All of my life, helping others has been important to me. No matter the need, if I could fill a void, I would. It was second nature.
After becoming heavily involved in my church during my teens and twenties, this selfless concept was leveled up umpteen notches. I gave selflessly: my time, energy, money, and possessions. Giving is good but if you're not careful, you'll give from your cup until there's nothing left for you.
As a woman and mom, I've had to debunk the myth of putting others first and myself last. I've learned the hard way that I cannot give what I don't have. Despite what well meaning people want you to think, taking care of yourself is the most selfless act you can do for others. It allows you to be more available and capable.
My family wakes up hungry just like yours. Everyone is ready to eat pronto and guess who they look to to take care of that? ME. The mama. You all know how it goes!
Once upon a time, I'd jump up immediately to cook and cater to everyone. I still cater to my family but not until I have tended to me in some fashion. I'm never in the best of moods when I'm pressured to jump out of bed and rush into things. That's one reason I enjoy getting up extra early.
I have set a standard with my daughters. They are not to ask me for anything until they've said "good morning" and shown some sort of affection. They had to learn the art of giving mommy time to wake up and gather remaining brain cells. I know they're hungry and depending on me but now, I take a few moments to process the day ahead. I use the bathroom (that first pee is real y'all!), get on my robe, grab water and coffee, THEN I get to the feeding people part.
In addition, when I'm asked for a favor, to attend an event, etc, I don't say yes right away. I take time (when possible) to check my schedule and to decide if it's something I really want to partake in. We often say "yes" to invitations just to have something to do or to not hurt someone's feelings.
I'm at a point in life where my feelings take priority. I only want to be a part of things that make me happy and aid in my personal development.
Do Things Differently
Are you a people pleaser? Do you agree to do things and go places before thinking it through? Have you put others first so often that you no longer think about you and your needs? Are you afraid that saying "no" equals bad karma?
Fear not! We've all been there. Some of us just learned our lessons faster.
Listen... it is perfectly okay to not attend every event; to not give a yes to every offer. If you're not ready to hand out no's like Halloween candy but you are tired of saying "yes" to everything, simply say you'll think about it. Stepping away and processing information is the best way to save your sanity and to set boundaries with others.
Nothing feels worse than agreeing to something and then dreading it because you didn't want to do it in the first place! Mothers, wives, women in general... get real with yourselves and put your self-care first. Stop going places and doing things you don't want to do (and don't have to do). If you're too tired then be tired. If you just want to stay home then do that!
This is not producing bad karma or sending out bad vibes. This is you saying "I need to preserve my energy/time/money in order to do the things that I love." The things you enjoy and are passionate about require you to be available and present.
What goes around does come back around in one way or another. In this case, the karma you'll receive will be that of others taking care of themselves in order to be of service to YOU. Be grateful for that and act accordingly.
Good karma indeed!
Check out: 5 Ideas To Get Moms Through Alone Time