Today I picked up a prescription alone. I sat in the car for four, possibly five, glorious minutes and checked Facebook on my phone while I ate a pack of miniature Cadbury Eggs I didn’t have to share.
And then my bucket was full. Well it wasn’t full but it was full as can be at this point in my life.
If you are reading this while carrying an empty bucket don’t worry, you can read on. I promise I will not tell you to take time for yourself or spend a weekend away with the girls because I know how isolating those suggestions can feel when they are not an option even on the best of your best days.
I’ve been the carrier of a bone-dry bucket off and on for many years now. I remember one of my lowest points. My daughter had recently died, I was parenting two preemies with complicated medical needs and managing a hormonal preteen with autism. I laughed at the thought of a girl’s night out or even that appointment with a therapist I so desperately needed. Filling my own bucket was not an option.
On those worst days, I talked to myself. Some might say this sealed my insanity. But I told myself, over the sound of screaming babies and angsty teens things like “this is only temporary” and “the only way out is through.” Either I believed them or talking to the voice in my head was enough to keep me company because I survived.
I know that many of you are carrying buckets that are empty more than they are full. You are a special needs parent or a single mom or have never had the luxury of a babysitter nearby. I know that putting yourself first, filling your own bucket before you shovel everyone else’s full, might not be an option at this time in your life. So I’m not going to tell you to do it. I’m going to tell you I understand. I wish you could have a two hour break or a sunny vacation somewhere but I know that is not realistic and, if you’re like me, I know you’ve come to accept this on some level.
One of these days we’ll look back and clink our glasses that we’ve filled from our overflowing buckets, but not today. For now we’ll connect and share stories in the only way we can, as our cars idle in the parking lot of the pharmacy before someone calls us to come home.
READ THIS NEXT:
- Screen Time: Not Until I Say So
- Waging the Gun War, One Hug At a Time
- Why Moms Should Run Away
- All of the Fill Your Bucket Posts
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This post was written by Jessica Watson exclusively for BonBon Break Media, LLC.