One time I saw a meme about how women have significantly more thoughts a day than men. When I tried to Google this to find the numbers, all I could find was links to how much more each gender thinks about sex a day… seriously, internet?! Despite my utter disgust at just how obsessed the internet is with sex (that’s a whole other blog post), the fact still stands that women are always thinking about SOMETHING. Not saying that men aren’t, or that men don’t have lots to think about or more things going on; it varies. But I can probably guess that if you’re a mom, and especially a working mom, no man can top the amount of things going through your head.
Lately, I have been exhausted. I mean to the point where I have been worried about passing out. And not like “oh my bed, I can pass out!” I mean “I need to sit down before I pass out and drop the baby.” While yes I am chasing around a toddler and nursing a teething infant, I am pretty tired physically, but it doesn’t compare to a lot of people or even what I have done in the past. But my mental state was beyond exhausted. My mind was about to shut down out of pure survival. These past few months have involved some MAJOR plans for our personal life, my photography, and this blog. To the point where I can never stop dreaming, planning, thinking about the million things I have to do, running numbers through my head to weigh costs with profit to how much of that will be income from us, and tying all the ideas together in this big interlaced web because there are so many steps.
Now, please don’t take this as complaining. I LOVE doing this, I LOVE my work. It gets me excited and I look forward to working on these things. But I work, and either during work or after working I have a toddler and a 5 month old, both who have been having health issues. AJ is totally fine and we got the okay Monday that she does not have craniosynotosis, but SJ still has to get her tonsils and adenoids out because of her severe sleep apnea, so that adds to the mental strain. My mind has not had 2 seconds to rest. Even in my sleep, because either AJ isn’t sleeping, or I suffer from extreme vivid dreams that feel very real emotionally and physically, so I wake up exhausted even if I do sleep (mostly) through the night.
That is why I took a mental health day. Kinda. Monday after we got home from AJ’s doctor appointment, my amazing husband took SJ and I sat in the recliner, cuddling my baby being thankful God heard our prayers and she doesn’t need surgery, and I binge watched Netflix. All. Night. I turned on a mindless show (thanks for introducing me to Riverdale, Jen), and I shut off my brain. I didn’t think about anything. I didn’t think about blogs, photoshoots, editing, workshops, products, product guides, doctor appointments, surgeries, contracts, workflows, finances — nothing. I sat and watched as Betty and Jughead tried to find out who killed Jason and who in the world Archie was going to kiss next and wondering why everyone in that show has red hair (like seriously, half the cast has red hair). And it was the best thing I could have done for my mind.
I went to bed that night feeling more rested than I have in a long time, without any sleep. Because while yes I definitely need to sleep for a week straight, my mind needed the rest more than my body did. I couldn’t have done it without DJ, who did more that day than I could have ever dreamed. He folded laundry, did the dishes, took care of the girls, made supper. He is my hero. He knew how badly I needed that time and he let me have it. Have I mentioned how lucky I am that I have an amazing husband who helps me without needing to be asked and we have a mutual understanding of how hard the other works for our family? Don’t worry, I won’t go all sappy on you, but he deserves huge credit in me being able to take a mental health day.
So if you are a working mom, a stay at home mom, a work from home mom, take a mental health day. Whatever that may be for you, do it! Because you are worth it! We can’t be the amazing mom, wife, entrepreneur, employee, anything, if we don’t take care of ourselves first.