Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Time to Trim the Bushes (*wink, *wink)

As I sit here watching my 2-year-old play with a cardboard strip of paper (gotta love toddlers), I am overwhelmingly aware of the fact that I need to take some control of my life and do some things for myself. My eyebrows are now getting so thick that I truly believe that they are beginning to affect my ability to see. I did shave my legs the other day (I think...), but God knows when the last time was that I "trimmed the bushes" if you know what I mean. I am lucky if I get a shower every other day, and the time is spent frantically trying to wash my face, hair and body before my daughter notices that I'm gone and comes in to play in the toilet. My toenails have remnants of pink polish that my daughter and I did a couple of weeks ago, but my heels are hard and crusty and reminiscent of someone's grandma who asks you to rub lotion on her feet. I have not given up entirely on myself, have I? I don't think I could handle it if I gave in now at 28 years old and said "what the hell?" and stopped doing things for myself. But where is the time? When am I supposed to do all this primping and preening?

I get up in the morning, take care of the kids, do some work, take care of the kids, do some blogging, take care of the kids, clean the house, take care of the kids, go food shopping, take care of the kids, etc., etc., you get the idea. When I do get out of the house, I am usually doing something for my children, buying them something or doing something with my husband in preparation for moving into our new house. When do I squeeze in some "me" time?

Every mother struggles with this. Not only is it the lack of time, but there is the guilt factor as well. As a mother, my life is riddled with guilt. If I take time and money to go do something for myself, I feel bad. I feel like I should have spent that time and money with my kids, or doing something for the house. How much do we, as mothers, need to sacrifice before we feel like we are doing enough? And is it important for us to have interests and activities for ourselves?

The answer is HELL YES! If we don't take the time to cater to ourselves and take care of our individuality outside of motherhood, we are not going to be the best mothers we can be. A happy, well taken care of mother is a good mother, in my opinion. We may feel that it is selfish or frivolous, but really, why are we less important than everyone else? I love being a mother, but I am not going to pigeonhole myself so that that is all I am. I define myself, and I am not ready to let go of my "me-ness." I need to make more of an effort to try to do things that I like, to take care of myself and my hygiene (everyone around me will benefit from that as well) and to cater to the intellectual and emotional needs of myself as a woman.

So this week I am going to find time to have my eyebrows waxed, I will shave my legs, trim the bushes and go out with some girlfriends for some talk that (at least part of the time) does not involve potty training or time outs. I owe it to myself--and my children--to be the best mother and ME I can be.