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Running On Empty by J.G. McGlothern May 11, 2009

Filed under: mom writer,motherhood,writer mom — heartwriter @ 10:14 pm
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I have been such a good mom today. I haven’t yelled or lost my cool once. In the face of opposition I have remained calm. It is because my cup is full from taking care of myself this past weekend. I got away from the husband, house, kids and dog and spent two nights with myself and my women’s group. We prayed, laughed, cried, walked, ate, drank wine and I even had a nap one day. I was listened to and the only person I had to be responsible for was myself. It doesn’t always necessitate an entire weekend away to refill my empty cup.

Often attending a yoga class, meeting a friend for a cup of tea, reading for twenty minutes, playing my online chess addiction, walking the dog around the block or just simply sitting quietly for a moment or two replenishes my used up supply of mothering.

The three things in my life that re-fuel my tank and fill my cup back up are exercise, reading and quiet.  I need time to connect with my body, mind and soul.  I need to feed it physically, mentally and spiritually. It is rare that all three will be honored in one day.  But if in one day, I attend my yoga class, go for a walk, write in my journal, meditate for twenty minutes and read for a half an hour that is the day I win the Mother of the Year award.  I am tuned in, present, grateful and calm. If all that can’t happen and it rarely does I’ll settle for a walk by myself or twenty minutes to pray, read and write. Hell a cup of hot tea, a book and sitting by myself makes me stronger for the rest of the day. This time is sacred, this time is mine.  Physically, mentally and spiritually I am filling my cup back up with every minute alone, every deep breath, every page read, word written, block walked and every moment connecting with myself. 

To refill your empty cup starts with being loving to yourself. You are so good at your job that your children depend more and more on you.  You give.  You give some more.  That’s when you can begin to unravel around the edges.  You become bitter. You are running on empty. 

What are your three things you need each day?  Do you notice the times you lose it? Is it safe to say those are the times you haven’t done anything for yourself?  You have been running around getting your kids ready for school, grocery shopping, cleaning up messes, making sure your kids are fed, watered, safe and oh yes, happy.  So take a moment to do the same for yourself.  What are you hungry for?  What will nurture your needs right now?  Is it a walk, a trashy magazine, an apple, a chocolate bar, a deep breath, a phone call, a long shower, a cup of tea sipped alone until the cup is empty and the liquid is still hot?  Scrubbing the toilet and throwing in a load of laundry are not going to fill up your cup?  WHAT CAN YOU DO JUST FOR YOU SINCE YOU HAVE BEEN DOING FOR OTHERS ALL DAY LONG?


4 Responses to “Running On Empty by J.G. McGlothern”

  1. Wow! Talk about good advice. I like the range of options you offer and the realization that self-care equals emotional availablility!

  2. Sukie Curtis Says:

    Great post, jenny. I wish I’d had half your wisdom on this topic when my kids were small. It’s still relevant, though! How cool too to have been able to spend mother’s day weekend off with your women’s group! Brilliant!

  3. sonya Says:

    You’re so spot on! I’m going to go shoot some hoops and grab a cup of coffee before I pick up the kids. 🙂

  4. charlotte Says:

    I totally agree that a little exercise, reading and quiet can lead to a more peaceful, patient and happy me. Beautfiully written!

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