Putting My Own Oxygen Mask On, First.
Today, while on all fours searching for Chloe’s binky under the couch for the 4th time today; I had a revelation.
I don’t even know who I am anymore.
Seriously. I’ve gotten into this routine, where my new normal is being the caretaker for 3 children, (4-if we count my husband). I spend my days changing diapers, preparing meals, comforting , folding laundry, paying bills – and so much more….
If I happen to get lucky enough to get an hour to myself while the kids are napping; I spend that hour debating. I have a very important decision to make. Do I take a nap as well? Mop the floors since I can’t when they are awake and crawling all over them?
Do I catch up on that show I’ve been meaning to watch but haven’t had the time? OH maybe I could take an interrupted shower – if I do it quietly enough not to wake them up, I may even be able to fit in shaving my legs. Or maybe I should use this time to scroll through Facebook mindlessly and catch up on the latest drama.
By the time I figure out what to do – naptime is almost over. Usually when I do end up taking a break, I feel guilty for sitting down because there is always SOMETHING productive I could be doing, because being a Mom is basically all about playing catch up. There is so little time to myself that even if I am granted a few spare moments – I usually end up spending them doing things that help the family.
I have become so consumed with my role as “Mom“, that it has been a very long time since I thought about Tiffany. Tiffany the friend, Tiffany the wife, Tiffany the sister; Tiffany the PERSON.
I didn’t always have children; they are semi new. So what the heck did I do before they arrived?
Who am I without them? What do I like to do apart from being with my family? When was the last time I had a night out with a friend? (Last time I did something with a friend I spent the entire evening silently obsessing about my family at home – wondering how the hell they were surviving without me)
I realize the importance my role in this household – but I also recognize how crucial it is for me to have my own identity.
Momma’s – you know how consuming and exhausting it can be when it is your job to be the glue that holds everything together. Even when we lay down at night, we don’t immediately drift off to a magical slumber like our peaceful snoring partners without a care in the world – our minds are racing.
“I forgot to put Sara’s library book in her backpack”, “I have to pay FPL tomorrow”, “What am I gonna cook for dinner tomorrow night? We have no meat – I need to go to Publix. Oh, speaking of Publix, I should get some flowers for Sara’s teacher because its her birthday Friday. Speaking of Friday, Billy has a project due that day – oh I can get the supplies while at Publix and – Damnit the baby is crying – time to feed. I’m so tired, but no one can do my job but me so I gotta get up and get her. Maybe I’ll put Sara’s library book in her backpack while I’m up…..”
A. Mother. Never. Clocks. Out.
So let’s make a plan. Right here, right now. At least once a day momma’s, we do something for US. I’m serious. Let’s lock ourselves in the bathroom for 5 minutes and eat a snickers with headphones in. Or ask our husbands to take the kids to the park so we can take a real, for real, uninterrupted solid ass nap. (P.s. if you are a husband and you are reading this, letting your wife nap is the sexiest thing you could ever do – aside from the dishes).
Let’s put the kids to bed and run ourselves a luxurious, solitary, peaceful bubble bath with candles and a book, (You guys remember books, right?)
I don’t care what it is, let’s practice focusing on ourselves – only ourselves– at least once a day. It will take practice, and it won’t be easy; we have become programmed to give, give, give. But damnit, it’s time we start doing a little taking. Who’s with me!!!!? *Thrusts sword victoriously toward the sky*
Seriously though, we can’t pour from an empty cup and it’s so important that we recharge our batteries from time to time. It’s a beautiful thing when a mother gives everything she has to her loved ones, but let’s just make sure we aren’t losing ourselves in the process.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to grab my son’s Paw Patrol Bubble Bath soap and have some Tiffany time, thank you very much.