Ok fellas (if you’re even reading this) you might be wondering if this post is directed to you. Make Time For Her. While I absolutely think it’s vital for couples to make time for each other, I’m going in a different direction here. You’re off the hook…this time.
Ladies, this one’s for you.
Walk with me, I’m going way back in time for a minute. Back to the days when I took time for her. The girl who spent time thinking about and caring for herself. Back when I took care of me. It’s been a while, but I can still picture it. Can you? Maybe you’re still that girl. Or maybe you lost her (you) along the way like I did. There’s still hope.
Back then, I actually thought about what I was eating. I took care of my nails. I took daily showers. I flossed my teeth every night. I relaxed, took hot baths, browsed through stores for fun, read books. I exercised and also took leisurely walks to meditate, pray and just be…me. I spent time talking with girlfriends and shopping and belly laughing.
I took care of and pride in myself. I was worthy of me time.
Of course, it was easy when it was just me. When I was pregnant with my first child, things began to slowly shift. I was even more aware of the foods I was eating, but it was all based on what was best for the baby. After a while I could no longer reach my feet, so they were neglected (minus the few times my sweet husband attempted to give me a pedicure.) I was usually too exhausted and bloated to care about everything else.
After he was born, 100% of my thoughts were spent on him and I…disappeared.
I’m sure this is pretty normal, especially for a first time mom, but during this time, I completely forgot about her. The me that once loved me enough to take care of me. She didn’t exist. She didn’t matter. She wasn’t worthy of my time. Guess what? She began to live this invisible life pretty well. It became normal and real. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was in jeopardy of erasing her for good.
At night I wouldn’t wash my face because I was too tired to even splash water. I took very short showers, often neglecting a good scalp scrub or forgetting to shave my legs. I was afraid to leave him alone while I bathed. Though, looking back, he was just content hanging out in his bouncy seat. What was I so afraid of? I never shopped for clothes, it was too hard with a newborn and a new body.
Outwardly, I had funky hair, clothes that didn’t fit, and dark circles. Inside I had immeasurable joy and my thoughts were consumed with this tiny miracle. There was also this small tug that I felt, often pulling at me through tearful or frustrating times. It was her. She was begging for time, but I pushed me away.
I never took time for hot baths or reading or leisurely walks alone. My time was spent scouring message boards about baby poop and holding a precious “little burrito” that never wanted to be put down and waking up all night to nurse. Rinse and repeat for baby #2, plus even more pushing me time away since I had two little miracles to care for.
Don’t get me wrong here, I don’t regret any second of this time. It went so quickly. Though, if I could go back to whisper advice into my ear, I’d say, “make time for her”, for me. The girl who is worthy of alone time. The girl who needs to get lost in a good book, who needs a break and friend time and pampering. Take a nap when grandma comes over. Walk outside and breathe in fresh air. Let someone take over for 20 minutes and get away. It will be ok.
I was so worried about missing out on something or not being there for my children that I deprived myself of me time. Just a few minutes here and there to check in would have made a huge difference. To remind myself I’m not just mommy, I’m still me too.
To know the giggly, energetic, goofy, intelligent girl is still in there underneath the crying, hormonal, exhausted, mommy brain girl. She didn’t disappear, she isn’t lost. She just needs me to make time for her, to give her a chance to burst out and breathe.
I’ve since somewhat emerged from this season and it feels good. I’ve discovered how much I love writing. I feel like I’m able to balance things a little better. I’m Mommy, with a side of me.
Ladies, as we enter into this new year, I encourage you (especially moms) new moms, thinking about being moms, almost a mom, moms of multiples, moms of one, adoptive moms, well-seasoned moms— make time for her. For you. You’re still in there, you’re still worthy and you’re always, always amazing.
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