Parenting Guides

I Love You (Even When I’m Loving Myself)

One of the best things that happened to me when I became pregnant with my second child was having the ability to prioritize what was important in my life and what wasn’t. At that point, things that seemed like big issues before didn’t matter as much. It’s like that when you’re working with half the energy that you normally have. 

I have the tendency to be a busybody. I’m all up in everybody’s business, wanting to make sure folks feel listened to and heard.  If you tell me something, I’m going to remember it, and I’m going to care about it. A large part of that comes from my personal experience of not feeling valued when I was younger. While I may not make the most friends, the people that I do connect with, it typically sticks. The challenge with that is when you work on the internet, it can feel like everybody is your friend.

They’re not.

My first trimester was when I had a few big wake up calls regarding real friendships and boundaries. I realized I was taking care of a whole lot of folks who I didn’t even really know that well, and neglecting the people who actually deserved my time. It was difficult for some people to learn that I was not available at the exact moment they needed me for support or counseling or whatever.

The people who weren’t used to hearing “no” from me were confused, but I started feeling lighter and less stressed. My first trimester was rough pretty much from the moment of conception, so that epiphany about friendships came right on time.

The funny thing is, I can look back at that time of my life and the people I was choosing to sow into, and we aren’t even friends anymore. Not because I didn’t keep trying to be there for them with the time that I had to give, but because I realized they weren’t checking in on me.

Unfortunately, some of my real friends experienced the residual effects of my pulling back to take care of myself, and started to feel slighted. I had to tell more than one person that I still loved them even when I was loving myself. Even when I hadn’t had a real vacation in over a year, and I was doing the best that I could at being a mom and still struggling, and wanting to make sure my husband got attention…I still love them. But I had to take care of my life over here.

Since then I’ve been continuing to pray for God to help me to stop sweating the small stuff, for discernment when it comes to people and their motives, and to stop caring about things / situations / people that I can’t change.

I am NOT a savior.

I’m NOT everybody’s Mama.

I don’t have to be the comforter, the scapegoat, or the punching bag for folks and their issues.

Oh, and I am NOT the safe place. I can’t afford to be anymore. It’s important that I am able to take care of myself, my family, and have enough left to reciprocate to my loved ones and friends who sow into me.

Letting go is hard, but it’s necessary.

Because loving myself? That’s non-negotiable.

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