Take Care of Yourself
Over the past nine months or so, I’ve really let my personal care slide. I’m normally really good about my oral hygiene, but there have been days when I didn’t brush at all. There have been many days when I haven’t showered. I haven’t been exercising regularly and I take almost no time to get dressed and ready for the day.
Twelve hours of children is exhausting. I have a false belief that I’m the only one who’s tired, when in reality, all parents of small children are tired. I’m awake for about 16 hours a day, but if 12 of those are dedicated to household tasks and care for the children, that doesn’t leave much time for me.
The funny thing is that I have a mythic status with my children. They don’t perceive me as having hopes, dreams, and needs. Instead, I’m the provider, there to help with every aspect of their lives. It’s a great position to hold, but I need to make sure that I don’t buy in to the myth.
There’s a great boost to self-esteem and energy that comes from self-care. Being well rested, exercised, cleaned, and dressed gives me a power boost throughout the day. I’m in a markedly better mood and I’m more resilient, giving me an edge when the sixth fight of the day breaks out.
When schedules are tight and demands are hight, the easiest thing to cut is the time that I need to take care of myself. Ironically, but cutting out much needed self-care, I undercut my ability to take care of my children. It takes discipline and permission to take time for myself each day, but it’s an investment that always returns dividends.