We all have ideas of what self-care is. A day at the spa, a weekend retreat, a massage…you get the idea. Friday I had my first hair appointment in six months. I consider that self-care as well. It was an evening appointment because you take what you can get in COVID times. I fed the family and made sure Todd was ready to take charge and off I went.
I returned home less than 3 hours later to some drama. Emily was whining from her room and Todd was sulking in front of the television. The washing machine was working hard and I could smell bleach (one of my favorite smells…yes, really). I can tell that I missed something epic and I feel a little gratitude if I am being honest.
Emily’s schedule has been really off these past few weeks and her anxiety has been high. She is having panic attacks during transitional walking, when sitting in regular chairs, and recently while sitting on the toilet. She has been refusing to use the restroom on the toilet for the past few weeks. This is both frustrating and challenging after years of success. While she cannot tell us when she needs to go, our consistency and scheduled trips have made our lives better. This season, a bit of a mess.
Todd tried to get her to go to the restroom before bed and she refused. He finally gave up and put her to bed. Well, you can imagine what happened after. It was a shit-show in the true sense of the word. After stripping her bed, bathing her, washing her hair, cleaning up all the surfaces, and doing laundry both were upset and exhausted.
My first thought was, “If I had been home this would not have happened.” Is that even true and even if there is truth in that statement, is that thought useful? I decided to let that one scroll on by. I went to comfort Emily and cuddle her in a clean and sparse bed. I see her glaring out the room at Todd who is still pouting. I call out to him, “did you apologize for getting upset?” He just shrugs his shoulders. The next thing I know he is sitting next to her and they are having a little “chat”. I feel the energy in the room lighten. There calm in the house has returned.
I reflected on the day and knew I showed up with love and compassion. I did not beat myself up for not being there. I decided to give myself grace. I also comforted both Todd and Emily. I thanked Todd for taking amazing care of Emily, bathing her, cleaning the bathroom, and doing laundry, because that was off my “to-da” list for Saturday now. I decided that sometimes grace is self-care. It certainly was on this day.