I can’t say this last week has gone entirely to plan. It’s been a little fraught at times, truth be told. For someone who is one to generally weather a storm and crack on it has seen the rain seep through, quite some, actually. You may be surprised to learn that it isn’t a direct result of the children testing my limits. They have been golden. For despite my moaning from time to time they are good kids, mostly.
We all carry a certain load until our back eventually breaks and that final straw was placed on mine this week. Starting your day at 2.47am will do that to you. It wasn’t just the extreme tiredness but rather lots of things that came to ahead as a result of exhaustion and weeks upon weeks of being unwell and, just cracking on with it.
You see during this time I turned to some people, who ordinarily I might not have. They may well read this now and if you do, ladies, please do not be offended by what I am about to say. It is meant with kindness. I was genuinely touched and surprised by their heartfelt response, by their concern and their warmth toward me.
One of these woman said to me ‘you are the most important person in your family’. Whilst Mr Tammy *may* not agree it struck a cord and has stuck. That is not to say I or any other mum, partner, daughter, granddaughter whoever is the Queen of all things and should be treated as such but it’s not completely wrong either.
As parent’s (yes parents, mums and dads) we put ourselves to the back of the queue, our children’s needs come before ours, it’s human nature. As people we shoulder burdens for those around us, happily I might add. We help to keep other people’s life afloat and their shit together. We crack on through illness, stress and exhaustion sometimes because it is the right thing to do and sometimes because we have to. Choice or lack thereof doesn’t make it any easier.
The problem with being at the back of a long queue sometimes is that you often fail to make it the front. You can forget that you too need someone to shoulder your burden and put your needs first, whatever they may be.
This week saw just this happen. For the first time since becoming a parent or possibly since I can remember, I knew I just could not look after anyone else, namely my children. Not because they were being unruly or hard work or ‘I couldn’t cope’ in fact it was nothing to do with them. That day I was so unwell and exhausted from so many things I found myself re-scheduling pre-school jabs, cancelling a much awaited visit from a dear friend and booking by my children into an extra session of pre-school.
I was exhausted and ill. I was shaking and shivering, I ached, I had pains in my chest, I couldn’t breath, I hadn’t slept, I haven’t had a proper sleep in weeks actually but that night saw next to no sleep, I was an emotional nightmare. Every other day through every other bout of stress, exhaustion or illness I have ‘cracked on’ and got through until bedtime.
But this day, the words of my friend were stuck in my head. I had to put myself first because I really was no good to anyone, especially my children.
You see, we may forget it but we are all important. Our health and our wellbeing is important. If you were off your feet for some reason or not there, what would happen?
It’s so easy to put everything and everyone else ahead of yourself. You’re probably doing it now and you and I will probably do it again but getting to that point, that point where you are unable to look after anyone else, to function properly is not healthy for anyone, especially you.
Don’t ever forget the importance of you.