I clearly remember a time as a young mother that I lost myself.
I had problems in my marriage. Money was tight, and I’d decided to babysit to bring in some extra cash. Every day was comprised of diapers, housework, cooking, dishes and laundry. Sometimes the chores came in a different order, but the routine varied little.
I gradually became more isolated. My conversations were focused on meals, going to the potty and picking up toys. I hadn’t noticed that I’d stopped putting on make-up. I began to lose weight, and my clothing no longer fit me. Instead of buying anything for myself, I held up my pants with safety pins. I became sad, and then, a bit depressed. Arthritis symptoms cropped up, and I found myself in pain from the neck down. I developed migraine headaches. I was only 27, but felt like a much older woman.
Circumstances radically changed my living arrangements. I wound up leaving my husband, moving and returning to work. Those circumstances made me look at my life. What had happened to me? I had gotten lost.
Is your body talking to you? Do you feel sad? Have you stopped caring for yourself? Are you wearing your make-up, getting your hair done and purchasing new clothing from time to time? If not, what’s up with that, sister? You may be depressed.
Our sadness is talking to us. What can we do about this? Take a few baby steps back to YOU.
1. If you are a stay-at-home mom, or NOT, be sure to take an hour for yourself every day.
• Use nap time to read your favorite book.
• Get up an hour before your family and go for a walk in nature.
• Sit alone on the porch in the evening and listen to the crickets.
2. Say “No” to someone about something or tell someone what you really want. Since you will never please everyone anyway, find a way to do what you want, at least occasionally. When you reconnect to your authentic voice, you will feel less at the whim of other people and more in control of your life (which you are anyway). Stuffing your true opinions leads to migraines and ulcers over time, guaranteed.
3. Listen to your heart, and follow your passions. All of us have things we feel strongly about. Find a way to include your passion in your life. Then, let it grow and bear fruit.
The more you reconnect to yourself, the happier you will be, no matter how many diapers you change during the day. Love yourself. Without you, the castle falls apart, along with all of the precious lives within it. You matter.
Maxine Browne is a contributing author of the International Best Seller, The Missing Piece by Kate Gardner, as well as the author of Years of Tears. She has dedicated her life to helping others understand domestic violence and how to enjoy healthier relationships. In her workshops she tells stories of abuse and recovery that will inspire you to press past your present circumstances to create the life you want for your family.
Contact Maxine to speak at your next event at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit her website at www.maxinebrowne.com.
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Her books are available on Amazon.