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If mama’s cup is empty, everyone suffers

When mama's cup is empty, everyone suffers

The kids are asleep. The house is quiet. The kitchen is clean. What should I do??

24-year-old Crystal would have taken that as a sign it’s time to dive into the project list and tackle as many things as I possibly could before my eyes wouldn’t stay open any longer.

34-year-old Crystal sees that as a sign to set aside the to do list and instead do something to wind down, refuel her tank, and then go to bed early.

Maybe I’m just getting older and less energetic, but I hope it’s more so because I’m becoming wiser and recognize that there will be time tomorrow to tackle the to do list. For now, I need to take care of ME so that I’ll be able to take care of others well in the morning.

If mama’s cup is empty, everyone suffers.

(I’m just starting this book tonight. Have you read it??)

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18 Comments

  • So simple and so true. I just turned 31 and am finding rest to be a very important part of my mothering mojo!

  • Crystal, this is SO true.

    It’s definitely a lesson I learned after having a baby. Once the baby went to bed at night, I thought it was my time to start tackling every chore in sight . . . but that approach to early motherhood completely drained me. I’ve learned the hard way that sometimes it’s better to leave the non-urgent tasks to another day in order to get some personal refreshment (or much-needed time with a spouse!).

    Thanks for sharing this advice. 🙂

  • Victoria says:

    Agree! If I skip my workout to many days in a row my family throws my running shoes at me. That is my recharging me time and if I don’t get it everyone in the family suffers no matter how hard I try to not let my grumpy out.

    Personal recharge time is so vital to motherhood.

    (oh and by the way this morning finally after a year off due to first my shoulder I went back to strength class. I forgot how much I like swinging kettle bells)

  • Cheryl says:

    Crystal, This book is wonderful, very moving, I was very touched by it. I now have my husband reading it too. I am an avid reader and librarian and have not read a personal story so well written that made me feel so much emotion- Let me know what you think when you finish

  • Rebekah says:

    This is an area the Lord has been bringing to my mind over and over, especially through your posts and periscopes. I cannot give out what I have not first been given. Thank you for another encouragement and inspiration.

  • Tammy says:

    Yes, I’ve read this book, Crystal! It was very beautifully written. Like the author, my husband was also a physician who was diagnosed with terminal cancer (brain cancer). I drank this book in because I really couldn’t fathom what it must of been like for him to know exactly how things were going to unfold and to know exactly what the end of his life would look like. So, this book really spoke to me on this level….that aside, though, it is beautiful. Have the tissues ready, though, to say it is emotional is a complete understatement.

    • Kristi says:

      Tammy, I’ve also read this book, as my husband too had brain cancer! (he wasn’t a doctor though!) Really enjoyed the book, as it was nice to “see” the patients perspective, as my husband had trouble with his speech. I’d love to chat with you!

  • Alicia says:

    After all the comments, I’ll have to check out this book!

    I know that taking rest time is important. But when I see those piles of dishes and the couch filled with laundry once the kids go to sleep…

  • Becky Mallett says:

    I have started that book! It is a little too graphic in a medical way for me–when he writes about autopsies etc. (and its hard for me to skip over since I listen the audiobook while I run!) But if that doesn’t bother you, it is really well written, as others have said, and thought provoking, and raw.

    It is so cool to see how you have grown over the years! I really appreciate your vulnerability.

  • Maryalene says:

    I loved this post, particularly because it so mirrors my evening yesterday. I never got through my emails and thought about checking them after the kids went to bed. However, “checking emails” at night is usually code for “waste 2+ hours on YouTube and Facebook.” So instead, I read a chapter of a book and turned in early. As a bonus, I woke up by myself at 5:45 this morning and got a half hour of alone time to start the day.

  • Elizabeth says:

    As a homeschooling mom of six, almost 8-20, I totally agree. I have read more in the last 12 months (to myself!) than probably in the previous 12 years. That is something that I can do for myself that fills me, therefore I can fill my family. Not perfect yet (ha!), but trying!
    And yes, I have read “When Breath Becomes Air.” I borrowed it electronically from our library. It has a couple of instances of language, which I really hate, but book was so good, that I would still recommend it.

  • Sally says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Crystal! This is so true – the old analogy of putting our oxygen masks on first before we can help the person next to us really rings true, particularly as moms. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  • Sonja says:

    So very wise!
    Thank you for sharing!
    Did the same thing last night (40 yr old) 😉

  • Beth says:

    I wish there was some way to convince younger people (20-30 yos) of the need for rest. I learned my lesson pretty quickly. At the end of (rigorous) nursing school our dean told us that the pace of nursing school was not life and we would burn out quickly if we tried to keep that pace after graduation. Well, after 2 years of night shift and one year of day shift on a cardiac floor (and two moves and a wedding and prepping to move overseas) I was done. When my husband and I moved overseas in our mid-twenties we really made it a priority to get enough rest. The cranky baby threw things off some but I think our long-term stress management has been better than some of our “just out of college” single peers that push, push, push, and then wonder why they’re exhausted, stressed out, and sick all the time. Life is stressful enough itself without constantly feeling like a bulldozer ran you over!

  • Cassie says:

    Very good book! Loved it even though it was sad. Have you read The Last Lecture? It’s a good one too.

  • Jennifer says:

    I read the book and loved it. I try to get everyone I know to read it. I found it life changing though very emotional. I don’t mind a good cry in the privacy of my home but it’s not a book I would read in public. I was sobbing at one point. ?

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