• Taking Care Of Ourselves – Mom Style


    My doctor stares at me with a frown as I give her all my excuses for not coming in sooner. She is a mom. She understands, but… “You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of everyone else. “ She says to me.  Since I became a mom, I started putting someone else ahead of myself. I do it all the time, usually without even thinking.  

    The consequences of not taking care of myself aren’t even on my radar most of the time.  I know I need to do things like go to the doctor when I’m sick, exercise, and take breaks. I know it, but I don’t usually do it.  I have a lot of great excuses, but the truth is that if I don’t start taking care of myself, I won’t be able to take care of my family the way I do.

    As moms, we have to remember to get our exercise.  I know I’m not wearing any bikinis any time soon, but exercise is still important. I have to be able to keep up with an active little boy. By making sure I get in my daily exercise, I’m also teaching my son some great habits like staying active and healthy.  Plus, exercise has some great health benefits and I’ve got to stay healthy in order to keep taking care of my family the way I do.

    On that note, I’ve got to start going to the doctor like I should.  Doctor’s appointments usually cut into my work schedule. Time away from work means I have to use a sick day.  I don’t like using sick days on myself. I like to save them for my son. Time away also usually means I have to take work home. I hate having to tell my son that I can’t play trains with him because I have to catch up on work stuff. I use these excuses to rationalize waiting to get important check-ups and even having procedures done that I know would make me feel better in the long run.  

    Before I had kids, I took great care of myself. I made time for pedicures with my best friend, coffee breaks, and occasional nights out with my girlfriends.  Now, I hardly ever do those things. I tell myself that going out with the girls means I would miss the bed time ritual. My husband does a great job putting him to bed. I think I just like feeling that he “needs” me.  

    When I do make time for myself, to take care of myself, I feel great!  I usually feel so refreshed. My stress level drops and I’m probably much more pleasant to be around as a result. I tell myself that I need to do this more often, but then I don’t. I can’t seem to break the cycle. No matter how much I tell myself that I need to do these things, no matter how good I feel afterwards…. I have to convince myself to do it again the next time.  The mommy guilt is some heavy stuff.  

    The visit to the doctor this morning was a huge wake up call.  I’ve got to start doing more things for myself. I’ve got to stop feeling like a lousy mom when I take time to take care of myself. I just have to find a way to defeat the crazy mommy guilt.

    How did you do it? When did you realize you needed to start taking better care of yourself? 

    Written by: Sara Parise

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