One of the best things that has happened to me since becoming pregnant is having the ability to prioritize what’s important in my life and what isn’t. All of a sudden, things that seemed like big issues before didn’t matter as much. It’s like that when you’re working with half the energy that you normally have.
I have the tendency to be a busybody. I’m all up in everybody’s business, wanting to make sure folks feel listened to and heard. If you tell me something, I’m going to remember it, and I’m going to care about it. A large part of that comes from my personal experience of not feeling valued when I was younger. While I may not make the most friends, the people that I do connect with, it typically sticks. The challenge with that is when you work on the internet, it can feel like everybody is your friend.
Back in the summer I had a few big wake up calls regarding real friendships and boundaries. I realized I was taking care of a whole lot of folks who I didn’t even really know that well, and neglecting the people who actually deserved my time. It was difficult for some people to learn that I was not available at the exact moment they needed me for support or counseling or whatever. The people who weren’t used to hearing “no” from me were confused, but I started feeling lighter and less stressed. My first trimester was rough pretty much from the moment of conception, so that epiphany about friendships came right on time.
Some of my real friends experienced the residual effects of my pulling back to take care of myself, and started feeling slighted. I had to tell more than one person that I still loved them even when I was loving myself. Even when I haven’t had a real vacation in over a year, and I’m doing the best that I can at being a mom and still struggling, and wanting to make sure my husband gets attention…I still love you. But I gotta take care of my life over here.
Since then I’ve been continuing to pray for God to help me to stop sweating the small stuff, for discernment when it comes to people and their motives, and to stop caring about things / situations / people that I can’t change. I am NOT a savior. I am NOT everybody’s Mama. I don’t have to be the comforter, the scapegoat, or the punching bag for folks and their issues. I am NOT the safe place. I can’t afford to be anymore. I have to take care of myself, my family, and have enough left to reciprocate to my loved ones and friends who sow into me.
Letting go is hard, but it’s necessary.