Friday, July 12, 2013

Sharing My Best Self.


They say you learn things as you grow older. Something about the older you are, the wiser you become and while that rings true, sometimes I wish I was born with a certain amount of wisdom already in place. Regardless of my life experience or maturity. A built-in brilliance, if you will.   

I don't know why it took me a husband and two children before I sat down and asked myself, really really asked myself, "is my family getting the best of me?" 

By this I don't mean has my family overwhelmed me, as I'm certain they've done so on more than one occasion but rather I mean are they getting the best parts of me. My best attention. My best patience. My best love

This thought caught me off guard last week while I was sitting on the beach and as anyone with at least one child on a beach will tell you, "sitting" is much more non-stop watching and/or chasing your children like a hawk and much less actual sitting. However, I digress, for it's this thought that has been swirling around in my head ever since.

Is my family getting the best {parts} of me? 

I think, after a little bit of careful introspection, that, yes,  I can say, for the most part, they do get the best of me. Sure there are moments of tired me. And minimal attention me and less patience me but for the most part? I do my best to give them the best of me. 

Some days the boys get more of the best parts of me than my husband. It's kind of like compassion grief, something I learned about early on in my years as an oncology nurse. Back then I would spend all day caring so much for my patients, strangers who quickly became almost-family and I would care so much for them that at the end of the day, I wouldn't have any caring left for my husband at home. I wouldn't have any sympathy or tenderness left for him as I had used up all of my sympathy and tenderness tending to my patients.

Some days I use up all of my best parts while dealing with the boys all day. A short while back I wrote a little bit about putting my husband third and I am grateful to be married to a man who doesn't mind sometimes coming in last. It is in those moments that I try to remember to save a little bit of those best parts for him the next day.

Those days, I find myself more conscious about divvying up my best parts. Sharing them between my loved ones. This occasionally extends outwards from my immediate People and often includes phone calls home to my parents and texts to my friends. A few words here and there to let them know that I'm thinking about them. 

But it's not easy! Being conscious of your best self is difficult enough and to then have to worry about who you are sharing that best self with is almost too much to maintain at all. But it was while I was sitting on the beach, or chasing a child rather, that I realized how important it is to share the best parts of myself with my husband and my children on a daily basis. 


My present self. My patient self. My uninterrupted self.  

And on the days when I feel like I'm lacking in the best department, I have to remind myself that I am always giving them my best love. Even when I'm yelling. Or impatient. Or preoccupied. Because despite myself in those moments, deep inside my inner most core, I have nothing but overwhelming, all-consuming love for them. 

My best love.

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19 comments :

  1. Love this post. I think most of us mommas fight that internal battle of "are we doing our best?" all the time, I've felt like that a lot lately. My husband has been out of state for work for the last two months & being my best seems hidden away because I'm in survival mode with three kids & summer time fun looming over our heads. It's much easier to be your best when you've got a partner to help I've realized! Thanks for the gentle reminder that I at least give them my best love because I know that part is true,

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  2. Well said, well said. While I only have one child and one husband (thank goodness), I have a demanding full time job. I feel like the job and the baby come before the husband. I should remind myself more frequently to reserve some of my best for him. I mean afterall - we wouldnt be a family without this man, whom I love and adore more each day!

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  3. I am a first time mom and in many ways still a newly wed (coming up on our 2nd anniversary!) so I struggle with this internal battle on almost a daily basis. I don't know if I'm doing everything right as a mom OR a wife... but I do know that I am loving them both with my whole heart, and in that I can feel successful. Thanks for reminding me of that!

    Ashley

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  4. Love this! SO deep and so very true. As a working mom, I often wonder after a 10 hr day at the office, what type of mom am I and I hate being the short snappy one when everyone else has gotten the nice me all day. That is why I love 3 day weekends! Three days that I'm just MOM! :)

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  5. I love this post, AP. I can definitely relate on giving all of my compassion and sympathy to my patients during the day. Sometimes it's so draining that I don't have any of that to give when I come home.

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  6. Love the photos, and it is so hard to give your best self to your family after giving it out to everything else. I have to step back and focus sometimes as to how much I am holding back from my husband because I used up everything on secondary nonsense.

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  7. Love the photos, and it is so hard to give your best self to your family after giving it out to everything else. I have to step back and focus sometimes as to how much I am holding back from my husband because I used up everything on secondary nonsense.

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  8. I think you give the best of yourself to us also :) and I've really come to love that about you. I appreciate it. this post was so beautiful. & a great eye opener!

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  9. I too struggle with giving my best self to Em. It's hard to always remember to be present in the moment. There are so many social media distractions and life pulls us all in different directions. It's very important to find balance!
    Love your blog!

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  10. Great post! Really resonates with me :)

    -gardenbaby

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  11. I love this post. One of my goals this year was to make more effort to reach out to friends & family I don't see often enough. I love them, but unfortunately I'm terrible about making time for a phone call. I still haven't gotten much better about calls, but I try to send a couple letters (err.. quick rushed cards) each month. Which I tell myself is even nicer. But lets be honest... granny wants a call. Not a card ;) I'm trying!

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  12. Life is always a balancing act as a mom. And just when you think you've got it figured out, something changes it up.
    I think as long as your kids are happy, healthy, and thriving, you're doing your job!
    I do make sure I set aside a block of time for my husband every night. I've made the mistake of "neglecting" him before, and it wasn't pretty!
    I figure, one day in the not too distant future, I will have PLENTY of time to do everything I want, so I give my family my all right now!

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  13. Well said. I love this... Have a wonderful week!

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  14. Well said... I love this. Have a wonderful week!

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  15. Hey! Wanted to share this giveaway with you (for NJ residents only)

    http://www.njfamily.com/NJ-Family/July-2013/Win-Some-Splashy-Summer-Swag/

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  16. Really enjoyed this post as it has been something on my mind lately as well :).

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  17. catching up on blog reading, finally. and hands down, this may be my favorite post of yours to date. it's so hard to give your best sometimes, but you're absolutely right - they get the best of your love even on the worst days. well said, lady!

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  18. catching up on blog reading, finally. and hands down, this may be my favorite post of yours to date. it's so hard to give your best sometimes, but you're absolutely right - they get the best of your love even on the worst days. well said, lady!

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