Thursday, October 8, 2009

Who is gonna take care of Mama?

I was sitting in my midwife's office recently pondering the possibility that I might have been suffering from postpartum depression. Deep in my heart I knew that I didn't have it but there had been several days recently when I questioned my station in life as a stay at home mom. My level of joy is directly linked to how much sleep I get the night before. The midwife listened intently as I blathered on and on about my absurd level of anxiety, my low energy, and the fact that my hoohah might as well be my foot.

Her response? "You are the mother of two children, you're tired, and you're a fierce mama bear. I want you to carve out 30 minutes a day for yourself, that's not too much to ask for yourself, now is it?"

She was right. I need to take care of me. I take care of everyone else all day long and I do it with love. I need to be kind to myself. So, every evening this week, after we have eaten dinner, I hand the baby off to Roger and escape to take a nice hot shower. It's delicious. I exfoliate and moisturize and pumice stone every inch of my body. Then I just stand beneath the stream of water and let it trickle down my nose. I just stand there and stare at my beauty products and let the warm water sooth my tired bones. My 4 year old will bang against the bathroom door and yell over and over "Are you taking a bath mom?" at the top of his lungs. I hardly even hear him over the sound of the running water.

It's working wonders for me. I haven't managed to carve out an entire 30 minutes but I am happy with a 15 minute shower. My standards are pretty low but I'll take what I can get.

I almost feel like myself again...only cleaner.

10 comments:

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB said...

oh leigh! i love this post! i wish you lived in my town! i would watch your babies for you so you could take an afternoon nap! cyber hugs!

tori said...

Such wise advice. I wish someone would have told me that when my kids were little and I was overloaded and ready to have a melt down. Keep on working on getting up to that 30 minutes. It will be good for everyone!

Erin M. said...

Ditto. Keep working at it until you get to that 30 minutes. If you could get to an hour, that would be even better. Can hubs handle it for an hour? You could shower and take a little cat nap.

My moods are also directly linked to the amount of sleep I get. Thankfully now that the girls are almost 4, I'm getting a solid 7-8 hours a night. But somehow I'm still exhausted at the end of every day. Being a mom does that to you--it's very draining. But in a good way. You just have to make sure to balance mom time with me time! hang in there, honey.

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

It is so important to have time to yourself. Start with the shower, then spend some time reading or meditating, or napping or whatever! Because, if mama's not happy, nobody's happy!

Tami G said...

SLEEP? What's that?? ha ha
Coming from a single mom of a 14 year old - I do NOT ever get enough sleep....BUT I forgo sleep for that "Tammy Time" I need. I crave it. I have to have it. Every night - when homework is done and shows are watched and my son is finally in bed.... it's Tammy Time. Yes I stay up too late and don't sleep enough - but I DO have my "me time" =)
It's my sanity =)

The Crazy Baby Mama said...

ooh darlin' i relate...

i think it's definitely important to carve out personal time, and i hope you will continue to 'check-in' with yourself to make sure that there isn't a bigger issue like PPD.

sending hugs.

Amanda {My Life Badly Written} said...

Sleep is so important when your a mum and I know it really affects me if I have none!! Grrrrrr

Your showers sound divine enjoy!!!

Joanna @ The Casa said...

If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy! (just to reiterate Lee's suggestion)

You truly have to care for yourself. I am STILL learning that. My girls turn two on Sunday. I think we need a daily reminder.

Visiting for the first time from SITS. Have a wonderful weekend and take care of YOU!

kyslp said...

Sometimes a 15 minute shower is all we get but it's better than nothing. I remember those days very well.

I have to second Kelly's comment and tell you that I would watch your kids so you could nap if I lived closer, too. (I'm nicer to other people's kids than I am to my own so it would be ok.)

Danielle said...

I soooo get this! My husband takes 2 hour baths at night and I can't even go to the bathroom alone. I would kill for 5 minutes sometimes.