While waiting for a flight to take off, the flight attendants go over the safety instructions. “In the event the oxygen masks drop from the ceiling, put the mask over your own face before helping your companions. You cannot help anyone if you’re unconscious.”
It makes sense. And it’s something many parents need to remember more often.
Sometimes it can be difficult to figure out when your mask is already on and when you need to help someone else.
Over the past year and a half since diagnosis, Ryan and I have focused on ourselves a lot more. We’ve trusted that our children are resilient and that we’ll be able to help them once we’ve helped ourselves.
So far that’s proven true.
Even though we’ve managed to put on our own oxygen mask, that’s all we’ve managed to do. Yes, I’ve slept in and spent days on the couch when need be. Yes, we’ve had frozen pizza for dinner more times than I care to count. But that’s the minimum. That’s self preservation, not self-care.
Now we’re ready for self care.
For the past few weeks I’ve spent at least 15 minutes of each day with each child. I’ve listened to them, and helped them process their fears and lifted the weight that’s on their shoulders. But, I won’t be able to do any more than that unless I also increase the amount of time I spend taking care of myself.
Honestly looking at my life, my physical fitness and my eating habits. Taking a good hard look at how I spend my time, and how I wish to spend my time is the first step.
I spend a lot of time at the computer, or another screen. I spend a lot of time thinking about doing things, but never doing them. I also think about eating, but then don’t eat, or eat a giant bag of chips in one go (and I won’t mention the box of truffles I’ve hidden in our playroom)!
I have a lot of personal goals. I want to easily lift each of my children in my arms if they ask. I want to walk 7k a day and be able to easily run 5. I want to actually run at least 3 times a week.
I want to finish a sewing project weekly. Some of mine only take a few minutes, some can take much longer, but I want to average one a week. I want to step out of my comfort zone and try new things.
I want a full active life. When we travel to Disney, we walk roughly 10 miles a day, after we do one thing, we don’t go home, we keep going, we do more, see more, feel more! At the end of the day we chat about how much fun we had and what we hope to do the next day.
At Disney we feel alive and it shows. At home, we tend to sink and shrink. In order to achieve our goal of bringing magic into our home and making unforgettable happen here, we need to expand and grow. We need to get up and do more everyday to show how important our family and our lives are to us.