Have you ever cooked a lobster or learned how it is done? The lobster is placed in a pot of water. As the water slowly heats, the lobster doesn’t seem to notice until the water’s temperature reaches a temperature too high for the lobster to survive in. Over the past few years, it seems as though that analogy could describe my my life. Yes, I have a wonderful family that I adore, but life happens to all of us.
Living our lifestyle is not for wimps. We do everything without modern conveniences to make my work easier. My husband chops wood and splits it without the benefit of a gas powered wood splitter. The physical aspect of our life is better than going to a gym on most days. We love it.
Homeschooling our children is something that we both feel strongly about and enjoy. Our daughter is learning more on topics that schools typically don’t cover in addition to the regular subjects that schools teach. She is also gaining life experiences that most kids never learn. Our son is getting the one-on-one instruction that he needs in order to be able to learn. He also is receiving occupational, physical, and speech therapies at a therapy center each week. It takes a lot of my time to homeschool and see that our son gets to his therapies. The end results are worth it though.
One area of my life has been both a source of enjoyment as well as a source of stress. It has been social media. I can ignore the posts on places like Facebook, but the private messages and notifications were a constant distraction. I love being able to keep in touch with friends and family, but I am finding another part of the equation to be more difficult. While I love to “meet” others who are parents traveling the autism journey, I find myself being placed in the position of being the one to bring encouragement and filling their cup so often that my own has taken a backseat.
I get emotionally, spiritually, and physically drained. I found myself putting so much into every area of my life without taking proper care of my own needs. As a result, I have felt like that lobster who is noticing a rise in the water temperature. With that realization has come some much needed changes.
The best change has been that we allowed my prepay cell phone to run out of airtime. It was purely unplanned, but has turned into a blessing. I currently do not have a phone but will get more airtime put on it when I am ready. Being “radio silent” has been enlightening as well as liberating. I am finding more peace in my days with the kids and less stressed. I have been changing our way of eating to a carb cycling meal plan. With this, I am starting to lose weight and am feeling great. The family loves the foods I have been making as well.
Another change is that I am getting more relaxed time to spend doing things that I enjoy. Because I am not stressed, my days are more productive, leaving me more time to crochet. The kids and I have more time to do fun things, like crafts or games, than when I was stressed. On the weekends, my sweet husband is going to give me a day out so that I can have a day to focus completely on myself. I have so needed some “Momma time.” I am truly understanding that if I don’t take time for myself, then I can’t be the best I am able to be for the family and others around me.
It has been a time of self-discovery as I learn to give myself permission to take care of my own needs. As a Mom, you are so focused on taking care of everyone else first that you can easily overlook yourself. I can honestly say that the lesson has been learned. This hiatus from the phone and social media has shown me just how tense my life was becoming. Now, I just am going with what comes my way and learning to say “No.”