Monday, September 26, 2011

Save yourself :)

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.
Julia agrees...
most of the time.
And Charlie continues to go with the flow :)

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