I recently started exercising again (walking 3 miles around a golf course) and of course I have the little ones with me in the jogging stroller. The other day, day 2 or 3 of my new found regimen, the girls were fussing and squirming and generally displeased with this new hour of their day. I tried to make it fun for them with snacks, baby dolls and coloring pages - I guess I figured the more I put in the stroller the more fat I will burn - but I digress. When they were fussing and whining I was ready to say that I guess this isn't working and I will have to try something else. (balance going down) Then I stopped myself and thought, so I will add on another 10 pounds and feel bad because I don't exercise! That wasn't going to work this time either! That is when I made a CONSCIOUS choice to let this time be important ! I need this time and the girls are going to have to learn to enjoy this time too! (balance going back up)
Sometimes it feels so selfish to think this way. It really did bother me for awhile to take this attitude with my little ones. I wrestled with it and decided that in the end it was the best decision and now I guard that time like I do with my quiet time and church attendance. I decided that it was THAT important to me. (balanced??? hmm not quite sure!)
It is so easy for a mom to put everyone else in the household ahead of her, because her needs can wait! I think this overall attitude of selflessness is a preservation of the family unit, a working family shows a lot of selflessness. We all know the mom who doesn't mind putting herself first. You know, the mom who annoys her husband with all of her silly little notions and we just want to shake them and say seriously, DON'T TAKE HIM FOR GRANTED. We as a collective group typically just shake our heads and know she doesn't get it - definitely not balanced!
But on the other side of the coin there is the mom who gives it all! Then one day she wakes up and realizes that her toenail polish is growing out, her fingers haven't seen a file in weeks, the last time she moisturized was during the Clinton administration and her last haircut was before the writer's strike! Then out of no where
I do not want to live my life like this, it isn't good for me or anyone in my family. However the true rub of this realization is that when I do something good for me the mommy guilt starts, case in point the exercising guilt in the above narrative. I needed to do something for me without the excess baggage. I am a living person with needs all my own, taking care of those needs isn't self indulgent it is a necessity. (up and down/up and down - do men take themselves this seriously!)
So I will purpose to take care of myself with one extra a week, what ever it may be a mani/pedi, haircut, new pants or blouse, shoes or eyebrows. One thing a week I can do without feeling guilty, who knows maybe one day I will work up to two! I'm pretty sure most husbands would love the balanced wife over the martyr. So I challenge you all to do one thing for yourself this week; unless you are the dear girl with the nitpicked husband then maybe you should do something for him. Whatever you decide lets just try to make sure we are part of the balanced life. Hugs everyone. Liz