack of sleep, so I don’t blame her. Unfortunately, my little one was left to her own devices, while we worked on packing. There were times she was irritated and frustrated and just wanted some interaction with us. I felt bad, but I told her that grandma and I needed to get this stuff done. Of course, I didn’t ignore her, I helped her when needed and had a little bit of down time with her, but it wasn’t enough. Rewind a few months and my mom decided that she would take my little one for a few days after graduation and before she moved down to give my husband and I some time together. I asked her multiple times throughout the months if she was still okay with taking her, as I’d need to let my sitter know and I wanted to make sure she had enough time to get done with what she needed and give my daughter the attention she needs at the same time.
After the graduation, my tot was really sad that I wasn’t taking her home with me. It broke my heart because usually she’s ecstatic to stay with grandma, but with what she had experienced the last few days, I don’t think she was eager to stay. I could have texted my sitter at that moment to see if she would take my little one for a day this week, but I decided that wasn’t the best option. I knew my mom had gotten a lot done and would be able to devote enough time to her and I knew I needed the time to myself and some with my husband before my mom moved in. There’s been tears shed from all of us missing each other, but it’s okay to miss each other. It’s okay to be away from my kiddo for a few days. It allows me to regroup and take care of myself really well.
Self-care is something that I’m constantly struggling with. In the few years my daughter has been Earth side with us, it has gotten better, but it still is a work in progress and really, that’s the most important thing as parents or caregivers that we can do for our children. We need to show them that we are important and we run at the optimal level when we are taken care of first. It’s similar to the saying, “you need to love yourself first, before someone else can love you.” It’s not easy, it requires help and continual reminders from myself and my husband and friends. Yet, it is SO important! Critical, actually! I miss my daughter to the moon and back, but tomorrow is my day off and I am so looking forward to just doing what I want and re-charging, while also getting some things accomplished, as well. In my time that I have had to myself, I also have been bettering myself as a mother by listening to podcasts from my mentor, Janet Lansbury. If you are a caregiver, I would highly recommend checking these out! We have been struggling lately with our spirited child in the last few months and her recommendations are priceless, yet these are completely free! My husband and I listened to one last night and it not only teaches us each how to be a better support for her, but it improves our bond to each other as well.