Remember when I quit the gym and said I was never going back? Yeah, well I went back. In all fairness, the quitting of the gym was warranted due to the heinous vomiting during my last pregnancy and inability to get my BP down. So on medical advice I quit (such a good saying, so official). And then I uttered a little vow to not go back because I could walk around the block and do exercise here; blah, blah, biggety blah. The truth is, I don’t want to walk around the block. It’s a long, boring walk and I always have this panic moment halfway round as there’s still so long to go and I often need to wee and one of these kids is usually crying by then and dear God, just take me home. It’s all very stressful. Anyway, time marched on and I spat out Hendrix and stopped spewing and suddenly I felt like maybe I wanted to start doing some sort of exercise and so my lovely friend dragged me along with her and then I loved it and BOOM, I joined the gym. Again. Active wear every day for a reason!
The truth is, I love it. Now. I love it now. And so much of it has to do with the fact that for 1 to 2 hours a few times a week I get some me time. The kids like the creche and I feel happy leaving them there. It is my self care and it has become an essential part of not just my, but our routine. It has taken me all my years of motherhood to realise the importance of this. I simply could not go on; doing and being everything for the kids and spouse without filling up my own goddamn cup. Late last year I was literally being crushed by the weight of it all. I actually collapsed just after Christmas because I simply took too much on and the toll it took on me physically was not good. No sleep, breastfeeding, 3 very young children and the ins and outs of life did me in. I knew my cup was empty and I knew something had to change. So when the opportunity presented itself I grabbed it. I understand that self care often triggers guilt and you’ll always find someone who disagrees with you taking time out from your kids. But here’s the thing; no one is giving you a medal for being ‘the best mother who stays with her children 24/7 and can keep going and going like the fucking battery bunny.‘ You probably won’t even get a cuddle for that effort. Most people, who aren’t assholes, are taking no notice of the precentages of time you are spending with your children vs the time you’re not. I truly do not give two shits who thinks what regarding my time out. I used to. I would justify it by breaking down the time I spent away and how I spend nearly all my time with them etc etc. Muttering and stammering about how they are more important than me of course and I’ll make up this time spent away with this or that. Why? Why did I do that? A flippant comment here and there from someone maybe….probably. The old, well this is motherhood spiel and motherhood means you come a distant second right? Well you know what? You’re right, this is motherhood, my motherhood. Caring for myself is part of my story. Because when I look after me, I can look after them. I am a better mother and wife and friend and daughter and sister for giving back to myself; for not putting myself second. Burn out and frustration over nothing and everything isn’t a part of my story any longer. And it feels SO good. Of course, I have to pay for my time out and that’s absolutely fine. We haven’t accessed a lot of babysitters and the like over the years but it’s now time for us to accept the help that is being laid before us. It is hard for me to say yes to help but I am learning to do it more and I am very grateful for the many people who offer support to me. Remember, unless you’re dealing with a liar, people won’t offer if they don’t want you to accept. Look for your village, they are there. And if they’re not, my village will have you.
SO….The offshoot of the gym is that yes, I’m losing weight. And whilst its lovely, it’s not what’s really important. It’s not irrelevant is just that what matters to me more is how I feel. And I feel good you guys. I feel like me again. I feel confident and strong and sure of myself. I want to do stuff again. Like be here and wash my hair. And go out with my friends and on dates with Spouse. Yes, the overwhelm is always present but my ability to cope with it and push through is developing more every day. It’s sounds a bit lame but I needed to give myself permission to look after myself before I could take that first step back into the world as Mez, not Mum. You are not valuing yourself more than your children or your partner or your family, when you finally decide to value yourself as well. Fuck comparison and people assigning you value based on those around you, love yourself sick; the people who love you will be better for it too.
Remember, it’s your story, mother or not and every day you can write a new page if you wish.