I mailed a card to my mom today. It wasn’t a Mother’s Day card–at least not in that sense–although that is on my May to-do list.
Yesterday at Hallmark, my little one and I picked out a sweet card with a lovely bouquet of spring flowers all tied together with a satin-y ribbon. The sentiment was simple, yet meaningful: “Thinking of you and wishing you comfort today.” That almost makes me feel good just thinking about it! And the card wasn’t even intended for me.
This morning, between doing the kid’s breakfast dishes and scrawling out my daily to-do list (which seems to grow each day!) I jotted a little ditty to my mom, “Mom–just wanted to let you know that it’s o.k. to say ‘no.'” I popped it in the mail and went about my morning.
You see, my mom is struggling with that “sandwich generation” thing we’ve all heard about–but probably haven’t experienced yet. You see, the idea of this phenomenon is that we (in this case–my mom) get sandwiched between caring for one’s own family and caring for aging parents. My mom can’t possibly give up her well-established life and move out to North Carolina to care for her aging mother and father, as they would like. So, there’s a whole host of issues and feelings that arrive with that one–one of which I know you are familiar with–mommy guilt.
So I found it ironic that I was dashing off this card at the same time I was compiling my to-do list. “Just say no, Leslie!” I’d like to tell you that I tore up my list and said, “The heck with it–I’ll just go list-less today!” Nope. I made my list and have checked half a dozen or so things off it so far. But it got me thinking–it’s o.k. to say ‘no.’ It’s o.k. to do something that feels good to you. It’s o.k. to take care of yourself. It’s o.k. to put your needs first. At least sometimes.