I read this post a good friend shared about pouring from an empty cup. It was written from a religious viewpoint, and I’m not religious so it’s rare that I can look past that viewpoint and find my own meaning in the words written. But I did.
I think most of us have all heard the expression, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” Simply put, we must take care of ourselves first before we can take care of others. A year ago, I couldn’t pour from an empty cup. I was too tired, overwhelmed, and exhausted. The water in my cup had run black, and it was steeped in postpartum depression and anxiety. The cup was cracked, and the contents within it were bitter.
After my second child was born, I was in the thick of it, and that proverb rang true. I was seeing and hearing this phrase everywhere, and when I spoke up to ask for help, I was reminded, yet again, that I needed to take care of my mental health first and foremost before trying to keep a tiny human(s) alive. But I found that the reality of it is easier said than done.
When we read that we cannot pour from an empty cup, when society constantly tells us that we can’t pour from an empty cup, we believe it. When we see every mom on social media preaching a full cup equals a happy and healthy mama, which means a good parent, we believe it. Our mindset shifts, and suddenly we are desperate for self-care, time, and a much-needed mental break. We get hostile and resentful that we aren’t routinely awarded that time, which only adds fuel to the fire in which we feel overwhelmed, overworked, and overstimulated.
The logic is there; I need to be whole and of clear mind to be the parent I want to be. I need to take care of my mental health and body; to do so, I need a break from the 24/7 care of tiny humans and a household. That makes sense, and it is so incredibly true! However, the facts are, we pour from an empty cup all the time. The reality is we have to.
Most of us aren’t so wealthy that we can afford to pay for nannies, spa trips, “momcations,” maids, or private chefs. Most households, especially those with one income, aren’t awarded such luxuries; it’s not financially possible. So, we pour from an empty cup.
We drag ourselves out of bed every morning, and yes, we drag ourselves out of bed because, more than likely, with small kids, we didn’t get a full night’s sleep, and we aren’t “well-rested” (whatever that means). We get dressed, and we start our everyday monotonous routine. We do the meals, keep the tiny humans alive, and send them off to school, or wherever they need to go to socialize, a zoo perhaps cause my children are feral animals!
We do the housework, dishes, cleaning, and laundry, and then we run said household; doctor’s appointments, school lunches, and birthday parties. Though this may be subjective because every home and family have a different dynamic, it all comes back to one simple fact; we all pour from an empty cup because we CAN because we’re CAPABLE.
Should we? No, mentally and emotionally, we need some quiet time to recharge. Self-care is essential. But we do need to remember and realize that we are capable of hard things, in fact, we tend to make those hard things look really easy.
As mothers, as women, we are amazing. We are incredible. We are the makers of life, rulers of households, keepers of pleasure, conductors of chaos, the private chefs, the teachers, the lawyers, the doctors, and to our little babes … we are their everything. Empty cup or not, we are everything to the life we’ve created.Read comments