It's pretty common for moms to get so caught up in taking care of everyone else that their own basic needs get shoved aside. All too often, if a to-do list item doesn't involve someone else, then it's reassigned to the endless list of things that will probably never get attention, along side the far less pressing projects like cleaning out the closet. Particularly during the holidays, there is a tendency for us to be so overwhelmed with the tasks at hand that we find it difficult to fit in even simple, routine necessities for ourselves.
As I sit here recovering from the holiday frenzy, I can't help but notice my greasy hair that should've been washed two days ago, but can't seem to find the time or energy to get it done. My legs are so in need of shaving I could be mistaken for a yeti, and the sweatpants I'm wearing have the drawstring dangling out the side because the waistband has worn through in so many spots that the tie escapes through the holes. I always manage to find time to keep the other members of my family from looking homeless, but I'm usually too worn out and depleted to find the time for me to adhere to the same standards. The more concerning thing is that I know there is more than just personal grooming that is slipping through the cracks.
I've never been one for New Year's Resolutions, but I feel this is something too important to continue to ignore. Before I was a mom, whenever we moved I would immediately set up appointments with a new GP and OB, because I have many serious issues that can land me in an ER and I prefer to meet and assess a new doctor before I'm on a gurney in pain. Fast forward to moving as a mom, and we've been here seven months and I haven't even chosen new doctors, much less made an appointment. I'm loooong overdue for my annual gynecological exam, and given my family history I should probably get a mammogram pronto.
These are the kinds of things I know many other moms push aside as well - things that are far more important than cleaning out the closet and should be treated as such. If we want to be there for our families, we need to start making ourselves a priority. This includes the bigger picture of annual exams, as well as the daily functions like eating well, showering, and I realize it's a crazy concept but even sleeping if possible. Beyond that, making time to do things we find relaxing and enjoyable is equally essential. We need to keep our bodies, minds and souls in optimal condition primarily because we ARE important, but also so that we can continue to fulfill that innate desire to be there for the people we love the most.
I hope that other moms out there will take this challenge with me in 2014, and put ourselves first when we can!
Image courtesy of savit keawtavee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Amy Serotkin is dedicated to sustainable living and finding ways to eliminate toxins in her home. She is an avid organic gardener and cook, and is always looking for more ways to challenge herself to lessen her family's ecological imprint.
Her website, The Mindful Home, shares with consumers the information she's found on toxins and eco friendly products that help eliminate disposables or toxin exposure. She also hopes to highlight smaller retailers, crafters and manufacturers.