As moms, we are told to take care of ourselves, “Nap when the baby naps!” but oftentimes we shrug this off because we are “too busy” taking care of everyone else. And just as the flight attendants will say, obtain oxygen for yourself and then turn to help your loved ones. But do we operate like that from day to day? Most of the time I would say, no. That is until we are given a reality check in life where God is gently nudging us to put ourselves first, so that we can be helpful to others.
This was me. Last year I was running on low, my cup was practically empty. I was caught up in the groggy day to day routine zooming ahead stuck in auto pilot. I was starting to lose myself, but didn’t really know it. I felt like I had to resign to this life phase and just put my head down and kept at it. Until I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Then life as I knew it came to a halt. And I was forced to put myself first, which made me very uncomfortable at first. But with encouragement from my husband, my mom, bestie and other friends and family, I slowly felt more confident in filling up my cup.
Others along the way helped in filling up my cup too. It has been amazing seeing how many people wanted to give generously to me because of what I was going through. I had friends and family reaching out, sending care packages, notes and cards to fill up my cup emotionally and physically. I was blown away by all the love and generosity people so easily gave. Austin Gymnastics club took care of our Halen as she started gymnastics this fall. Emler Swim School helped us out so both girls could continue their swim lessons. Bethany Pre-School helped us so Halen could continue going there this year. One of my biggest fears was that my girls’ lives would change, and I didn’t want that. I wanted them to continue being a part of what they loved so much.
Before my surgery it was important to me to receive some self-care… my darling friend gave me a massage, I went to get acupuncture from the Chinese doctor I had been seeing for the last six months and then my best friend and I went to the W Hotel’s Away spa to receive facial treatments. I had called to inquire about the spa services and in telling my story the Away Spa was adamant on taking amazing care of us…and they certainly did. If anyone is looking for a getaway in town, this is a great option. When you walk into the W you instantly feel like you are transported somewhere on vacation, the intricate décor, wonderful customer service and fantastic food all truly helps you feel like you are away. You take the elevator up to the fourth floor and are greeted by the accommodating, friendly faces… we worked with Dallas and Laura, two wonderful people. Then you are escorted back to the women’s locker room where you can slip into a comfy robe, pour a cup of hot tea, or a glass of spa water, grab some marcona almonds, dried apricots and other little snacks. We cozied up on the couch with blankets and were able to just catch up on life, it was so nice to just be together. As moms of young kiddos, it is hard to just be. Soon we were greeted by our esthetician and taken back to our rooms for our service. The facials were glorious, the estheticians were very focused on what was best for our skin, explaining what they were doing as they went, but not talking too much so that we were able to slip into a light, relaxing nap. Afterwards, my skin felt clean, refreshed and happy. We were escorted back to the locker room to relax, we had mimosas and chocolate covered strawberries. We even walked outside to see the pool, which looked like a perfect destination for summertime relaxing.
As moms, sometimes it feels like we rush to relax, but it is so important for us to truly fill our cup. With whatever that may be. If we don’t fill our cup, we will be unable to fill anyone else’s cup. Life is short and it is easy to get caught up in all the mundane routines day to day that we lose sight of what is important. But taking care of ourselves should be a priority. In the bible, God teaches us that our bodies are temples and we are created in God’s image…which means it is essential that we take the time to respect ourselves enough to make sure we are healthy, happy and our cup is filled. For me this took quite a lot to truly look in the mirror and realize I had been starving myself of so much.
And yes, this should be so much more than a facial, or a pedicure, really it should be a lifestyle. Eating cleaner, getting outside more often, traveling more often, unplugging more often, doing what makes our hearts full and laughter filling the air with ease. In the upcoming New Year, I challenge you all to commit yourselves to a lifestyle of filling up your cup. And then turn to fill up another’s cup.