It’s happening. As I sit at my desk at work shoveling the delicious layers of milk chocolate and crispy wafer into my mouth, I am slowly screeching down the list of my own priorities. Before I became a mom, my own self-care used to be my number one priority–above my relationship, my family, my friends, and my love of chocolate–because I was a firm believer that you have to make the effort to take care of yourself first in order to be happy with others. Before I was pregnant, I was rollin’ into yoga class four times a week and balanced my indulgences with healthy eating. I was never naïve enough to think that things would go back to the way they were then after Ben arrived; I knew my priorities would change. However, I thought that with some effort, I would still be making time for myself and leading a healthy lifestyle. It was clear to me as I broke myself off a piece of that Kit-Kat bar that the candy’s jingle rang true to my situation. I needed a freakin’ break.
I have become so caught up in keeping up with the hamster-wheel-paced lifestyle that I lead now that I’m just running from one thing to another. Daycare-work-eating whatever lunch I can get my hands on-work-daycare-home-say hi to the hubs-let the dog out-play-dinner-bedtime-collapse from exhaustion. Not even a hamster is fast enough to keep up with this crazy schedule. Not to mention I’ve been forgetting to hydrate throughout this busy-as-hell kind of day and you know what that means–dryer skin=the wrinkles are easier to see. So as I finished my candy-for-lunch meal, I thought, “what does a mom need to do to stop this cycle of madness? How do I get some of my old self back?” My best guess was humor and some smart, deliberate decisions…although the night after I ate that Kit-Kat for lunch, there may have been some wine and crying to my husband involved (ie. dramatic assertion that “I can’t live like this anymore”).
Ed Asner once said that “raising a kid is part joy and part guerilla warfare.” As moms, we have to fight to fit ourselves on the top of the priority list. We have to make time for self-care because, let’s face it, leaving your kid for a few extra hours during the week to go to some yoga classes will make you feel a hell of a lot less guilty than all the expensive therapy your kid is gonna need later if he has to put up with your miserable, unfulfilled, martyr self. I decided that I have to make the decision to put some major effort into taking care of myself because I’ve been doing a crappy job. I want to feel more healthy, fulfilled, and happy in my own shoes–because not only do I deserve it, but the poor gents living with me (my husband, Ben, and my dog Sammy) deserve to experience the best version of me.
So let’s all agree to support each other in stepping away from the King Sized Kit-Kat and the guilty voice in our head that says we have other things to worry about before ourselves. Screw that voice! It’s time to start scheduling “me” time in our agenda books every week and spending the extra time to prepare healthy meals for ourselves and slowing down enough to drink some water during the day. And let’s laugh more too. That always helps.
On that note, let’s all bow our heads for a prayer that Tina Fey wrote for her daughter in her book, “Bossypants”:

And should she choose to be a mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50AM, all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.”