What no one tells you, is that being a stay-at-home-mama can be very isolating. This truth has been an incredibly hard realization for me.
Before you skip the end of this and leave a comment pleading with me to seek therapy and/or medication, rest assured, I am not in that place--yet. I love my daughters, and recognize them for the blessing they are, which leads me to the place of knowing that I need to change. Brynne and Hadley deserve an emotionally healthy mama!
For those of you who have or do feel the same way, I think it's normal--becoming a mother is a huge, life-altering event. Couple that with all kinds of crazy hormones and lack of sleep--well, sometimes it's not pretty. I don't think people talk about this very much. I'm standing up to talk about it, because it's real for me. I'm struggling, and from a few conversations I've had with friends recently, I know I'm not the only one.
I knew that having children was the ultimate "dying to yourself", so I accepted and embraced that the girls' needs trump my own. While it is true that I have two, pretty cute, babies to take care of, that doesn't mean that I stop taking care of myself. Being a mama has become part of my identity, but should not define me. There's a careful balance there, and I need a bit of "rebalancing".
Confession time. Most weeks I only get in two or three showers (ew, I know). My workout routine really can't be called a "routine" since it's sporadic, at best. Sometimes I go days without brushing my hair--a messy bun is my go-to hairstyle. Speaking of hair, I haven't had it cut or trimmed in over a year---can you say split ends?! My crusty feet haven't had a pedicure since May. I usually don't change out of my yoga/pajama pants unless I have to go somewhere or see someone. Sometimes I forget to put on deodorant until my pits feel sticky, or worse--when I start to stink.
All of this was fine in the beginning, when the girls were little, and I was a tired, overwhelmed new mama. Some of it is still okay, sometimes. I mean, who doesn't love comfy yoga pants?! My girls are almost a year old, though, and are aware of their world. I want them to see their mama taking time to take care of herself, so that they will learn to do the same.
So--I have a plan!
- Tomorrow, I'm starting bootcamp again. Two mornings a week I'm going to get my sweat on. I'm actually pretty giddy about it--hopefully I'll feel the same way tomorrow at 5:30 A.M.
- I'm going to try to schedule at least one playdate a week. Let's face it, playdates are usually more about the mamas socializing than the kids playing together.
- Once a week I'm going to get out of the house by myself. To run errands, get a cup of coffee, meet up with a friend--something.