“If you spend too long holding on to the one who treats you like an option, you will miss finding someone who will treat you like a priority.”
I wanted to have this posted before now but the cold-that-wasn’t has become the cold-that’s-trying to-kick-my-butt as of yesterday. After a miserable night and day I’ve finally succumbed and took some Sudafed. It was either that or Nyquil, although I really hate having to take either of those but they do have their advantages. The problem is Sudafed keeps me awake and makes me feel like the walking dead while Nyquil makes me drowsy, makes my head feel heavy, and also makes me hallucinate. I remember having this conversation once with a dead Hell’s Angel’s biker while on Nyquil with a really bad cold. The man was pretty nice actually and could really keep up his end of our existential conversation. And that would be why I really hate Nyquil. Pretty sure I shouldn’t be talking to dead people. Unless, of course, it’s Abraham Lincoln or Shakespeare or my dad. Would definitely not mind talking to my dad one more time. Unfortunately, for me it’s one of the few medicines I can actually take without an allergic reaction.
So today’s topic is about being a priority. In this case I am using it to mean exactly what the above quote is referencing. I am going to try and keep this as general as I can because it’s a topic that’s very close to the surface currently for me, and I want to try to be objective as much as I can. For many years now I have not been a priority. Not to my family or to myself. It’s the nature of the beast that, as a mother, your kids become your priority. Everything revolves around them. They have school, private lessons, tae kwon do, soccer, etc., and it’s very easy to get lost in the schedule of your day to day lifestyle. You are so busy and you have so much to do. It’s always either about your kids or your spouse or someone always needing you. When do you take time for yourself?
I’ve been a mom for 17 years. I can tell you it is the hardest job, and it may sound cliché but that doesn’t make it less true. I am tired all the time, physically, mentally, and emotionally. It takes everything out of you. And usually, you are supposed to have help from your spouse, if you have one. Sometimes, though, you can still be married, or in a relationship, and find that you are more like a single parent instead. You take care of everything, the housework, the yard work, the cooking, making sure the bills somehow get paid, all the scheduling for the family, the grocery shopping, and somehow you have to make sure everything is exactly the way someone wants it. And Lord help you if it’s wrong. One mistake and everything is your fault. You’re responsible for every little detail because you are mom and you are supposed to be Super Mom. There are days when I literally feel as if I’m nothing more than property, a robot to be told what to do and when or how to do it. I’m not supposed to have help or sometimes even have ideas and needs of my own. Some days I’m not even supposed to have an opinion. I’m just supposed to keep what I think or feel to myself. Obviously, this is not coming all from my kids but from other sources as well. Until recently I just took it all as being something I just had to deal with, that nature of the beast thing. I’d talk to my friends and ‘vent” whenever things got to be too much for me to keep inside. Best friends understand this and listen without judgment. I listen to them and they listen to me. It’s what friends do. And we keep it private because it’s meant to be private. This is how I managed to get through a lot of rough times throughout the last 15 years.
The thing is, I never took time for myself, and being the only female in a house of males, no one cared how that affected me. I don’t go out all the time. I don’t have my nails done or have my hair done often. I don’t spend all our money on clothes or shoes or things like that. At the end of the day, after supper, I would end up having maybe an hour to myself, and even then it wasn’t solely to myself. Laundry always has to be done around here with four boys. School things have to be readied for the next day. And those few miraculous times I actually had privacy I could barely figure out what to do. I was not a priority. To anyone.
Now, I don’t know if dying my hair from my natural blonde to brunette helped change the way I felt or not. I know that I feel more confident, but I think that comes from being able to look myself in the mirror now knowing I can change my life. From a young age I’ve always known I was meant to do something big, something great. I don’t know what that is but I have been feeling more and more that my time is coming, and I have to be ready to grab hold when it gets here. I have a higher purpose in life than to be someone’s emotional punching bag. I am beginning my second life so to speak, even though I only have this one life to live. I’m readying myself for it. I am tired of being someone’s option and I am making myself a priority. If someone can’t accept the better me that I am becoming then that is their loss. I am working hard to think better, to act better, and to be better than I have been to date. Not that I was a bad person, mind you. We all have faults so that we can improve ourselves. But I want my kids to be able to look back and think that their mom was an amazing woman who worked hard to be that way. I want them to be proud of me, not because I am their mom, but because I took control of my life; not because I re-invented myself, but because I became a better me through hard work, determination, and by getting rid of as much negativity in my life, in our lives, as I could.
Make yourself a priority by making some time for yourself every day. You deserve it!