“Don’t forget to fill your own cup.”
“You can’t pour from an empty cup.”
“You can’t fill up others with an empty cup.”
Over and over again I hear self care advice telling mums that they need to fill their own cup before they can fill others.
But what happens when your cup has a leak? I try, I really try to keep my cup full, but I’m seriously starting to think that there’s something wrong with my cup.
No matter what I do, I can’t quite get my cup to reach the top. Actually most of the time I don’t even think it reaches half way.
I haven’t blogged for a couple of weeks now. I’m finally getting time to write this after several weeks of illness being passed around my family ranging from tonsillitis to chickenpox. The rollercoaster ride isn’t quite over and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that other members of the family are spared. Plus, I can already feel we’re heading into the crazy season of end of year school events, dance concerts, pre-Christmas catch ups and the festive season … even though it’s only October!
I know my almost empty cup is beginning to affect me, my parenting and my relationships.
I feel tired. I feel worn out. I can be grouchy. I can be snappy. I’m certainly not always the mum, or wife, I want to be.
Inside I know she’s still there. The fun mum. The happy mum. The not phased by a change to routine mum. I’m that person some of the time, but it doesn’t feel often enough lately.
For now, I’m working on grabbing snippets of ‘me’ time when I can and try to tell myself that that’s enough. Baby steps, right?
I’m trying to do things that I enjoy – like reading, writing, baking, sewing, crochet. Still, I don’t feel that l am following through on any of my bigger objectives.
Right now I’m a woman with great intentions but lacking in any kind of commitment. For months I have planned to do some more exercise by taking a walk around a nearby lake every Wednesday morning. I even set a calendar appointment to remind me, but have since deleted this as it started to make me feel guilty, because do you know how many times I have been on that walk? Zero. Never. Zilch. Whether it be rain, illness, sick children, errands or housework, there always seems to be something else that comes up and takes priority.
It’s also been some time since I have spent any serious time on the yoga mat, either at home or in a class. I sign up for 30-day online yoga challenges that I never do, I look for yoga classes that fit into my family’s schedule but when I finally sign up and attend a few classes the timetable changes to a night when I can no longer attend and I have to start my search all over again.
There seems to be something blocking my way. It’s frustrating and tiring but I realise I have to find a way to break down that wall.
I know I chose this lifestyle for me and my family. I made a conscious choice to leave behind the corporate world to be a stay at home mum and I wouldn’t alter that decision for anything in the world. The time I get to spend with and be there for my girls means so much to me.
Right now I need to work on removing the blocks – both mentally and the physically. Because I know that filling my cup shouldn’t be a chore, it shouldn’t be another thing on my to do list and I certainly shouldn’t feel guilty about seizing those moments and making time for me.
Do you have trouble filling your cup? How do you keep your cup full?