Today, I went on strike. No chores. No meal prep. No responding to “mum, can I have…..” or “mum they don’t want to play with me”, or anything really ‘mum’ related.
After a full week of kid wrangling my kids, friends kids, their friends kids, a “well timed” period and a verrrrrry slow recovery from the flu and trying to work; mumma was tired and in need of a break.
So, today, I went on strike. Today, I chose to rest! *gasp from the crowd*
Once upon a time, and actually not that long ago, I would have gone all martyr up and just pushed through the tiredness. I would have just attended to the usual stuff and bloody gotten on with it. I would have armoured up, said ‘suck it up buttercup’ and kept on keeping on. I wouldn’t have done it all sunshine and roses, t would have done it all huffy and puffy and passive aggressive. Today however, I hit the proverbial wall and took it as a call to stop….and for a change, I didn’t require an illness to force me to rest!
I’m really clear on what constant ‘doing’ does for me. It depletes me. If I am constantly bounding from one activity to another, I get really worn out. It is where I am in my life right now. After years of pushing through, I have depleted many of my stores. That even extends to thinking about one activity to the next. I find the thinking is just as tiring as the doing sometimes. For a busy mind like mine, thinking is really tiring.
Don’t get me wrong, all the things in my life I love doing (minus the washing. Not the hanging and taking in bit, but the effing folding and putting away….), but all the ‘doing’ it takes energy to do that. It just does.
I’ve written about school holidays before. I love them AND I don’t love them. I love the change in routine. I love the lack of time pressure. I love hanging out with the kids (mostly) and I love the freedom. I love the sleep ins. I love the cuddles in the morning. I love that at 2pm I am not preparing to get in the car to get them from school. I love the movie watching and the game playing and the monopoly being set up (mostly) for constant revisits.
I don’t love the constant noise that 3 children generate. I don’t love the way I seem to let go of all my self care practices (walking, meditating, writing). I don’t love the constant requests from the kids. I don’t love hearing myself say no quite so much. I don’t love the constant un-ending mess that creativity and play brings. I don’t love the arguing.
Going on strike today was not actually about the kids. It wasn’t a punishment or an ‘eff you’ kinda stance, instead it was a very human need to just rest. MY need to rest. Something I have come to observe our culture hasn’t got a lot of time for!
While I took some time out today, I noticed how my mind still wanted to have me feel guilty about it. The constant stream of judgement and nit picking. It had me going for a while. For a good while if I am honest. It took a good long while to be able to feel deserving of rest. God, how I have trained my mind.
So, even with the noise of my mind, the judgement, and all the criticism, I made room for the noise AND…..
…..I meditated. Ahhh. Spacious (yet very noisy mind). I put on a mud mask. I had a beautiful, long, hot shower. I read about mindfulness and parenting and watched a youtube clip by Jon-Kabat Zinn on mindfulness and meditation. I wrote some more content for our Soul Oxygen Retreat (happening in less than a month). I sipped on beautiful tea out of a treasured cup. I listened to the rain (and continue to do so)…and I am writing this.
ALL of these activities are ways I show love toward myself. Kindness toward myself as a friend. And as I type, still feeling tired somewhat, I feel calm. I feel centred. I feel nurtured.
Tomorrow, I commit to waking earlier to meditate. Not because I ‘should’ but because I notice how grounding it is to start my day. To notice how I feel. To seek guidance and clarity. To just be.
It is a tiny act of self love, but so incredibly friendly and kind. Befriending myself is a daily practice, made up of small actions, and a practice that is both challenging AND rewarding.
I hope your day was filled with some self care and nurturing YOU.
YOU deserve it.
PS. Huge shout out to Rosa for my gorgeous cup and tea! Such a treasure!!