My son is back to school. He was home most of last year doing remote learning which he really enjoyed. Remote learning was a great fit for him for so many reasons. We sent him out the door to begin high school in person this year, excited for this new venture in his life. The biggest issue is that Max doesn’t like to eat at school. I send him with fruit, veggies, protein bars, snacks and water, and I hope that something ends up in his stomach. I’m a mom. I worry about him. I want to take care of him and feed him good food. I told my husband that our son doesn’t take care of himself. Seth’s response to me was, “Neither do you!” Wow! Talk about a wake up call. He told me this at the exact right time, right space, right moment for me to really hear him. Sometimes you need to say things more than once for people to really hear you.
I told Max that it is very important to feed himself and take care of himself. He is dropped off at 7:30 AM and picked up at 5:00 PM after soccer practice. I hope he is getting some food in his stomach. How is he supposed to play soccer? “We have to fuel our bodies.” I explained to Max.
I started to put two and two together. While I’m worrying about Max fueling his body, I wasn’t worrying about myself. I am always taking care of people. I am a caretaker at heart. How can I take care of others if I don’t take care of myself? How can I have energy and stamina to keep up with my children and give them the best of me, if I don’t take care of myself?
My kids are back to school full time. Since they have been back to school, I have spent most of my time at my computer in the peace and quiet. My girls are so sweet, and they want to know what I did all day while they were at school. Every day my response has been, “I worked all day.” I just finished recording a podcast with a wonderful lady who is all about helping women find their joy and purpose in their lives. When I was done meeting with her, I realized that I was feeling lightheaded. I asked myself, “Did you eat anything today?” The answer was no. I brought myself downstairs and ate a big salad. I was thinking about what I was going to write and how important it is to feed myself. I could hear my husband telling me to go spend time feeding myself a good lunch.
I want to apologize to myself:
I’m sorry for not feeding you healthy food regularly. I am working on this. I just had a delicious salad. I will feed you more often and prioritize doing this. This is an important part of the day.
I’m sorry for overworking you. Let’s at least block off Fridays for no work and more play time! I have so much I want to accomplish but I will pace myself.
I’m sorry for expecting you to do everything. Your family and friends are a team. It is not all on you. Remember to ask for help and remember to “Un-superwoman” yourself.
I’m sorry for being so hard on you. You deserve better. I will have more patience and kindness with myself. I will expect less.
I’m sorry for forgetting about you. You are important. You deserve to be a priority.
I’m sorry for everything that I have done wrong this year. I will continue to work on being better to myself and others.
As we celebrate Yom Kippur this week (Jewish Holiday, Day of Atonement), it is our holiest day of the year. Jews repent for all their sins for the year and ask for forgiveness. As I started to think about what I did wrong this year, I started to think about myself. I am sorry for everything I did wrong to myself. It is important to me to really reflect on this and think about what I am going to do differently. I think making sure to feed myself is a good start. We are so sorry for everything we do wrong to other people. Let us not forget about ourselves.
I also want to apologize to anyone that I may have hurt this year. I never want to hurt or offend any of you. I will continue to work on being the best version of myself. When I am kinder and better to myself, it reflects and ripples over to everyone in my life. Taking care of myself makes me a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, social worker, etc. Start with forgiving yourself and being kinder to yourself and watch the effect it has on your life.
Go be kinder to yourself. Take care of yourself.
G’mar chatima tova which means, “May you be sealed in the Book of Life.” The Jewish Calendar is different and follows a Lunar cycle. May all my Jewish tribe have a healthy and safe year ahead.
Laughing, Learning, Loving,
Rebecca Greene, LCSW-R
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