Every time we fly now I think about that phrase. Usually it’s while I’m explaining to the Big Kid for the 9000th time about why he can’t go to the bathroom during take off or wrestling the Peanut to nurse without creating a National Geographic moment for my seatmate. But no matter what or who I’m dealing with at the time, the phrase makes me pause.
I believe in that phrase. I believe in that idea of taking care of yourself. Of self preservation.
But what about my children? My family? Shouldn’t they come first?
My answer to that is a resounding NO.
Because I firmly believe that if you don’t take care of yourself, then how can you possibly take care of someone else?
I’ll be totally honest, I’m struggling a little bit these days. The Peanut isn’t sleeping for crap, the Big Kid is 3.5 going on total asshole and any semblance of order I once had is slowly crumbling away. I’m not in control of anything and it’s kind of killing me. But the one thing that I can control?
I can recognize that I’m drowning, being slowly sucked down by the demands of being a mom, a wife, a homemaker, a writer and whatever other hat I have to wear that day. I know that things are rough right now… but will eventually get better. I recognize all of these things. But I also recognize that without me being my best self, nothing will change. That I need to make sure to take the time, take a nap, read a book, go for a run, get a sitter, drink wine with friends… whatever it is that makes me happy. Whatever it is that keeps me whole and sane. Because it’s easy to lose yourself in motherhood, or the rat race of life. It’s easy to get burnt out on staying at home with the kids, the Groundhog Day of it all. It’s easy to be racked with Mommy Guilt at the idea of leaving the kids with a sitter to go drink wine. <— My best advice for that? GET OVER IT.
I love my family. And I love them enough to not want to be a bitchy exhausted shrew.
Your family is MUCH better off if you are happy and healthy. And even if it’s just locking yourself in the bathroom with a piece of chocolate cake (that you don’t have to share with a 3.5 year old) or walking around the block without answering a single question about anything (omfg child I don’t KNOW why the sky is blue, stop asking), just do it.