Have you ever had those days where you wake, sit up from your stack of pillows, stretch your arms out wide and know that today is going to be an off day for you? I have those days more and more lately. It is bound to happen when you busy yourself day in and day out year after year and lose yourself in the process of making others happy. I have children. Sometimes it feels like I have an army of children or as some have told me “a small girls basketball team”. I have a 13 year old I’ve raised on my own most of her life. I have two step daughters age 12 and 9, I’ve raised for over the past seven years now. And, then my 6 year old who I swear is a much cuter clone of myself. Each four of my girls have personalities all of their own and I do love them all so very very much.
Now it’s time to scream. Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The same story travels worldwide for mothers in every neighborhood, in every grocery store, in every shopping mall. We lose ourselves a little each day by being the best parents to our children and the best wives to our spouses. We spend our days making grocery lists, washing laundry, preparing lunches and snacks, playing taxi to doctor appointments and extracurricular activities, finding missing socks, kissing boo-boos, reading books, snuggling in tiny beds to holding little hands, wiping runny noses, helping with homework, making dinners, running to the store for toilet paper because no one bothered to mention that they used the last roll, and so much more. Why do we do these things? Because we love our families. Because we have dedicated selflessly to ensure a loving and happy life for our children. We think that if we give ourselves any extra attention, that it will take a precious moment away from the little loves of our life. It’s a fear of being selfish and us mommy’s are not built to be selfish, right? I have been this way my whole life; thinking of others and bringing joy to those I brought into this world and love with every ounce of my soul.
Do you know what happens when we only love our families? We lose love for ourselves. We forget that we need to love ourselves too.
Here are the things that I used to do for myself before children: pedicures, manicures, hair highlights and color from a salon and not from a box, my clothes came from department stores and the sizes were single digits, my shoes had heels and not rubber soles, my car had a regular appointment at the car wash, I ate meals at nice restaurants without having to spend half the time in the restroom, my underwear was sexy and I wore bras for appeal not comfort, i slept in when I wanted to, met my friends for drinks, went shopping and bought only myself things, and I could run around naked when I got home from work.
Here are the things I do now: I wear socks, my nails get filed once a month at best, I mix my own hair color in a bottle and do it in my bathroom, my clothes are either recycled by friends or come with a hefty clearance tag, my clothing size hasn’t been a single digit in over 10 years, my shoes consist of flip flops, sneakers, and slip-on, my van hasn’t seen soap in over 6 months, i eat my meals standing up half the time and a nice restaurant is a pizza buffet on a kids eat free night, my underwear and bras are bought for comfort and lifting, i wake up to little faces saying “mommy”, if I meet my friends it’s at a school function or a child’s birthday party, when I go shopping even if I intend to buy myself something – I wind up finding myself with a my little pony book and stickers, and I’d rather not even be naked in the shower anymore.
The funny thing is, is that I wouldn’t trade my now for anything. I cannot imagine the life I had before children; no matter how frustrated times can be. The problem is that I & we mothers should stop and remember ourselves. I want to know who I still am and not lose myself anymore. So I have decided to take this beautiful NEW YEAR 2014 and play the mixing game. I’m going to mix it up and combine a little of the old with with current and make new.
We can have sexy underwear, we can get back to a single digit or at least just a lower digit, we can still be frugal and shop at department stores, we can take once a month and treat ourselves to a pedicure or manicure. Our cars deserve special treatment, right? Why not make it a family event and save money by washing the car with the kids. Let’s pull out those heels and start practicing walking in them again around the house when no one watches. Let’s plan a lunch date with a group of friends without kids and have a little bit of laughter. We can make ourselves go our once a month and buy something without a buggy just for us. Instead of sleeping in, let’s get up a little earlier on the weekends and enjoy the morning with a silent cup of coffee before all the children get up. We can put our make-up on just to do it, because we know it really does make us feel better.
I want to know me again and I think you do to. So, let’s make a great 2014 together! Let me know if you’re up to the challenge. We can be mommy and ourselves, we just have to mix it up.