Have you ever tipped up your mug, expecting another tasty swig or your favorite drink, only to discover that the last swallow finished it? It’s so disappointing! There’s no way that empty cup is going to give you any more, no matter how many times you tip it up and try to drink. Unless you refill the cup.
As a wife and mom, I pour out a lot of myself during the day. Changing diapers, making meals, cleaning sticky hands and faces, doing laundry and dishes, making more meals, cleaning more sticky faces, changing more diapers… you get the idea. And I need to do it all with love and joy and patience. Love, joy, patience… A smile on my face, every minute, every hour, every day. Pouring out of myself to fulfill my family’s needs.
It doesn’t always happen. Laundry gets washed and diapers get changed, but I can tell you, I am not always smiling about it. My kids recently both had tummy troubles, and I changed a lot of really gross diapers, and washed a lot of bed sheets. After about the second diaper from a child with tummy troubles, there is no more smiling. Or when my kid decides to finger paint with her yogurt on the table, after being told not to. Not smiling. Or when the other kid spends two hours every night screaming about how she doesn’t want to go to bed, before she collapses out of pure exhaustion at 10pm. Every. Night. Definitely not smiling.
When all of these things, some not even a big deal, start to pile up… When the every day routine of cleaning up messes and breaking up arguments never seems to end… When you feel like pulling your hair out, stomping your foot, and screaming… It’s probably because that last mouthful of sweetness has already been poured out of your cup.
It’s time to fill your cup back up.
Nothing comes out of an empty cup, and if it’s left empty for too long, it gets crusty. Our families deserve an un-crusty, filled up Mom and Wife.
How can you fill back up? It depends. For some it might mean going to bed as soon as the kids are asleep and getting a few extra hours of sleep instead of watching TV. It could be taking a hot bath with the bathroom door closed (for once!). Or getting together with a friend for a kid-free chat and some pastries. Maybe it’s picking up an old hobby, or finding a new one. Maybe it’s tying up your running shoes and pounding pavement, or the treadmill at the gym. Or a new haircut. Or a new outfit. Or a date night with your husband. There are so many ways to take time to refill yourself!
The key is to make and take the time to do it. Sit down for a heart-to-heart with your hubby, and explain that you are feeling empty. If he can help you find the time to get away, and has your back with the kids, that’s great! If his schedule doesn’t allow him to hold down the fort, then find a friend or family member who can come over and watch the kids for an hour or two. Make it a priority.
For me, I refill my cup with crocheting. It’s a hobby I discovered when I was pregnant with my firstborn, and I’ve fallen in love with it. Most of what I make is for my kids, but that doesn’t matter. It’s a hobby I enjoy and I get to sit down and focus on something that doesn’t repeat my name every 30 seconds.
Find your thing. Make time to fill back up regularly. You’ll feel so much better, and your family will notice. I promise.