A quick disclaimer: This is in no way a knock at my sweet, appreciative and adoring husband. Remember, he’s actually pretty rad? This is just something I’ve noticed about myself and maybe the way your mama-minds operate as well? At least I hope I’m not alone in this!
When I was younger I remember my dad very innocently joking that my mom never sat down. And my friends in high school always joked that my mom never slept. I TOTALLY GET IT NOW. I feel like I never sit down. I mean I do in the sense that I’m playing on the floor or sitting down to eat a meal (most…some? days) but there is ALWAYS something that needs to be done first. It’s like when you become a mom a flip is switched that means: Everyone else before yourself. Now you will always put yourself second, third, fourth to these little beings, to your family. Because you’re the mom.
This actually makes me emotional to think about because of my own mama. She is the most selfless woman I know, yet I never really knew just how selfless until I had my own sweet boys. She always gave so much to everyone else before she ever gave to herself…and still does. At the time she made it look easy and seamless but what I didn’t see was her finally sitting down at the end of the day with, sometimes, unbearable back pain, a screaming headache, a to-do list that has hardly been touched, and eyes that can hardly stay open yet a racing mind of all of the chaos that tomorrow will certainly bring. You just don’t get it, you can’t get it…until you are in the thick of it yourself. And I don’t think you can ever be truly grateful until you’re the one rushing around in the kitchen, wiping boogers, and cleaning up pee from your own babies…oh the glory of it all!
So I guess before I go on, thank you mom! If only that was sufficient. I love you!
So back to the chaos…
Are you ever getting a meal ready, it’s finished and piping hot and smells amazing…and then it happens. ALL OF A SUDDEN…you see the laundry in the wash and the clothes that needs to be folded and put away. You see the dog hair on the floor, the crumbs on the counter… It all flashes before your eyes and it quietly asks you, and sometimes not so quietly screams at you: “Oh you’re going to eat your breakfast/lunch/dinner? I just wish you’d take care of me first…you’re house will be so much cleaner, your mind clearer, your life happier”. HOW CAN I ARGUE WITH THAT?! Or…does this ever happen to you? Dinner is on the table and everybody goes to dig in but nope, not you! You have to nurse your sweet and adorable baby for like 20 minutes. I sometimes wonder when I’ll eat a hot meal again?
We as mamas just don’t think about ourselves as much as we used to. We don’t have the TIME to think about ourselves. Whether you are working or staying home with your littles, you’re ALWAYS thinking about what everybody else needs. Cheerios are gone, milk needs to be thawed, dinner needs to be started, diaper bag needs to be refilled, toddler’s butt needs to be wiped, bottles need to be washed, lunch for daycare needs to be packed, toys need to be picked up, grocery list needs to be made, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.
Some partners just don’t see it, right? So I don’t blame my husband, like I said above. But he does seem to suffer from a lack of visual acuity when it comes to certain things (love you, babe!).
This is a very typical and regular, random train of thought for me:
Me: *Throws away tissue*
My Mind: Geeze that trash is full. The trash bags are right here I’ll just empty it real quick. Ugh, I think the upstairs trash cans are pretty full so I’ll just change those too. *Glances at dirty ring in toilet* Oh my gosh! Yea I need to clean that. Our toilet could use a little twirl of the toilet wand too while I’m at it. Ew! Why does it smell like urine? I”ll just grab the bathroom cleaner and scrub these floors really quick. OMG the baseboards are COVERED in dog hair and dust. I’ll grab the swifter real quick and do these…*follows the baseboards throughout the entire house*. And so on and so forth…
Husbands Train of thought:
Husband: *throws tissue away*
Husband: Hey babe I’m gonna go take a shower real quick!
Again, guys, (and sweet hubby!) this is not a knock to my dude. If I need help, and on the rare occasion I actually ask for help (I admittedly need to be better at this), he is more then willing to help. He NEVER complains or implies that I should be the one taking care of everything at home. This is just a snapshot of the realities of motherhood. There is always SOMEONE and SOMETHING to take care of before you can eat, or shower, or sleep.
I’m still working on that whole self-care aspect of motherhood and making sure my own cup is full before I can fill others…I think it’s a learning process right? Learning to balance our needs with those that we love? It’s tough. And, I mean let’s be real…it’s another thing to think about. If I decide I’m going to take a bubble bath and drink wine on Tuesday night then I’m also thinking about getting dinner ready early, dishes put away, baby put to bed and all of the other night time routines completed before I can enjoy said bath. And then it’s like 11pm and I’m asleep on the couch looking something like this…
How do we, as mamas and daddy’s, take care of ourselves so we can be our best selves to our sweet little ones? How do you do it?