What is “The Mommy Drain?”
“The Mommy Drain,” is a phrase I have come up with to express a Mother’s ability to do everything for others until they inevitably burn out. Sometimes it is easy to see the root cause of the drain but other times it manifests itself into grouchiness, crying for no reason, or a physical, spiritual, and emotional exhaustion.
On Monday of this week I experienced “The Mommy Drain,” and it was the first time in a long time. I would like to state, that this was not a typical Monday, although always hectic; it is almost never this crazy.
* In the morning I took a long walk with a family member. We hosted a special event for my son and had family come in from out of town and stay with us for the weekend.
*At noon, I had a 1 hour training at my daughter’s school. Another Mom and I were asked to teach a special lesson in their class next week for 3 hours. Teaching a group of 4th graders for 3 hours (trust me, I know how hard it is being a teacher) gave me a little anxiety. The leader of the training thanked all of us and told us that the training normally lasts two hours but we were all going to be great (no pressure).
*Mid-afternoon, I attended a memorial service for a friend who had lost a parent, unexpectedly. The service was a beautiful homage to her and it wasn’t long before I felt like that 18 year old girl that lost her father and had to attend his service. The fog of grieving started to settle in but I ignored it because my day was not in anyway over.
*Late afternoon I ran home after grocery shopping to prepare a quick dinner. I also went over the children’s homework, signed planners and prepped everything for the next morning.
*In the evening, I attended a meeting for a group that supports local artists. They have quarterly meetings and in the whole time I have been registered with them, I have never been able to attend because of conflicts. I decided this would be the one time I could go, so I did. In retrospect, not the best idea, I was solemn from earlier and listening to all the items that needed to be done and what they hoped to accomplish made the feeling of being overwhelmed stronger.
Needless to say “The Mommy Drain,” completely set in on Tuesday Morning. I made the kids their lunches and got them on the bus. I was exhausted, and the morning had just started! I called my Mom, who has had a tough year after breaking her arm in January. I was choked up on the phone after thinking back on the service I attended. I wished her a good day and said, “I love you.”
At that moment, something told me that I needed to take some me time. I had a nice breakfast and then walked into my bedroom. The room was still dark because I hadn’t opened the blinds and I felt a kind of peace. All my senses were dull and I think that is exactly what I needed. I took a 2 hour nap and looking back, I realized that I really hadn’t slept much in the past three days. As I laid there after the nap, I really didn’t want to get up, but remembered I needed to do things and thought of a blog post I had read recently.
In Ever Upward, a post resonated with me the week before titled The Overwhelming Unknown. In the post, Justine Froelker talks about being overwhelmed and how going back to the basics can help you come back to being and feeling yourself again.
I popped out of bed and started making all the phone calls I needed to make, completed the day to day chores that keep our home running smoothly and even took a little time to catch up on my reading for the week.
Taking time to take care of yourself is so vital. I sometimes forget the value of what I do because I don’t get a paycheck at the end of the week and I definitely don’t get a quarterly review. But then I look back at how my Husband totally panics if I am not feeling well, or my kids come home with good grades and hugs to remind me of why spending that extra time doing homework and making sure they are fed and nurtured, are important.
Enjoy your Mothers day this year. Let your family spoil you and always take time for yourself.