When you’re a mom everyone comes before you, it’s just how life goes. Between the dirty diapers, cleaning, cooking, shopping, and tantrums, time to yourself is like finding the leprechaun’s gold at the end of the rainbow. Most of the time we get so swept away in our day to day that we don’t realize that it’s been a few weeks or even months since we have taken time for our self to implement any self care activities. This is just recipe for disaster. To avoid this you need to make self care a priority.
When I had my first kid I jumped into parenthood with both feet and never looked back. All my time and energy went into being a mom and a wife. I loved it. Come on, those sweet laughs and snuggles, life just didn’t get any better. To be honest, my first child was a walk in the park. My pregnancy was a breeze! No pain, slept great, and I was rarely tired. When my daughter was born she slept and ate like a champ. I never had 1 breastfeeding issue and I slept on average 4-5 hours before she woke up to eat again and once she was done eating, back to sleep we both went.
I’m sure all you moms are hatting me right about now, but just wait, this story is about to take a drastic turn.
A year a half later we were blessed with baby number 2! Since my first pregnancy and baby where such a breeze I expected the second time around to be the same.
OHHH BOYYYYY was I wrong.
Very, Very wrong.
The moment I hit 6 weeks, morning sickness hit me like a freight train. Not only did I get morning sickness, but I got the flu for the first time in probably 10 years. I thought the combination was going to be the death of me. Even after I got over the flu I was barely making it through each day, at least that’s how I felt at the time. Every morning I woke up and threw up… EVERY MORNING. My sciatic nerve shot pains down my leg every day and some evenings I couldn’t even walk. I counted down the days to my second trimester in hopes that I would get some reprieve. Well my 2ndtrimester came and went and guess what? Nothing changed, at least not for the better. I was now having mystery pains that put me in the hospital 3 times, my daughter broke her leg, and at 20 weeks I was diagnosed with Placenta Previa. That is where your placenta attaches over your cervix. This means if you go into labor you will bleed out and die. So, I got put on some restrictions and had regular ultrasounds monitoring my placenta in hopes that it would move with my growing belly. Luckily it moved, but the daily anxiety attacks where enough to make me go bald.
Fast forward to life outside the womb. At 3 weeks old we found a mystery lump the size of a quarter on my baby’s neck. Needless to say, I was a freaking wreak. I forced myself to not google anything because we all know what it would have said. Cancer. So, in an attempt to not make myself any crazier than I already was I just didn’t do it. After doctor’s appointments, x-rays, blood work, and an ultrasound she was diagnosed with Fibromatosis Coli. A benign tumor in her neck, likely caused by the way she was positioned in the womb for so long. Treatment became weekly physical therapy visits and then if her body didn’t reabsorb the tumor, surgery was likely to take place in the future.
TONGUE & LIP TIE
Since she had such a large tumor it made nursing very difficult. We finally went to see a lactation consultant and found out she had a tongue tie, lip tie, and was 5 pounds under weight. I was heartbroken. How could I have not known there was so much wrong. I felt like a failure.
After we got her tongue and lip tie released she got thrush in her mouth and then passed it to my nipples just one week later. We tried every cream, medicine, yeast killer, you can think of, natural, over the counter, and prescription, nothing worked. We fought this infection until she was 6 months old where I finally threw in the towel and stopped nursing. Another huge blow to my motherhood ego.
The same day she was diagnosed with thrush I also flipped my husband’s truck in the snow with both my kids in the back seat. With no cell reception and in the middle of nowhere I had to pull both my kids out of the truck while it was upside down. Another event that added a truck load of anxiety and stress into my already overwhelmed world. This season I was in survival-mode. Every day I woke up, ran my errands, went to one of the 10 million appointments I had that week, and just tried to survive.
So why did I just tell you all that? Well it wasn’t until I was stilling in the trenches of chaos, heartbreak, and pain with my second child that I realized I had nothing left to give. I was all tapped out. In the last 2 and a half years I hadn’t taken any time for myself. I never looked at my life and asked myself, “What do you need right now.” I remember sitting in the drive way with both kids asleep in the backseat and I finally broke down bawling to my husband. In that moment of vulnerably and expressing to him what all I was going through, I realized I needed some “Me Time!” A time with no kids, no responsibilities, just me and only me.
My husband could tell by the look in my eyes and the stress I wore all over my face, that I was on the brink of disaster. From that point on I started doing regular self care activities like; taking walks, getting massages, sitting at coffee shops, or just going for a drive in an attempt to pour into me.
The moment I decided to put myself first was a moment that would forever change my family’s life. Not only did taking time for myself make a difference in my mental and physical health, it made a difference in each of my family’s lives. Why? Since I was taking care of my needs I became a better mom and wife. I was slower to blow up at my kids for the littlest thing and I started to have the emotional energy to reconnect with my husband at the end of each day.
When you take time for yourself, especially if it’s a pampering activity like a pedicure or massage, your body releases Serotonin. That increase in the hormone serotonin helps regulate your mood, promotes a sense of well-being, and gives you a feeling of contentment.
Having an increase in serotonin will…
- LOWER YOUR ANXIETY LEVELS
- BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE & SELF-ESTEEM
- IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
- MAKE YOU A HAPPIER PERSON
- HELP YOU BECOME A BETTER WIFE & MOM!
You are important. Remember that. Moms play a vital role in keeping our family together. When you are stressed and overwhelmed that leeches out into every part of your life as well as your families lives. The same goes for when you are happy and at peace. So take some time and implement some self care activities. YOU ARE IMPORTANT!