Deserving of Time
By Nyssa Biszko
A mother’s mind frequently lurches back and forth between weariness and fulfillment. Her mind is content, yet tired—sometimes exhausted. A mother is consumed by her many roles . . . “wife,” “mother,” “comforter,” and “teacher.” At times, the many purposes her life serves can combine to seem overwhelming—too much to ask of anyone. She will often contemplate to where her former self has departed. Surely, a more selfish version of herself ran off somewhere upon her child’s birth. Perhaps, even, there is some mourning.
On many occasions, I sense the loss of my former self. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I find myself asking: who am I? Am I a mother of two? Am I a devoted wife? Am I an entrepreneur? It seems I fill all of those roles for others. Who am I when I am alone?
As the last twenty-four months have congealed into two years since we brought our first daughter home, I have found the need to reconnect with myself. Setting time aside for myself is challenging. There are always dishes to be done, clothes to be folded, or meals to prep; however, I have found that if I focus solely on necessities, I cannot properly maintenance my well-being. In the midst of being a caregiver for everyone else, I need care as well.
Setting out in search of oneself demands patience. No mother can make meaningful discoveries without investing meaningful amounts of time. The situation is sometimes complicated by the sacrifices one’s loved ones must make to give a mother those few precious moments for reflection. I was once convinced that I could heal the broken parts of myself in mere moments. Not so; not so. It takes many moments scattered across years.
So where does one begin?
In the infant days of motherhood, my moments were collected from sleepy fragments of joy. Our first daughter adored bathing, and so I searched high and low for a product that we could both enjoy. Each afternoon before her nap, she and I shed our clothing and slipped into a soft Coconut Milk & Oat Bath together. Her dreamy blue eyes took it all in, and her fuzzy newborn shoulders relaxed into my hands. We sang, we healed from a traumatic birth experience, and I found softness despite sleep deprivation.
As the toddler years fell upon us, I fervently sought elusive quiet time. Our one bedroom did not allow much for that. By five o’clock, otherwise thrilling giggles were grating on the nerves. It wasn’t that I found my daughter’s happiness distasteful in any way. We both needed quiet time in which to grow; and I had a responsibility to attempt to provide that time. The shower became our safe refuge; the soft water creating the white noise we needed to sigh the day away. It was then that I began to indulge in a luxurious shampoo product. To this day, the aroma of that shampoo helps me relax.
In the years ahead, I am confident that there will be new hurdles to overcome, and that as my children shift and change into adults; the shift will cause new needs to emerge. One thing of which I am confident: my self-care should always have a place in our home. Such a reservation is required to support a healthy marriage, family life, and faith-filled home. Things that were fulfilling in the past may not be in the future, but we should make a conscious effort to pursue what is on our hearts. . . remembering to take the time necessary to discern what those may be.
So I urge you, dear weary mother, no matter where you are on your glorious journey, to take fifteen minutes to yourself each day. Those minutes do not have to be alone, or even in a quiet setting; however, they should be fifteen minutes during which you reflect on your own needs, so as to better give back to others. As mothers, each of us wants to exude a nurturing spirit, calm demeanor, and the will to give our children our best at every moment. We are each deserving of the reservation necessary to make total self-gifts of ourselves to others. Thank you for everything that you give to the world!
By Deck & Oar
Artist Cate Adriana