Lately I have found myself repeating the same thing over and over again in my head. Maybe I should back up a little bit...I just wrote in a previous post about the guilt-factor that is somehow gifted to every new mother. I try to fight it, but I feel it all of the time. I feel guilty about the craziest things. I feel guilty when my children are in their car seats for too long. Even if they are perfectly content, I somehow imagine that their little bodies aren't getting enough room to grow when they're cooped up for a long time (crazy, I know.) I feel guilty when someone takes care of Julia so that I can get a few things done around the house. It's that crazy belief from the 1950's that a "good mother" should be able to balance all things...but I have yet to find a balance that involves a 2-year old and bathroom cleaning chemicals. I feel guilty when I have to run errands for myself, I worry that my daughter eats too much sugar, I feel guilty for feeling guilty. Ugh.
I don't know how this mantra started, but one day it was playing in my head. And the next day I said it a few more times. And somehow it has evolved to make me smile whenever the guilt-factor arises. This little saying was ingrained in my head from a young age since we traveled quite a bit. Who ever pays attention to the flight attendant's announcements? I always did. I was fascinated by the issue involving the overhead mask if the plane should happen to lose pressure:
"In the event of an emergency, please assist yourself before assisting the child next to you."
I never quite understood that phrase before. I assumed that it meant that the adults were selfishly more important. Now I realize that without the adults taking action, the kids wouldn't make it. So there it is. It reminds me to grab a sandwich before I feed Charlie even if he is screaming, it is the reason why I put Julia in the shower with me in order to contain her and assure that I will actually get that essential time in the morning, and it helps me remember that the house won't burn down if I take 30 minutes to myself to go for a run. Heck, maybe everyone will be a little more at peace if I go and get a pedicure :) The bottom line: if I take care of myself, I can better care for my kids. It's not rocket science, but it's not easy to remember all of the time either.
This weekend I miraculously finished a 5k with some other great mothers. All of our children survived the training for this event. Whether it is acknowledged or not, we recognize that taking care of yourself makes you a better mom in the end.
most of the time.
And Charlie continues to go with the flow :)