I was coming back from my recent week of travelling, it was 10 pm on Saturday night and I was mentally preparing for the next four hours. The red eye from Vancouver to Toronto is brutal but the option of having to spend another night away from my boys seemed even more painful.
I have a bit of an odd superstition, I always watch the safety video. I fly a lot, and (knock on wood) have never had any issues. Watching the safety video makes me feel prepared and if I’m prepared chances are nothing bad will happen. It’s when I’m not prepared that there could be problems. At least that’s what I tell myself to keep my “what if” mind from spinning out of control.
I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with the Air Canada safety video. It’s really not worth watching. What is worth noting is the idea that in the event of an emergency it’s recommended you put your oxygen mask on before assisting others.
In the video it shows a very calm mother putting her mask on as a small girl, presumably her daughter, watches. Once she has her mask on, she then helps the little girl with hers.
What would you do? Honestly? If you were on a plane and oxygen masks dropped from the sky what would you do? I think realistically there are four options:
- Put yours on first while your child helplessly watches and then help them.
- Put your child’s on first and then your own.
- Try to do both at the same time.
- Try to do both at the same time while also helping your husband.
My guess is you would pick option three or four. That’s because that’s what we do. We moms help. No matter what the cost, we always want to help.
The problem is, always wanting to help can become unhelpful.
Being away from the boys for the past four days actually gave me the opportunity to be on my own, something that has not happened in a long, long, time.
Of course it was hard, and of course I missed my boys but
I also secretly enjoyed it I got through it.
Being on my own gave me the opportunity to stop and reflect, something that also has not happened in a long time. Lately I have been working a ton, I have been struggling with balance and prioritizing my priorities. I know there is no one to blame but myself.
When we become stressed, overwhelmed, overworked and overtired it is often hard to see the forest for the trees. Thinking clearly and in turn acting clearly can quickly become difficult.
We all get into these ruts. Some last for days, some last for weeks and some can last for years. We jump on the treadmill of just getting through this day, just getting through this week, just getting through this month. Before we know it the year or years have gone by and we have spent much of it in a foggy haze, mentally a million miles away from the present moment.
Having a bit of time to myself over the last few days gave me the opportunity to step back and actually look at what’s been happening and how I have been making some questionable choices.
Ultimately it comes down to choices. We all have choices and it’s the choices that we make which have the greatest impact on our overall health and happiness.
When we consistently choose answering emails instead of connecting with our husband or working weekends instead of meeting-up with our friends or passing on play dates to do laundry, or going through the drive-thru instead of making dinner, we are tipping the scales in the wrong direction. Lately I have been guilty of this.
Having time on my own allowed me to step back and see I’m off balance, very off balance.
When you are off balance your mood is impacted, your creativity is impacted, your family and friends are impacted and ultimately your overall happiness.
I believe taking the time to be by yourself is one of the best ways that you can start to rebalance. Spending time on your own gives you the chance to step back and get a new perspective on what’s important, what you have been neglecting and where the priorities need to be placed.
It does not have to be four days or even a full day, but scheduling in even a few hours a week is extremely important, not only for your health and happiness but also for those around you.
I’m not going to lie, if the plane is going down I’m going to help Noble put his mask on before I put mine on. But, sometimes when the oxygen mask drops it’s not an emergency. Sometimes it can be a sign that it’s time to put your own mask on, to take a couple of deep breaths and to remember what’s truly important.
We can’t do everything for everyone all the time. We need to take the time to make the time for our self. Which as a full time working mom of a one year old, I know how hard this can be. I also know the consequences can be disastrous.
What are you doing to make more time? How do you manage to find “me time” when it seems like there is never enough hours in the day? What happens to you when you don’t make the time? I would love to hear your thoughts below.