Of the brownies I made on Sunday night for dessert…seriously this never happens. See, I am addicted to eating chocolate or anything sweet for that matter, and this has not served me well in the past 2 years as I went through 2 consecutive pregnancies. For me, being pregnant was an excuse to eat whatever I wanted and not take the time out to exercise much. With each pregnancy I did a little bit better (I gained nearly 60lbs with Gabbi, around 45 with Autumn and around 35 with Scarlet), but the sum of all of the leftover weight that has hung around has left me feeling a little less than attractive lately. As a mom, it can be hard to take the time out to try and get back in shape, because so much of our time is devoted to our family.
Its not even just exercising that I have had a hard time making time for, but its pretty much anything at all that has to do with with taking time for myself. This is the one thing that I struggle with. See, I love being a mom and everything that comes along with it (well, except maybe the laundry, but I even do that!). I don’t mind getting up in the middle of the night, I operate well on a little sleep, I love grocery shopping and cooking and coming up with all the fun activities we do during the day. I love giving baths and reading stories, and I especially love being there for every milestone. I love all of it so much that sometimes I don’t realize that I am not paying attention to myself, until I have a temporary breakdown and I can’t figure out why. This is usually when Matt steps in and says “When is the last time you were alone?”…and usually I have to look at the calendar. Yeah, it can be that long.
I guess, even when we don’t recognize that we need it, we all need time for ourselves, no matter where we are in life. To some, it comes easily, but to a lot of full time moms out there, we need to be proactive about getting it. Now I am not talking about 3 hours a day, every day, because if your life is like mine that will never happen. I am talking about scheduling in specific things to our life that make us feel a little better so that we can do better for our families. For me, this is prioritizing my desire to get back into shape into our daily routine. Yesterday, for the first time since finding out I was pregnant with Scarlet, almost a year ago, I went to a Pilates class. It was hard, but I LOVED it, and it was only 45 minutes. Taking that time put me in a much better mood for the rest of the day, because I felt like for once I hadn’t put myself on the back burner. As a bonus, Autumn had fun at the gym because there is a room of soft climbing toys that I took her to afterwards. I didn’t feel as guilty about dropping them off at the child watch as I thought I would (Autumn HATES the child watch, but she actually did okay yesterday), because they were getting a happier mommy after the class than they got before. Its amazing how less than an hour can do that for me.
For some of you, this comes easily, and for that I commend you. It’s a healthy thing to realize that we are just as important to ourselves as our families. For the rest of you, I encourage you today to find something for you, even if its just 15 minutes. It might not be an exercise class, maybe its listening to music, or reading a book, or taking a nap, but find something and own it. Some days for me, it could be as little as having the time to take a shower uninterrupted.
The Lord created you in the same way that He created each of our children. He knows each of the hairs on your head, and each of the desires in your heart. You are just as important to Him as your children are to you. So, even if its just for today, take some time for yourself.
For those of you who like to comment, and for you more seasoned moms, what are some of the things that you like to do for yourself or some tricks you came up with to get the time each day?
(This picture is too cute isn’t it!)
On a side note – and some of you may have already read this on my Facebook status last night, but Gabbi came home last night blushing and talking non – stop about a boy in her class smiling at her at lunch! We are only on day 2 here people, and she is only 6!! I honestly thought that this wouldn’t even be a topic of conversation in my house until maybe 4th grade at the earliest. How does a 6 year old even know what “flirting” is, and who told her that him smiling at her from another table could mean that he liked her!!?? I mean, I thought that in 1st grade boys were still gross. I want them to be gross for a long time…..any advice at all would be helpful here! I want to tackle this issue fast if need be. I am just hoping that she comes home today excited about something else entirely.