Prendre soin de soi

Take care of yourself

Take care of yourself

The title leads you to believe that I've found the miracle solution to take care of myself, but it's quite the opposite: I'm calling for help! You who are a parent exhausted by the hectic pace of life, what do you do to take care of yourself?
My problem, and that of many other parents, is that we never take the time to stop. I would like it, me. My brain and my obligations, they don't care! For many, the global pandemic that hit Quebec in 2020 provided a well-deserved breath of peace. For others, this pandemic has rather served to knock on a nail already quite sunk. Yes, a few days, even weeks, were granted to us but the weight of a busy schedule of two parents who never stopped working accompanied by children isolated between four walls was not easy. Add school closures, remote schooling, quarantines, waiting for COVID tests because a runny nose, missed parties, missed friends... In short, the exhaustion was well there! As the virus slowly fades and life seems to want to return to normal, my question is therefore justifiable. What are you doing to take care of yourself? What do you do to relax? When do you allow yourself some solo time?
There is the hot tub with bubbles, but even though I have to bathe every day, I don't always have time to take a dip until my anxiety magically evaporates in the water return hole. Anyway, my brain won't stop rolling even though I'm cuddled up in lavender-scented bubbles. I like to read a good novel, the problem is that I always end up re-reading the same sentence fourteen times because of being disturbed by my household. In the fall, I knit! It's relaxing, but short-lived. By the way, does anyone want to finish my unfinished projects from the last three fall? Because here too, if you miss stitches from having been disturbed, you end up getting bored. Manicure and pedicure? Good idea! Until your varnish scratched 3 seconds after finishing by simply wanting to pick up a pile of balls of stockings that were hiding under the couch. So one day, at my wit's end, I left alone for a weekend. I am lucky to have an understanding husband, aware of the mental load I carry, who will never deny me a moment of solitude. “Chow bye, gang! Me time at the hotel, here I come!!’’ I boarded my car, MY music in the carpet, MY suitcase and MY favorite wine on the back seat. I rode for an hour smiling "LIBARTÉ!!!"... and then started crying like a madeleine under the weight of guilt. Cursed conscience, go! I ended the ride missing them as if I had been gone for a thousand years.
Because in addition to learning to take care of yourself, you also have to learn to manage the guilt that goes with it. Some live well with that (wink at my husband who leaves on a solo motorcycle without crying!), while others like me need to remember that we have the right. Yes, I have the right to leave for an hour, half a day or for a weekend! I have the right to go alone, with my husband or a friend! I have the right, you have the right, we have the right, DOT. Easier said than done, I'm the first to be reminded, but it has to be a mantra that all parents recite to each other. So you? Do you allow it? Share your tips, your advice and, above all, your ideas, so that we can all benefit from them! 😍
Karine Proulx
July 2021

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