The thing I needed

I needed a shower.

I felt that icky, stale feeling that we get sometimes from being so damn exhausted.

My husband had left for work already.

And I was beyond my capacity already.

It’s getting harder to carry them all now.

The two at my feet are getting bigger, and so am I as I carry the one in my tummy.

And things are taking even longer now.

They are needing more from me, and I can’t always find it.

This is pregnancy with younger children.

And even when I wasn’t pregnant, I still went through many of these motions.

Because this is also motherhood with young children.

It’s exhausting, and sometimes icky, no matter how beautiful.

I sorted them for the morning and told them I was going to take a moment to have a shower.

I left the room, and they followed me pleading for me to let them come too.

I could hardly get my clothes off.

I explained that “mummy just needs a moment for herself”.

That didn’t change a thing.

And normally I wouldn’t take the shower.

I’d wait for an easier moment to do the thing I needed.

But today, I just couldn’t wait.

I was desperate for a refresh. A moment. Something for myself.

So I took the shower.

And they were not happy about it.

So it wasn’t overly relaxing for me.

I rushed and felt all the guilt,

Because I hate hearing my children cry or grizzled.

I struggle to ignore it, even if it’s to meet a basic need if mine.

But I did it.

I had the shower.

And when I was finally done meeting a basic need of my own, I sat down with them, gave them a cuddle and explained myself.

I told them: “I know you were upset with me, and you won’t understand this just yet but mummy has needs too. We all have needs. And it’s really important for us all to take time for ourselves”.

We hugged, the tears stopped and we moved on with our day.

And as the guilt rinsed away with the tears, I realised something.

I realised that by taking the shower I was teaching them an important life lesson:

That it is important to put yourself first sometimes.

I needed the shower that day, for more reasons than I initially realised.

And I’m so glad I had it.

Maybe one day they will be too.

Read next: A very real need

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