I guess it’s pretty obvious that I haven’t been taking the best care of myself lately. I thought I was doing a good job holding it all together in front of people but now I am kind of embarrassed to know that wasn’t the case at all. I came to this realization recently when some people in my life reached out to me to make sure I was doing okay with everything that I have going on. One was a friend of mine who wrote me an email, asking if I was sleeping and eating well and remembering to take care of myself, and if I needed any help. The other was my chiropractor who actually sent me a handwritten note in the mail. I have seen him every other week since last July when I was pregnant. He wrote that he was concerned about me because I haven’t seemed as happy and healthy as I was even a few months ago.
My first reaction when reading these notes was to feel defensive. That lasted approximately 2 seconds before I realized they were right. I feel extremely lucky to have people in my life who care about my well being enough to reach out and make sure everything is okay. This was a big wake-up call for me. The truth is that it has been hard to make myself a priority. I’m sure anyone reading who has kids can understand, that once they are here EVERYTHING CHANGES and they become your world. I absolutely love being a mom with all my heart. Nothing makes me happier. However, it’s very easy to get so involved in making sure your child is happy, healthy, and their needs are met, that you put your own needs on the back burner. For me, this is not an intentional thing at all. It just happened over time, and I guess I have gotten used to what I thought was my ‘new normal’ way of living.
I decided yesterday that I was tired of my ‘new normal.’ It is time to make a change. I’m sick of being stressed and exhausted all the time. I’m not getting enough sleep because I try to do too much at work and at home. I hardly run at all anymore and never do other things for myself that make me feel good. I took a hard look at myself in the mirror, and I know that I’m looking a little rough these days. I love my baby and my husband and I (sometimes) love my job, but I need to remember how to love myself too.
So I dedicated this weekend to rediscovering how to take care of myself again. On Friday after work, I sat down to relax and drink a nice big glass of wine. It felt amazing.
Instead of spending the evening grading papers and doing house work like usual, I took advantage of a super snuggly baby, who is growing up way too fast and usually not very interested in snuggling anymore.
That night, my amazing husband told me he was on baby duty, and gave me the whole night off. I can’t even explain how good it felt to get some solid sleep and how much I appreciated him doing that. I woke up early the next day refreshed and feeling great. Nobody else was awake yet and I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I decided to take a relaxing bath and give myself a pedicure. I even shaved my legs- something that (embarrassingly) has been put on the back burner as well.
After pampering myself a bit I went out for some more R&R. For Christmas, Kevin bought me 3 massages from Groupon, and today I used my first one. I haven’t had a massage in over 3 years, and my body has been through a LOT in that time. It felt amazing and I drifted through the rest of the day with a smile on my massage table indented face.
After my massage, I stopped at the drugstore to get myself some products to treat my skin. It’s been looking pretty bad since having Kevin and while a lot of it is most likely hormonal, I know I can take better care of it. I got myself a good moisturizer for my body and another for my face, plus eye cream. I feel like since I haven’t been caring as much about my appearance I have aged a lot in the last 5 months. I know it’s vain, but I want to feel pretty and confident again, and for me that starts with good skin.
My last stop was the running store. I finally used a Groupon that was about to expire to get myself a beautiful new pair of my beloved Brooks Adrenalines. New shoes = new motivation.
When I got home I ate lunch, and we put the baby down for a nap. Then we went on a cleaning spree. We have been seriously slacking on keeping the house clean since we’ve been so busy. Even though cleaning isn’t necessarily relaxing, it felt really good to get everything organized and spotless, kind of like a fresh start.
After cleaning we headed out to meet Kevin’s sister and her husband for dinner at a Japanese steakhouse using yet another Groupon (can you tell we love Groupon?). I haven’t been very social with family and friends lately since I’ve had so much going on, so it was a lot of fun to finally be out and about again. Plus, Kevin’s sister is pregnant and due in less than a month, which is so exciting! After dinner we all walked around Buy Buy Baby together talking about everything baby related. I loved every minute of our evening, even when Kevin had a massive blowout that went out the back and down his leg in the restaurant. I just felt relaxed and happy, and it was so, so nice!
As soon as I hit publish on this I’m heading to bed with my two favorite guys. We aren’t setting an alarm- luckily if we bring the baby to our bed when he wakes up in the morning he will sleep a few more hours with us. Tomorrow includes going on a family run eventually, and I plan to spend some quality time with my foam roller and stretching- two other things that I have neglected lately. Maybe some more wine too
Future ‘taking care of me’ plans include making doctors appointments that I have been putting off- the dentist, the dermatologist, and my PCP for thyroid blood work. I want to finally go back to Body Pump after 5 and a half months. I want to try to run more than once a week. I want to plan a weeks worth of healthy meals and actually stick to it. I want to go to bed earlier. I want to smile more. I want to remember what is really important in life. And I want to try not to be so hard on myself if I am not able to meet these goals every day. Here’s to a brighter, happier, healthier ME.