No te rajes, mujer

Late night writing tonight. Raptors are on downstairs, mi esposo is working out, I’m writing and eating Skinny Pop palomitas while Javi just climbed into my bed “I’m going to cuddle with you a little bit, mama” Okaaaaaay, there goes my “me-time” we’ve been talking about. Asi que, whatever – let’s do this thang.

Back on here with the “me-time” topic. I touched on it in my last post, pero I feel like I have much more to say since one of my readers highlighted it. Not just any reader, but mi comadre, my homemade treats provider and madrina to our Mireya, kind of reader. Jajaja Shout out!! Anyways, I mentioned in my post how I was very hesitant about it, anxious and scared of where to begin, what it would even be like and how it also felt like something else on my list I had to do. Well, if that’s how it’s going to feel, then no wonder you wouldn’t be enthused. Lo bueno es que it doesn’t have to be like that at all.

Making some “me-time” shouldn’t feel like another chore or task to complete in your day. It should be something tu quieres. You may not be there yet, and yes, that is okay. As long as you’re aware, accepting and attempting to make the efforts to get there. By that I mean, being open to ideas, really making an effort to consider them and possibly even including it in your week’s plans, even if you don’t actually follow through. Pero, if you don’t even do it, how does that even count? It counts totalmente, mama. That’s way better than your previous week of not even pencilling it in, verdad? Acuerdate, small victories are to be celebrated too.

It probably took me como unos 3 meses before I really started taking action. I did all of those steps mentioned above: I listened in annoyance at all the suggestions, I considered them, imagined my miserable self doing them, probably made mental plans to do them one day this week – me raje (gave up) and the cycle continued. I really wanted to, it sounded great pero la verdad es que, I didn’t want to do those things that badly. I tried it all: going to hot yoga, going for walks, going for runs, going to the mall, going to get my nails done, going, going, going. No pos esto es estupido.

Not. For. Me. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting my nails done and looking all chula. Pero, I didn’t want my “me-time” to be those things. Those are things I already do because I want to and like to, or I don’t because I genuinely am not interested. Nahhh guey, no gracias.

The most obvious thing to “me-time” is that it’s about YOU. It’s own title is telling you the answer, so I don’t know why it took me so long to figure it out. I had to find something that was just more “ME”. Pues, duhhhh. Muy facil, I know myself, what’s more “me”? … … … … … … … … … … … … … and more … … … … …. … … … okaaaaay, any day now…

That right there is me realising, que ala madre I don’t even really know myself anymore. Pero que paso? I’m a teacher, I’m a mom, I’m a wife, I’m a friend – I’m all these great, poderosa things pero I feel unknown? I had changed. A lot.

Change can be good, change can be bad. En este caso, it was kinda good, kinda bad. Or at least that’s what it felt like. I had to build up the courage to be alone with myself again, and that was scary. When you’re alone, in the quiet – everything comes to mind, which meant a lot of my scary, anxious thoughts would too. I didn’t want to have to face all of that, y sola, menos.

So I started small. Mi esposo and I were on a date night actually, and decided to go to Chapters. I was originally going to grab un libro about romance, some telenovela story for fun. Pero, I seemed to find myself wandering over to the “self-help” section. Ay, no me digas – you’re depressed? Estas mal. *eye roll* Nombre, those are all the voices of my mama, mis tias, probably mi abuela en el cielo – because, you’re supposed to be fuerte and poderosa, no time for depression. I’m not even depressed! Even if I was, how is that a bad thing, at least I’m in the self-help section no? Jajaja, you know how those convos go with Latinas. #EndTheStigma for real though.

Anyways! The self-help section. I looked at a few books, pero I got intimidated and ashamed… No pos claaaaroooo. I remember feeling bien estupida, so I went to the opposite side of the self-help section and found myself in the Parenting section. Greaaaat, because the whole point of having date night is to find yourself in the parenting section at Chapters. Really?! I do suck Jajaja. Pero naaahhhh. I was going to look it over de todos modos.

I skimmed the shelves, and found a pretty amazing set of books. This author, Meg Meeker is a best-selling author, a paediatrician and a mom. Mama poderosa!! Si, por favor! I bought them all. Jajaja. Yup. Date night success and “me-time” material! Andale, that deserves an applause – or a bag of Takis, you know me and snacks jajaja. Pero en verdad, I had finally accomplished something huge: I had something for my “me-time” again! Dale, mamita, Dale jajaja. If you read that in the voice of Abuela from One Day at a Time, you a real one.

The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers by Meg Meeker. That, chismosas, is the best book I have read yet as a mama. It changed me. In all kinds of buenisimo!! “Reclaiming our passion, pupose, and sanity” <– Literalment, what I was trying to do for myself in that point in time. Even though it was actually in the Parenting section, there’s no doubt in my mind that the self-help section guided me there. Or maybe us papas guided the stagers of Chapters to put those sections back to back – I mean, what parent wouldn’t benefit from a little self-help every now and then. No te digo!

This was my first step to getting to know myself again, to falling in love with myself again and ultimately, being the best version of myself as a mama of dos chamacos feos. Just kidding, they not feos, we just say things like that in Spanish – it’s all amor, don’t worry. Jaja. Pero enserio, best investment. I felt so validated, every page I was like OMG RIGHT?! This mujer gets me. I felt accepted, not so alone with my thoughts and feelings, and motivated.

Wow, motivated. That’s what that feels like? Ya se me habia olvidado. It had been some time since I last felt like that, that was for sure. Pero gracias al Self-help section, and quite honestly una buena limpia, here I was again. I had found my love for reading again, making some more “me-time” because of it, where I didn’t have to GO anywhere or actually DO something. Esto es lo que andaba buscando. Quiet, relaxing, me-time without mi cabeza overflowing with endless thoughts. Mi felicidad.

Once you start, the momentum keeps you going. I started liking myself again, not to say I didn’t like who I was as all of my roles, pero digo, myself myself – without the titles and duties I played out dia y dia. I actually looked forward to spending time with myself, which made me want to do it mas y mas. Ultimately, I began a workout routine in our basement, I was more at ease leaving the house for a few hours at a time by myself, I gained confidence to try new things that interested me: yoga en un pinche YURT! Orale!! Jajaja. Pero enserio, life changing.

When you give yourself your “me-time” everyone benefits. “Me-time” can sound un poco, selfish? Como, go away, I need MY time. Pero no lo es. I also learned that along the way, the book helped with that a lot. We’re really good at giving our chamacos their “me-time”, pero we call it “down-time” or even “nap-time”. Pues que chingados crees que “me-time” is, mama?! ESO ES! We need this “down-time” too! We’re human too! We have needs too! Asi que, toma tu “down-time”, “me-time”, even “nap-time” como quieres decirlo, take it. Your familia will thank you. And so will you, eventually.

Be aware of your feelings, accept that you should and can make a change si tu quieres and attempt some ideas and suggestions. Be open. Even if you don’t feel like you need any of this advice, you have your “me-time” on lock, or lo que sea – no importa, get the book. Because it’s the bidi bidi bomb bomb. Read the book. Love the book. Share the book. No te rajes, mujer!! And become the mama poderosa you were meant to be. Con ganas.

Book: The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers by Meg Meeker. Compralo. You’re welcome. 🙂

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