Friday, September 17, 2010

Putting My Oxygen Mask On First

I love the metaphor, “Put your oxygen mask on first,” then help your child.

This philosophy rings true in so many ways. Yet it’s so hard to do.

Raising my children, facing all the challenges I face, along with the darts that life throws at me, it’s so easy to become run down and to be honest, useless.

I think that’s what happened to me this past summer, I was all used up and useless. I felt like I wasn’t the mom I wanted to be, I wasn’t the wife I wanted to be and I couldn’t even think about being a friend.

So with the kids back in school and my son more stable, I jumped on the opportunity to live out this philosophy. I started carving out “me time” during the week. By the way, I really hate the phrase “me time”. it sounds so selfish, when in fact, I think it just multiplies joy for everyone.

I began doing a morning bible study with a cup of tea, just to get my head straight and put God first in my day. Now I wish I could say that I do this every morning, but that isn’t the case and I’ve chosen to not beat myself up over it. I’m just happy if I can get the time a few days a week.

After all my chores are done, I try to do something I like while the kids are in school at least twice a week, like read a favorite book or treat myself to a Starbucks while I visit a friend. I’ve even taken myself out to lunch... alone... and it was fantastic!

Then, thanks to my family, I started going on walks every Thursday night with my aunt and cousins, thankfully my husband tucks the kids in that night so I don’t have to rush home. This is such an amazing time, I feel so wrapped in love hanging out with those that love me and my family. Plus, girls just need girl time!

I know this isn’t an impressive list and I’m sure it may seem pretty boring, but it’s lifted me up. Just this week my husband commented on how much he loved the new me, that I seemed happier and it was making him happy. That my friends... is joy being multiplied.


  1. No, not boring at all! This is important for EVERY parent, but for us, with the chaos and the cycles and our kids extreme needs, it's absolutely critical.

    Good for you for acknowledging what you need and taking action! I wish it was easier; I wish there were more services to make it possible year round, but I'm glad you're working with what you've got.

  2. I love this post. I'm a mom of a 2 year old with special needs, and it's hard to remember that it doesn't have to be all-about-her-all-the-time. It's so easy to get lost in fighting for services, arguing with insurance companies, etc.

    I wanted to share a link with you, but I can't find a way to email you, so I'm going to leave it here and hope that you see it. You might be familiar with the "Wecome to Holland" poem that is often shared with parents of special needs children. I've put out a different take on it, that more fully acknowledges the emotions that come with finding out that your child has special needs . . . I thought that you, or your readers, might be interested:

  3. Thank you Dana for your link, you did a great job of expressing this challenging time for any parent going through the unexpected with their children. It's nice to know that we’re not alone in this journey.

    If you haven't read Dana's link, check it out at: