We are creatures of habit and most of us would be completely lost if even the slightest deviation happened to our daily routine. As a mom, I’m used to operating under a constant level of stress and pressure. I haven’t been completely relaxed since my last epidural. Ever since I became aware of my new responsibility as a parent, I’ve been running on 10 ever since.
Parenting isn’t for wimps my friends and it certainly isn’t for the selfish people of the world either.
So yea, I know what it’s like to feel pressure and have to perform while it’s getting hotter and tighter all around me.
I know what it’s like to have two cases of stomach flu to deal with all at one time. Well, it would really be three cases, if I counted myself but I didn’t because my symptoms had to be shelved for their sake.
I know what it’s like to be tired but unable to sleep. I know what it’s like to work a 12 hour shift with less than two hours of sleep.
I know what a lot of things are like.
But there’s one thing that I’ve learned over the years that’s so very important.

Everyone need a safety zone.

Everyone should have a place they can go and call a time-out.
I’m not saying that I have circumstances which afford me the opportunity to drop everything and attend to my own needs. But I thank God that I do have authentically loving friends and family around me who wouldn’t ignore me if I said, “Hey gang. I’m on the ledge and I really don’t know how much more I can take”.
I can’t tell you how vital that is.
There are so many people who know they can’t say that to anyone. They feel as if they’re the heartbeat of so many people’s lives. If they quit, then the whole operation falls apart.
I had to learn really quickly that taking a break is far less devastating than leaving the field of play altogether.
:Last year, I battled a severe case of vertigo. It came out of nowhere. I woke up one morning feeling dizzy and slightly nauseous and before I knew it, I was almost completely immobile. I immediately saw my family doctor and a specialist. I took everything they prescribed. Nothing really worked. I could barely dress myself. I looked like I was drunk when I walked. I couldn’t drive my children to preschool.
I was shutting down.
So what happened?
Did the world come to an end? Did everyone stop functioning because I couldn’t help myself, much less them?
My mom stepped up in a phenomenal way. She helped me get dressed. She dressed the children. She did everything I couldn’t do around the house. She saw that I needed help and she helped me.
I realize that not everyone lives in a multi-generational household like I do but there’s still a lesson to be learned.

There is help if you need it.

It took me getting to the point where I couldn’t physically do anything for myself to realize that I have so many loving people around me who were more than willing to help if I’d only allow them to.
It was and still is a bit hard for me to accept help. However, it’s not as difficult as it used to be. Anything that can get me back in the game, healthy, strong and whole, I’m all for it now.
And that’s what help does.
It gets you back in the game and helps you heal.
I still have a lot on my plate. Most of it gets eaten in a day, but a lot of it doesn’t.
I’m not trying to win any contests or competitions anymore. I’m just trying to do what I can and make the most of every moment of my life. I want my children to have all of me, not just the part that they see in the rear view mirror as we speed our way through life, completely consumed with this activity or that.
Don’t get me wrong. Activities are good. However, having enough time to read a bedtime story complete with dramatizations is priceless to me.
Everyone needs a place they can go and tell the truth. I know that I have someone I can be transparent with and tell, “Hey, I don’t feel like a good mom today” and not be judged. I can talk to someone and tell them that my plate is too full and they’ll be honest with me and tell me what needs to get scraped off IMMEDIATELY. I have people I can be real with. I have people that will listen. No, it’s not a whole multitude of people…
But when you’re at the end of your rope…
All you really need is one helping hand.

Thanks to everyone who is a part of my safety zone. You know who you are and I love you for it.