A while back, I was drafting a post about how children just seem to, “stick to me like glue.” This was not a complaint, but rather, an observation that I am constantly surrounded by my children – and, I love them being stuck to me like glue.
In order for me to love my constant sidekicks, it is important that I recognize my needs. Often, parents (both moms and dads alike) have difficulty acknowledging they have needs as individuals – as people not part of a couple, and as people not part of their parenthood. We have a tendency to overlook the steps in which we can recharge our batteries. So frequently, most of us try to be all things to all people, and it can wear us down.
The stress of this impacts our relationships with those who love us the most. Furthermore, the the stress of trying to, “be all things to all people,” impacts our own mental outlook.
For me, every move my family makes, I struggle to find my niche and find the outlet to allow me to recharge my batteries. However, I strive to find that outlet and balance because I have seen firsthand, numerous times throughout my employed career, what happens when parents don’t take the time to care for themselves.
A couple years ago, I had a friend re-introduce me to the Catholic Women of the Chapel (CWOC), which is found on various military installations, run through their chapels. My initial experience with CWOC was not a particularly positive one. At the encouragement of this friend, I found the new group I tried out was a means for me to find spiritual support, as I traveled the road of “stay at home wife and mother,” and as I traveled along the road of military spouse, moving every few years. Participating in the group allowed me practical ways to keep my faith alive, and began teaching me ways to guide my own children along their own faith journeys. Within that group of women, I found support and strength.
I also found a way to recharge my batteries – first, by merely participating in the group, then by leading others in the group. I have been a participant in 2 CWOC groups since that period where my friend encouraged me to, “give it another try.”
When my husband came home from deployment last spring, I had the opportunity to attend a regional Military Council of Catholic Women (MCCW) retreat. MCCW provides support for individual CWOC groups at military chapels. For more information about MCCW, check out their website here.
I learned last year how beneficial it can be to allow myself to occasionally get away form the house – leave the house, the cooking, the cleaning behind, and allow myself to be fed, both literally and figuratively. It was the first time I had been away from my family, and I missed them like crazy. Most importantly, though, I came back rejuvenated.
This weekend, I am going away again. Granted, E is coming with me because she is still nursing, but I am going to be able to engage in activities that will assist me in recharging my batteries.
And, as a wife, parent, and friend, it is okay to do so.