January 14, 2009

Take care of you.

Playing house was something I did with the other little girls I grew up with, and we played for hours. I was always the "mom". I loved it, and looking back, I think that instinct of caretaker was something woven into the fabric of me from the start.

Being a wife and mother, and being good at it is something that's very important to me. I always worked full time, but when Noah was born, it was so hard for me to leave him with daycare every day. I cried most mornings during my commute, and most nights, I crept in to his dark room to lean over the crib to kiss my already sleeping baby good-night. I missed him terribly. I became a stay at home mom not long after Noah turned two.

I loved being home, and taking care of my family. It was fulfilling to me- just being there, ready to offer comfort, food, a laugh, or company whenever they needed me. To me, being needed meant I was important. I worked on decorating our first house. I crafted, painted, cooked, and threw parties. If Noah's class needed cupcakes for a party, I volunteered. A friend needed a babysitter? Me again. I earned the good- natured nickname "Martha Stewart" from my family, and made good friends in the neighborhood.

The most important thing I did not do? I didn't notice when my identity got right up, and quietly walked out the door.

I thought being a good caretaker meant giving every ounce of myself, or else it would make me look selfish. Therefore, I rarely did anything for me. It got even worse after Noah was diagnosed with T1, because this sense of "nobody can take care of him like me" swept over me like a hurricane. Diabetes naturally became the summit to the mothering mountain I climbed up and down every day.

Unfortunately, trying to be all things to everyone took a physical toll on me. My weight had always been an issue since before I got married, and it fluctuated every time a big life change came knocking. I didn't exercise regularly. I didn't eat anything that would be considered healthy. Pretty, girlie clothes were not something I would choose for myself. I opted instead for baggy, shape concealing sweats. I felt invisible, and rightly so, because that's kind of what I created for myself.

About a year and a half ago, after almost a decade of feeling blue, tired, and generally shitty all the time, I agreed to go with my friend to the gym. It was the first step to making some huge changes in my life. I got stronger, and more confident. I started to care about me for the first time in (I now realize ) my whole life. I learned it's okay to say no to some things. More importantly, I learned to say yes. Yes to new experiences. Yes to life.

Above all, I have learned that to be able to be the very best wife and mom I can be, I've got to be caretaker to myself first. After that, all the good things fall into place.

4 comments:

Penny said...

Your words are so true, but also very hard to live by. As a mom to 2 boys I never have time for myself. I don't even try to make time for myself and I know I should. I feel guilty if I even think of doing something for me. It's not that I don't think I deserve it, it's just that I feel like my role as mother and wife might suffer because of it. I know, I know "you have to take care of yourself so you can take care of them". Do you know how many times I've said that to caretakers of my patients? Anyway, I'm glad you're doing well with it all.

k2 said...

Taking care of yourself is so difficult - Great job of learning to say no and learning to say yes.
YOU ROCK!
k2

Stephanie said...

It's great that you recognized that you've been putting your own needs aside. Now you can start to make change. The truth is if we aren't taking care of ourselves first, we really can't do that great of a job caring for others.


BODA weight loss

Ad said...

If you wanna buy some other things which are not listed in our website:
runescape gold
runescape accounts
runescape money
runescape power leveling
runescape gold
runescape accounts
runescape items
runescape gold
runescape accounts
runescape accounts
runescape money
runescape accounts
runescape items
wow cd key
please contact with our customer service with on-line chat or add our Email,we will stock it for
you in a short time after you told us what you needed.