Tuesday, August 21, 2012

self-care

I wake up and i feel alone.

I have been so impressed with one of my Boston blogging friends, Nina. She is expecting her first baby just in just a few weeks and in preparation has been thinking about self care. I learned this through her beautiful Pinterest board appropriately titled, self care.  I've been impressed because that is something I had given absolutely zero thought to before Meredith was born and really struggled with after she was born.

Until very recently, I had trouble thinking about what I needed as an individual and even greater trouble making the time for it. I felt guilty asking Chris to take over so I could nap. I never once asked him to do a night time feeding with Meredith. I would fleetingly think about how nice a pedicure sounded, but do nothing to get one.

One of my goals this time around is to take better care of myself. The main reason, for me, that this needs to happen is so I continue to enjoy being a mom and not become resentful towards my role. It's easy for me to become a martyr in my own mind, when I've done nothing to communicate that I'm having a hard time and need some back-up.

So, not this time. This time when I'm exhausted beyond belief, I'll ask Chris to take a feeding. This time if my hair is matted and I've been in pajamas for days on end, I'll see if I can sneak out for an hour and get my nails done. If it's been a long day, chock full of toddler tantrums and newborn screeching, I'll take a quiet walk by myself once the babies are in bed.

I know it won't be as simple this time, with there being two kids to juggle, but we will have to figure it out. When I feel free to catch up on rest or to do something just for myself, I am a much, much happier mama. And I think we all know that a happy mama is pretty important to everyone else's happiness.

What are some things you do to take care of yourself? I loved seeing Nina's ideas and would love to hear some of yours.

9 comments:

Nina Cutter said...

Aw this is so sweet! The truth is, I set up the pinterest board as a motivator myself-- it's so much harder to do than it is to think about. I think one good thing I realized from setting up the board, is that it doesn't take much to rejuvenate me. I forget that it doesn't have to be a day at the spa. A quiet moment with tea, a big hug from my husband... Even just stepping outside for air... It does wonders for my spirit. I can't wait to see your new mama adventures unfold. You've been an inspiration to me too!!

jodi said...

I really love this. I have to say, I think after having Jacob, taking time for me became easier for some reason. I don't know why, but when it was just Judah, I would convince myself that it wasn't so hard, after all I ONLY had one kid, so I felt guilty taking me time. I love Nina's board. :) One of my favorite "me time" things is taking a drive around by the bay after going through a drive thru for dinner or dessert or coffee. I've even parked by the ferry landing and watched a movie on my computer. haha! Sometimes just being alone completely is what I need.

Nina Cutter said...

Aw this is so sweet! The truth is, I set up the pinterest board as a motivator myself-- it's so much harder to do than it is to think about. I think one good thing I realized from setting up the board, is that it doesn't take much to rejuvenate me. I forget that it doesn't have to be a day at the spa. A quiet moment with tea, a big hug from my husband... Even just stepping outside for air... It does wonders for my spirit. I can't wait to see your new mama adventures unfold. You've been an inspiration to me too!!

colleen said...

so (as you know, not a mom), but i like to think we all have (or can have) three major relationships. the relationship with our kids, with our spouse, and yes - with ourself. and sometimes one of those is more in need than the other and has to be tended to. but eventually, each one needs to be number one at some point. and learning to balance the needs of all of them makes everything better. so i think it's awesome that you're aware that you need me time, and that having that can make everything better. however, i obviously don't have tons of advice. i live by myself and don't have kids. but, BUT - growing up i loved having a dog because every day i had to walk the dog - that was my chore - and it really provided time for me to be by myself - no homework, no parents - and just kind of let my mind wander. so i think the walks by yourself, or a time at the gym, or even running an errand by yourself where you can blast country music to and from the store - whatever! - is the best. sometimes doing a chore and getting time to yourself is the best way to get back into your head and still be getting stuff done. but, also, pedicures rock. efficient or not.

joyceandnorm said...

I love this! I am the same way... At our MOPS, we have spa day each year, so even if mamas aren't able to get out to an actual spa, we can bring the spa to them. Sometimes a short walk is a breath of fresh air, in every sense.

Kristin W said...

So honest. I think one thing that would potentially hold me back from wanting kids when the time comes is eventual resentment. If being a stay-at-home mom where an option, I fear the feeling of having to take on the world...alone. Just that feeling...scared it would be a reality. I'm sure Chris wants to help you & spend more time with the kiddies! Good luck!

CoastieWifey said...

Such a good reminder! I need to do this. I had no problem asking Grant for help in the beginning. He had taken time off work so I didn't feel bad asking him to do things in the middle of the night or to take over so I could get some sleep. Then when he left for his deployment I felt the weight of being a single parent and it was crushing. When he returned a few months later I had taken on so much I felt like being a parent was ALL my responsibility. Grant often encourages me to take time for myself but I'm still working on not feeling guilty about it. It's comforting to hear that needing (and taking) me-time does not make me a bad mom and can actually make me better at my job.

Malisa Price said...

Now that I've met you, I feel like I can hear your voice and see your expressions as I read your posts!

This was a wonderful post and my favorite section was this:
"One of my goals this time around is to take better care of myself. The main reason, for me, that this needs to happen is so I continue to enjoy being a mom and not become resentful towards my role. It's easy for me to become a martyr in my own mind, when I've done nothing to communicate that I'm having a hard time and need some back-up."

Rachael said...

I saw you girls tweeting about this and I wondered what the board was--thanks for posting it. I'm so glad you're going in with that mindset!

The hardest thing for me was actually get out the door. Joe would say "go for a walk" and I would be like, "yes, definitely, maybe just in 15 minutes." But once I stepped outside, so much better! (I know you've been taking walk a lot this time around!)

Blogging did that for me too, made me feel like "a person" who did other things besides holding a baby.

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