Monday, August 20, 2007

Who Takes Care of Mommy?

I read a great article in Good Housekeeping the other day. It was about emotional eating and why most women--especially mother tend to do it. The author's thesis is that those of us who are emotional eaters use food to nourish ourselves as we don't do it in any other way. Food is the way we "take care" of ourselves. I know it might seem counter intuitive to take care of yourself by eating an entire loaf of zucchini bread or an entire pint of Ben and Jerry's, but it makes total sense that that is what I have been doing. Food is really the only thing I do for myself lately. Sad uh? I think this is something that many women struggle with, especially those of us who become mothers later in life. I was pretty much 35 when Minnow came to us. I had spent many a year taking care of what I needed and doing it for me and for no one else.

I think my first slide came when I met my hubby. I started putting him first--once the relationship got serious. I certainly didn't put him first in those early stages. But once we moved in together and got engaged. I put him first and my needs were second. I ended up gaining a great deal of weight (about 70 lbs). Of course it didn't happen right away but it did happen. I lost much of the gained weight, only to have Minnow and then gain much of what I lost back. Minnow became first, hubby second and ranked a lowly third on my priority list.

I have come the realization that I am not going to lose the weight and feel good about myself until I take care of myself. Until I put myself first. As a mother, this seems weird. I feel like my child should be put first. I am starting to realize that if I put myself first, my child will reap those benefits. If I go to the gym for an hour and drop minnow in the gym's child care, he will be okay and will even become more well adjusted to different situations. I need to put myself first. I need to be the best me I can be, so that I can be the best mom and wife that I can be. As I haven't been very good at either lately. Whether that statement is true or not to Minnow or Hubby doesn't matter. It is my perception that is my reality.

So ladies of the so very wise blogsphere, how do you take care of you so that you can better take care of your family? How do you find/create your "me" time? How do your nourish your soul? Share your stories here.


Anonymous said...

I'm also pretty bad at this. Last night after a weekend of setting up the bird's swingset in the rain Bryan said, I haven't showered since Friday morning. I hadn't showered since Thursday morning. Because she gets up, and Bryan needs to shower and the dogs need to pee, and we all need to eat...blah blah.

Daycare has been the best thing for me in this department. I was 1000 times worse at "me time" when she was home with the nanny and I was working in the other room. I'm trying to set aside the guilt. As it is, I try to include her in my cardio workouts (in the jogging stroller), and the dogs too. I'm quick at the gym and only go 3 days per week, one of which is Saturday, when Bryan takes her swimming. I cut my hair so it was quicker to style and so I actually was forced to style it in the AM v. ponytail. I try to do at least a quick make up routine every AM. Having a place to workout at home will be huge for me, since I'll do it in the AM before anyone is up.

I'm planning a girl's weekend with my best friend of shopping and pedicures. My feet need some serious attention. And all my shirts have been puked on one too many times...


Lisa said...

I know what you mean. It is hard for us moms to put ourselves first.

Did you get my message about where we were to be Friday night? I didn't get a chance to follow up because I've had alot of stress lately.

We missed ya tho. But hope you can come out again.

shemari said...

You already said it. Find someplace safe/fun for the family and take care of yourself. Workout, get dressed up and made up, shop (for yourself), get together with friends and have FUN!

You're also right that your family will reap the benefits of a HAPPY YOU. So even though you're getting some me time, it's for them too!

Daisy said...

You've taken the first big step: realizing that you, and only you, will put yourself first. I have a hard time doing that because I have a handicapped child (blind). We've started doing quality time things together, like working out at the Y. It's good for all of us.