Love Yourself to Battle Care Giver Fatigue. #Life

This is the days old tattoo. I think I may need a touch up
in a couple places, but have to wait a few weeks for the final
reveal once the crust falls off.
I did something that I've wanted to do since I was a teenager, which is, to get a tattoo. I have one on my back, that is never seen by me, and rarely seen by anyone else either. I have my daughter's name inked in a permanent tribute on my back left, shoulder. My hubby wasn't against me getting this new tattoo, but couldn't understand my choice of  inking my leg with the word "beloved".  This word has been on my mind for years, I just had to commit to where I wanted it inked.

In the 80's it was a big deal to get plaques, posters, and book marks with your name and it's popular meaning. I have a few of these childhood artifacts and each one gives similar descriptions for my name, beloved is top of the list for the descriptions of my name meaning. What does the word mean to me?

My tattoo artist didn't evaluate my tattoo choice, but was curious about it. I said simply, it is supposed to be one of the meanings of my name and it would be too vain to just get my name inked on my leg.  I've spent a lot of years in self hate and denial of my own needs, so it's a 40th birthday gift to myself.  I have never struggled with vanity. In the sense of loving my physical self or being obsessed with my physical appearance. I am a product of genetics, life and food choices, and my body is the vehicle for my physical existence. So what does it mean to be beloved?  As I got closer to my fortieth year, I realized that I give the best of my self away every single day.  I am a nursery school teacher that uses every part of my being;- touch, sound, smell, sight, thought, emotion, and physical strength. Holding at least one crying infant on my hip for most of the day while trying to plan and implement meaningful learning opportunities, empathy for parents, and working with a large team of educators, when we all may have a different opinion on how to do our jobs.  I come home after already giving my best self to my career, and have to draw deep on reserve patience and empathy to care for my family

Please don't think I'm a whiner. I love my job. I chose my job. I love being a wife and mother. I chose both of those life changing relationships as well. BUT -Being a full time caregiver often leaves me empty. There are days that I get up at 5:15 am, go to work from 6:45 to 3:30, and on the way home, realize that I haven't taken one sip from my water bottle the entire day. I would go home and do my "mom shift" and work until midnight on family and mom chores.

After a series of illnesses last year, I had to evaluate my level of self-care. It's not okay to go 7-8 hours without eating or drinking. It's not okay to ignore symptoms of illness for guilt of putting off something in my full schedule. I had a nagging sinus problem for 12 weeks last year because I just couldn't give myself the time to do a follow up appointment with my doctor.

Beloved means;

I am a beloved mother, daughter, and wife. I deserve to be loved. Even when I mess up.

I will eat and drink at regular intervals to keep my physical self fuelled.

I will go to the doctor if I have a new or persistant health issue.

I will take time to charge my mind, and soul. So I'm not running on empty.

I will ignore the dishes and laundry for the chance to have my seven year old read me a book or walk to the park.

I will treat my whole self as a valuable person who needs care, love, and support as much as the people around me. Which means admitting when I need help or a shoulder to cry on, instead of bottling everything up.


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