If the title of this article looks familiar to you, then you’ve read or glanced at Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. If you read my last article, you already know I temporarily deactivated my Facebook in an attempt to have more time and to find myself again. So I read a few self-help books and I can not recommend Girl Wash Your Face enough. Rachel Hollis is the woman that other women wish were their best friend. She is honest and funny. She talks about the lies we believe about ourselves – so we in turn can discover the truth. On the front cover of the book it states, “Stop believing the lies about who you are so you can become who you were meant to be.”
Back to my title. I want to talk about how this book helped me realize a lie that I believed. Because of my Independent Fundamental Baptist upbringing, I have, for most of my life, believed the acronym for the word JOY was Jesus, Others, and You. That we are to put Jesus first, then others, and then ourselves. But what happens when we are empty? When we have spent all day with a toddler and a baby giving our all, and when the end of the day comes we don’t have enough energy to even relax? When our husbands work such long hours that from the time our kids wake up until the time we all go to bed, all they have seen and the only caregiver has been mom? When we have several special needs kids or we are a single mom to multiple children and we never get a break? Or maybe we are in the throws of being a stay-at-home mom to little children for so long that we forget who we are completely? God, I miss that girl.
I’m not talking about being selfish. I don’t think any true mother can ever be completely selfish, but we really can’t pour from an empty cup. Every day I have to remind myself to take care of myself. In the past I have neglected my body, mind, and spirit so that I could put my family before me. In the end I was the one who truly suffered. I’ve forgotten to eat dinner while running around cooking and cleaning and loading five kids in the car to take my husband his dinner to work – doing things for everyone else – and wound up eating junk food after everyone else was already in bed. Then I would feel even more awful because I ate too late and I ate terribly. I know there are other moms out there who feel this same way and who need this same message…
Take care of yourself, mama! Your kids need YOU. They need you to be happy and healthy.
Maybe you ate junk for dinner last night, maybe you haven’t taken a shower in days, maybe you stayed up too late helping your kid with a project, or cleaning the house. Motherhood can be joyous, but only if we take time for some self-care. I am in no way saying we should put ourselves before Jesus or others but we need to take care of ourselves. Our cup needs to be full so that we can pour our wisdom and energy into the lives of our children.