“Have you written anything lately?”
He meant it totally innocently and well-meaning, but dang it hit me kind of hard. I had to tell the truth, which was a big no. I instinctively wanted to add “...because I have been busy with…” but I didn’t - I just let the no be no. And I realized that truth is on me.
I make excuses for the things I don’t do (self-care), and I’m really good at justifying them. Since becoming a mama my to-do list has definitely grown, and I’m getting less sleep than I ever have. So I can always say that I’m not doing the thing because I have some baby task, or because I need to rest. But I recognize that if I always refer to those things and never do the things I need to do for myself, then these are mom-scuses. Do I have a baby task to do? AbsoLUTEly. Am I tired and need to sleep? Yup. Could I still manage to spend 30 minutes a day on something just for me? For sure. It just won’t come easily. It will require planning and effort.
Here’s some Google encouragement I found for myself:
I’ll say here: I don’t have the same hours in a day as Beyonce (or any other person with a nanny). I might have to spend some more time on direct hands-on child care. However I do have more hours in a day than say, someone working two jobs outside the home.
I’m more on board with H. Jackson Brown’s thinking: “Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” A lot of people from a lot of different circumstances figured out how to do great things. Surely I can figure out how to squeeze in a 30 minute workout twice a week. Surely I can write a blog post every Monday. I know it can be done because LOTS of mamas get stuff done every day, some of whom have more kids or work longer hours than I do.
Steps I need to take:
-Let daycare be daycare. They’re open till 6, but hubs and I have been insistent on picking up our LO as quickly as possible after work - no later than 4:45. If we’re already paying, I should probably make use of that time and hit a gym/track/class once a week.
-Take people up on their offers to babysit. Okay fun note: I’ve been making a point to do this, especially because we have a busy November coming up, and it’s *really* funny seeing people’s reactions! “Let me know if you need a sitter!” “Okay how about November 17th at 3?” “Oh. Uh. Uhm.” Of course folks do want to help. I think they just expected me to have to think about it :)
-Stop with the dang TV. Zoning out in front of something that requires no thought energy is one of my ways to unwind after a long day. Sometimes after a long afternoon of solo toddler care, it’s also my chance to “talk” to an adult (ya know, like the cast of The Office). But I definitely fall into the trap of letting that self care run too long and becoming a couch potato before bedtime. I can become more regimented about allowing myself one half hour show, then do something productive, then back into self-care mode. Or I can push myself a little harder to squeeze out one more to-do list item or Mamaville task before I indulge in a treat for myself.
-Get up earlier. That sounds like a nightmare even just typing it. Ugh. Let’s call that one Plan D.
Once I click "publish" here, the mom-scuses are gone. Here we go, mamas! Stay tuned for updates on the changes I have to make!