Tuesday, July 31, 2007

2/20/2007 - Carving It Out

Feb 20, 2007
Carving It Out
I have a hard time taking time for myself. Especially since I became a mother. There is always something or someone else that needs my attention, my arms, my mop, my patience and they always, always get it.

Always putting me and my needs last is really taking its toll. I need a hair cut and color, I need new clothes and I need to lose alot of weight. Alot.

The two hours when we first get home each night are jam-packed – dinner prep, service and clean-up, kid feeding, cleaning, bathing, dressing for bed, book time and play and snuggle time, mail triage, laundry detail, telemarketer rejection, shoe and toy scattering and general upheaval followed by pick-up. It is also my most internally stressful time of the day. I am torn between doing what needs to be done logically (laundry, dishes, bills, etc.) and what needs to be done emotionally (kids, husband, kids).

So I do all of the above. Because I am a perfectionist about my kids and my house. And even though I have a very hands-on, equal duty husband, I try to do everything myself (ridiculous, needless, my own fault, Micro-manager, that’s me). The only time I get to myself is generally the hour between when the boys go to bed and when I fall asleep drooling on the couch. And there is still so much else that has to get squeezed into that hour – phone calls, books, TV, nookie, all of the above.

When I was first married, my husband and I worked together and we went to the gym every day after work. I wasn’t and never will be THIN, but it felt so great to get that exercise every day. Despite being overweight, I felt fit and healthy and energized. Now it has been over two years since I have really exercised and I have been so bad about finding the time and making the effort to do so.

Last night, just as I was about to leap up from the table to begin cleaning the kitchen, my last bite of dinner still warm in my mouth, I paused. What would really happen to my world if I didn’t IMMEDIATELY start in on cleaning up from the dinner that wasn’t even cool yet? What trauma would befall my toddlers if they weren’t promptly whisked through a bath and pajama and educational book whirl? What damage would I be doing to my psyche if I didn’t insist on doing everything MY WAY, RIGHT NOW??

I took a very deep breath and a baby step. I smiled at my husband and told him I needed some time for myself. I needed to take a walk.

At first he was puzzled. You? A walk? Right now? Are you OK? Then he said “Good. Go. I will take care of cleaning the kitchen and kids up. Go.”

And I did. I hung up my dishtowel and went for a long walk around my neighborhood. It was fabulous. It was energizing. It was freeing.Yeah, I came home to a sort-of-mostly-cleaned kitchen. And two messy but laughing boys. And a husband who was happy to see me return with the glow of exercise back in my cheeks. And everyone survived without me controlling the world.(Of course I ended up doing all of the stuff I would have normally done anyway, because I am crazy like that.)

But it’s a start! Baby steps in the direction of me.

Posted by Michele at 2/20/2007 09:31:00 AM
Mrs. Chicken said...
This post really resonates with me. I'm trying to lose 30 pounds and it isn't going to come off, really come off, unless I exercise. And I hate leaving my daughter in the childcare there b/c right now she cries pitifully when I do. So I feel guilty the whole time I'm there.I think you took a huge step here. Congrats. Keep those feet moving forward.
Feb 20, 2007 12:02:00 PM
ECR said...
It sounds like the most important thing is recognizing that YOU are a priority. The next step--figuring out how to fit in that You Time--is what you're good at!
Feb 20, 2007 7:19:00 PM
sherry said...
Can you start teaching a class to get that mentality? I need some alone time...STAT!
Feb 21, 2007 12:15:00 AM
susiej said...
That was nice that you did that for yourself. I need to take a lesson from you!
Feb 23, 2007 10:36:00 PM
binkytown said...
YAY. It's about time mom did something for herself. It's so easy to put ourselves last. Baby steps baby.
Feb 27, 2007 11:36:00 AM

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