Imagine if your child developed a 102 fever, wouldn’t eat, was sick to his stomach, and wouldn’t get out of bed. How many days would you let him suffer? 1, 2, 3? My guess is one at the most, but probably none. You would probably call her doctor that day and make an appointment. Your protective instinct would not allow you to wait it out, put it off, and say, “it’s nothing.” So why did I let myself deteriote for almost three days before I had to be dragged to the doctor?
By default, when you become a mother you are often the last person you take care of. You will
reluctantly gladly give your tiny humans the last bite of your lunch because they have decided that yours is better than theirs. You will put the umbrella over them while you are drenched. You will skip a shower to get them to their Little Gym class on time. So on and so forth. Day in and day out. You will survive on coffee, bites of their snacks, and 5 hours of interrupted sleep and most of the time you will be happy to do so. Their smiles and giggles will make it worth it for you. You will muster up the energy to play princess or monster trucks when you have the flu. You will put their every need before your own. And our society will praise you for it. They won’t even treat you like the superhuman you are because it has just become expectation that mothers give 150% even when they feel like they are running on -50%. And if a mother decides to put herself first she will often be criticized.
I would love to climb a mountain and shout “NO MORE! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!” Instead I will sit here curled up in my blanket and type my most heartfelt request that you just stop it. Right now. It is your responsiblity and your duty to take care of yourself. If you cannot put yourself first, then you must, at the very least, rank yourself as equal. You cannot be a good mother if you are not alive. It’s actually a really simple concept. And I know what happened to me is a rarity. I know that most illnesses are not life and death. I know that carving out time to go to the gym, or a date night, or to get your hair done will not ever be your number one priority. I’m not saying it should be. I am fumbling through these words to simply try to express to you that you are important and you must treat yourself like you are. Your family needs you happy and healthy. Not one or the other. They need both. You cannot take care of another person if you do not care for yourself. You cannot pour from an empty cup. So fill it up with coffee, tea…or even wine…cuddle your people and love yourself as much as you love them.