Somewhere, in a home near you, sits an exhausted mom finally sitting down for the first time today. Maybe she’s in yoga pants and hasn’t showered for two days. Maybe she’s still in her Ann Taylor modern skinny pants and blouse, with a stain from spitup, and makeup smeared from playing hide and go seek during the few hours she spends with her toddler each night. Maybe she’s scrolling through Facebook, hoping for something inspiring to encourage her to finally get on the treadmill and make her Fitbit less disappointed. Or maybe she’s spoon deep in Edys Mint Chocolate Chip. Regardless of a mom’s scenario – we all have one thing in common. For so much of our day, we act as therapists.
We champion our younger employees. Empower teams to share their story at work. Teach the importance of sharing. Encourage a child with special needs to work through their challenges. Beat ourselves up. Act as the optimist when things get rough. Mediate discussions. Edit documents, read stories, and listen intently. We help our friends and family with relationship woes, offer advice, dry tears, and kiss boo-boo’s.
If moms are lucky enough to have a supportive husband and great group of friends, they might have someone around to do these things in return. But sometimes, an outside party is underrated. Someone who doesn’t know you. Or something that lets you disconnect. Somewhere you can just vent and ramble and not be judged. Somewhere you can be alone with your thoughts, working through things at your own pace, and on your own time.
People laugh at me all the time – but I’m not afraid to say it – ‘if your insurance allows you therapy – for the love of god – take advantage.’ Try it. Just go. And if it doesn’t or you aren’t open to someone else’s interpretation or thoughts or too tightly wound to relax in a therapy setting (HELLO!!! THIS GIRL) – find therapy somewhere else.
My therapy right now is something I never expected. And it comes in the form of a Milwaukee orbit palm sander. And refinishing a table. Me, a mask, sand dust, Miniwax stain, Annie Sloan chalkboard paint, and a cold garage. It’s loud. It’s messy. And I’m in my element. Able to focus on wood grain. And peeling off the layers of a table. Trying to find the foundation and beauty in the original piece. And then turning it into my own vision… staining the top expresso, painting the rest white… a little bit rustic, a little bit classic, and a whole lot of affordable. It started out of financial necessity – we can’t afford the table I want. But I never expected it would turn into such a therapeutic exercise. One I can be proud of. One I can feel I had control over. And one that will be a foundation for many of the wonderful dinners and conversations my family has in the future.
So, whether it’s sanding a table, painting a picture, writing a blog post, or sitting down with a therapist – find something that’s your own. Make it your therapy. Don’t feel guilty. Just be.
It will be okay.