Your three year old comes into the room, “Mommy, I want a story.” You happily stop what you are doing and oblige. When you finish, you try to go back to what you were doing but a few minutes later, your baby needs a diaper, then some milk, then a burp, then a rock, then a nap. By the time you finish taking care of your tiniest bundle of joy, your three year old urgently wants a snack because she has been waiting so patiently. You realize that you may never get back to what you were doing.
Each small demand placed on you takes just a little bit of your energy, a teeny bit of your focus, and a pint-sized amount of your time. You pour yourself out just a bit. A bit here and a bit there eventually add up to a good amount; some days there are so many demands on you that you pour out everything that you have and some reserve you didn’t even know you had. What happens when you pour out everything?
One of the most important things that we can do for ourselves as parents is take care of ourselves. Pouring every last drop out of your bucket leaves you feeling exhausted, empty, and longing. If you keep pouring everything out and never fill up, you will not be the best parent you can be, and you certainly won’t be happy or feel fulfilled.
Finding things that “fill your bucket,” so to speak, is so important. Perhaps spending time in prayer is exactly what you need. Maybe you love to read encouraging stories on your favorite website or blog. It might be that you are the kind of person who loves a long soak in the bath with a best-selling novel and scented bath oils to relax you. Whatever your thing is, I encourage you to take the time to do it.
Giving to others out of love (not out of obligation, which can be stressful) can make you feel good too. If you like to bake, make cookies and send some extras to someone else you know who needs a pick-me-up. You could also offer to watch a friend’s toddler while she gets some “me time.” When you fill up your bucket, you can pour yourself out again and it doesn’t hurt.
No one wants to walk around feeling like an empty shell. Utilize your support system and take the time to fill up on good stuff. When you have even a little “me time,” it can make the rest of your day lighter and easier.
Take care of yourself, allow yourself to ask for help if you need it, and choose sleep over chores late into the night when you can. Don’t be afraid to say no to avoid over-extending yourself. Be the best version of yourself by filling up your bucket and trying to avoid draining every last drop on a regular basis. It is one of the best things you can do for your marriage, your kids, your boss, and your life.
How do you recharge, refill your bucket, and set yourself up to win? We all need it, yet many of us don’t focus on it nearly enough. Comment below; I’d love to hear from you!