When I found out we were expecting our second child something inside me shifted. I had no idea what I was in for, but I knew that having two children would completely change the game… my game. Working a full-time job, managing a full-time nonprofit organization that I co-founded and managing a full-time family of four was going to require a level of super powers I was unsure I possessed. Giving birth to our second child earlier this year meant the end of Superwoman.
In my mind, Superwoman had a fabulous career, an impeccably clean home, a home cooked dinner every night and a happy, well-cared for family. She was dedicated to completing the tasks that needed to be done. She said “yes” to helping, meetings and events. She cared for everyone around her. I was nowhere near superwoman, but I was striving to be her.
Don’t get me wrong, I knew I had to adjust my cape… a lot. I thrive with routine and schedules. Our household had gotten into a pretty good routine, but after baby two I had to learn not to stress out every time the schedule needed to change. Which is at least twice a week. I had to accept that I may only get two tasks marked off my to do list instead of the twenty-seven that I had planned. I had to acknowledge that ‘grouchy’ comes with the territory when you’re waking up every four hours and find ways to minimize the attitude in public settings. My family ate more fast food than I’ll admit here.
But I’m not complaining. I have adapted the best way a fish can to climbing a tree. I have given myself much more grace this time around. I say “yes” to help without grimacing too much. I manage my schedule in a way that allows me to not feel completely overwhelmed. I listen to my body and don’t push beyond a certain breaking point. Even after all these adjustments, there was more than one occasion where my husband told me that I was “in a mood” and I, so lovingly, responded “That’s because all of you are getting on my nerves, I want you all to go away and leave me in this house by myself!” Whelp….
I love my three guys, so after my second or third time responding in this manner I finally had the realization that my idea of Superwoman had to end completely. The most important thing that I have learned is that this new woman I was becoming had to start scheduling time alone and creating ways to care for herself. Since self-care is still a work in progress, I am challenging myself to five days of it starting now (no time like the present, right?), and this is how it will go:
Wednesday, August 9th
15 minutes of journaling. My journal or one of my journals that I write for my kids, doesn’t matter which one.
Thursday, August 10th
15 minutes of solo time. Meditating, talking to myself, whatever as long as I’m alone.
Friday, August 11th
30 minutes reading. No, not an audiobook in the car, but sitting down, undistracted, with a physical book.
Saturday, August 12th
A 3 mile run with my run group
Sunday, August 13th
1 hour of glorious midday sleep; AKA a nap AND 20 minutes painting nails
So, Superwoman may have come to an end, but a super woman is emerging. And although I have no problem doing this thing solo, I am going to challenge you to five days of self-care. Who’s in?
Yolanda Jenkins is a wife, mother of 2, and an introverted leader. She can sometimes be found sharing the good, the bad and the ugly on IG @thislibralife.
feature photo credit: createherstock.com