Stop drinking from my cup!

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When I was little, my mother never let us drink from her cup.

Come to think of it, my dad didn't like it much either. Maybe it was the fact that no child is able to drink from a parent's open cup without massive amounts of backwash (my dad always said that we left "little criminals" floating in his cup). Perhaps it was the germs from whatever we decided to put into our mouths that day. Maybe they just wanted something of their own after four kids. Maybe I'm just reading to much into all of this...

While I think my parents' reluctance to share their drinks (alcoholic or otherwise) were mainly related to issues of nasty-little-kid-hygeine, I'm learning that life is much better around BadAssMama Central when I don't let anyone drink from my cup either. No, not just because it's frequently filled with caffeinated or alcholic beverages (while that's not a bad reason in and of itself...). It's really more of a metaphor.

I'm learning how to serve my family from my saucer rather than my cup (with credit to Lisa Nichols for the phrase).

Motherhood is tough stuff - exhausting, depressing, exhilarating, disheartening...often within the same 20 minutes. In order to bring the best that we have to our families each and every marathon-of-a-day, we need to fill our own cups as much as we refill the sippy cups of our little ones. Each day, I'm learning to look for ways to feed my soul, refill my gas tank, give myself a break so that I have more to give to my family than a screaming banshee of a mother who counts down the seconds until bedtime.

It's easy to tell when I'm serving my family from my cup rather than from my saucer. I feel depleted, resentful, more-irritable-than-usual. When I'm saving enough for myself, protecting my inner reserves while doing my best to care for them, I'm more able to do it from a place of love that leaves me energized. I'm able to actually enjoy the madness and appreciate the beauty within the crazytown that is life with two-under-the-age-of-six.

So, thank you mom and dad for never letting us drink from your cup. Whether you realized it or not, you taught me a very valuable lesson - one that might just help me get through this parenting thing without ending up on the 11 o'clock news.
Anonymous said...

Great metaphor. That was good. Must share it with my daughter (mother of 2 daughters) and also take the advice for myself. It's a good lesson my matter your age.

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