It was a dreary fall day, I had no plans, I was pregnant and tired, and honestly, it just felt like the right thing to do at the time. I curled up on the couch with a blanket and a box of tissues, and checked out of my life for the better part of the day.
I may never do that again, or at least not in the foreseeable future. Back then, I was only responsible for myself, and if I felt like giving myself over to the television zombie gods, so be it! Sacrifice me on your alter of maudlin background music! Twist my heartstrings ’round your golden chalice of implausible story lines!
Now, by contrast, as the mother of a toddler, my fully engaged presence is required. My work week is hectic, and my weekends at home are fun but busy. I have gained so much love and so much joy from having my little guy, but I have lost the ability to waste time as I please.
And I am okay with this. I can easily give up indulgences like daytime drama marathons, sleeping till noon, and the happy hour that stretches into morning. I can happily substitute these activities with coloring, racing cars, singing the ABC’s, reading “Curious George,” visiting the museum, or building airplanes with bristle blocks. Don’t let my tired eyes fool you, I love this mothering stuff.
At the same time, I try to build in the less toddler friendly activities that I enjoy, like reading novels, playing soccer, going to concerts and art exhibits, painting my toenails, and dining out. I just wish I was a little better at it. Far too often, these activities of self-care are the ones that are pushed aside to do a load of laundry, buy groceries, or change the oil in the car. Or, I skip local events and give up gym time out of a sense of guilt from being a working mom.
It has been helpful to sit and contemplate the topic of self-care (our theme for the month), and the act of writing out my thoughts has given me new ambition to get organized and devote a few hours each week to the activities I enjoy — not long days of wallowing or carousing, just several hours of self-care and fun. I probably would never have found the time for this reflection if I hadn’t promised my co-writers here at “Connect Shore” that I would post something for today. That’s one of the reasons why I love writing for this blog. Each month we choose a theme, and it forces me to take a moment, gather my thoughts, and examine how I live my life.
Oh, and did I say I watched five back-to-back episodes of “Army Wives?” Come to think of it, it might have been six.
If you like this post, you might try reading: