I admit, its all a front. I’m Not Really a Supermom.
Here I am, World, letting you know- I am totally that mom. The one you see in the kindergarten pick up line, wondering why in the hell she left the house without a bra. The one who has “let herself go”. After kids, and lets face it- life- my self-care has gone out the window. I like to tell myself that I am super mom. Cleaning house, cooking, crafting, baby-wearing, breastfeeding…
In reality I have used my children, my job, and ” the mom life” as an excuse to stop taking care of myself. With two bundles of love, a business to run, daycare Littles to care for, I have every excuse, but it doesn’t make it better. It’s time to face reality, that I just “let go”.
If only admitting it was half the battle.
Denial is a Strong Drug when You have “Other Priorities”
One of my Super-mom superpowers is the power of deniability. I pop just about every doubt bubble that forms in my brain. Admittedly, my doubt bubble has boiled up in my head more than once. But like most good deniers, I popped those bubbles and moved on as quickly as I could. “I just don’t have the time and energy to confront this right now”, I tell myself. Pop!
My super-mom brain is focused on my kids! My priorities!
Until my sweet husband posts a picture of me with the kids at some godawful angle on Facebook, and I think, “I really let myself get that BIG?”
Pop! Moving on…
But then, I will glance in the mirror at 4 o clock in the afternoon, for the first time ALL day. Taking into account my frizzy hair, my disheveled, snot covered clothing, and oh god, those brows, I pop my concern bubble right out of my head.
Still later, I eat something cold, and my tooth yells at me in pain. I have GOT to make a dental appointment, I think. POP! Too many things to think about, on to the next thing…
I really need a haircut… POP!
Perhaps I should try to go to bed early tonight… POP!
That’s it! I swear I will wake up early and go for a run. I am super-mom! I can do it all! That is, ifthe baby sleeps through the night. Or I’m not too tired. Where are my running shoes? Pop!
My Self-Care wake-up Call
Finally, I made a dental appointment. No, not because I needed one, but because my children did. Our dentist is not only amazing with children, but he also cares for adults teeth as well, so, I made my own appointment. Not until I filled out the questionnaire did I realize how much I truly let my teeth go.
When was your last dental visit?
5 years, I realized. Not since before I became pregnant with my Imp. Not a single cleaning (Of which my insurance covers 100%) after having children. When did I stop with my self-care? Well, that simple form answered that question for me.
My horror at my lack of self care did not end at the questionnaire. I sat in astonishment at my lack of self-care as my dentist said things like debridement, cap, and work in every quadrant. Numb, I tried to pop all these embarrassments out of my head. That is, until the dental hygienist, in an effort to reassure me, broke me out of my bubble with one simple sentence.
Don’t worry, we will get you fixed up now, and you will still have your teeth when you are 70.”
That was the moment when I realized that the way I treat my body now, will continue to effect me 10, 20, 30 years from now.
“The Future depends on what you do today.” -Mahatma Gandhi
That was my “aha” moment. My moment when I realized I can no longer sit, wearing my super-mom mask, popping doubt bubbles. I let myself go. My self-care is gone. No, it may not matter that for one day, I did not brush my hair. Or that I drank FAR more coffee than water today. (OK, I didn’t drink ANY water today.) My, “The kids are more important, when they are older it will be easier”, excuse that I keep telling myself is not going to hold. Because, day after day after day, I have allowed my skin, my teeth, my BODY to be neglected all in the name of motherhood. Meanwhile, I wait for some magic day when I will suddenly kick aside YEARS of neglectful self-care and focus on myself. My future self, I think, will not thank me.
It’s time I stop waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel and light it up myself. I cannot hide behind my kids anymore. Those concern bubbles are there for a reason, I cannot continue to pop them, laughingly thinking, “oh that’s just the mom life!”
Committing to My Self-Care
Honestly, where I am at, my daily routine, its comfortable. It works. It’s not necessarily my post-baby body that bothers me. It’s that I have pushed myself aside for so long, my priorities skewed. In trying to make myself a super-mom, I’ve lost a little of who I am.
My children deserve a happy, healthy mother who loves life. My husband deserves a confident, joyful wife. More than any of that, though, is me.
I deserve to be happy, healthy, confident and joyful. I deserve to take care of myself.
Do you feel you have been so wrapped up in raising your children that you have “let yourself go?” In what ways? How have you overcome it?