Every working mom knows what it is like to perform a balancing act on a daily basis. We all know that some days are more difficult that the others, and some days you don’t know if you will make it till the bed time, when kids are screaming for attention, fighting, sick, you have an approaching deadline at work and you are not even midway through the workload and to top it all, you partner is away or not helping out. One of my friends calls these ‘peeling mom off the ceiling days’, and yes, we have all been there.
There were times I thought I would lose not only my cool and my nerves, but my sanity. I was so exhausted it started affecting my health in a negative way. And it was not only my physical health, but my emotional, mental, and spiritual health, I was falling apart at the seams trying to juggle my career, my three school age kids, the house and I had a partner who was away on business often. I said had, because he apparently thought he was having it rough with us and left. I was shouldering something I was not able to, and I deteriorated quickly.
It was only after one of those ‘ceiling days’ that my sister came around and made me look myself in the mirror – I had that haggard look of a spent 50 year old even though I was only in my early thirties. I broke down crying and made an agreement with my sister that I will turn a new leaf and she will support me every step of the way. The next day I found a counselor and she explained to me this is such a common phenomenon in our society nowadays and that there were some changes I needed to make – and the basis of them all was taking care of myself. She then suggested a paid spiritual retreat and told me what it was about. I was thrilled! A paid vacation with massages, spa, therapies, peace! That’s when my life changed.
Spending time alone there I realized it was not a luxury, it was a necessity for each and every working mom! A week of self-care, pampering, rest and remembering your dreams and who you actually were as a being are all vital to our wellbeing. And I took it from there. The guilt for putting myself first disappeared as I realized that if I was in a bad shape, everything in my life was going to be in a worse shape – my job, my house, my kid’s lives, everything.
I never went back to neglecting my body, my mind, my spirit – my overall health. I slowly took up yoga as a way to exercise my body and stay in touch with my inner self at the same time, that lead me to meditation which decreased my stress levels completely and made me a calmer, more joyful person and enabled me to deal with chores and obligations with more concentration and efficiency. I started expressing myself creatively through ceramics. And I never stopped going on spiritual retreats by myself, just to have a week or two of me-time once or twice a year. I still see it as one of working moms’ basic needs and I encourage all my friends to do it. Healthy moms are the greatest moms. Take care of you and it will reflect in all aspect of your life.