Once upon a time, I had a baby. I was committed to breastfeeding, and everyone gave me advice. The most common thing I heard was:
Sleep when the baby sleeps.
Check! I can do that, I thought. I plunged into the sleep deprived world of on demand breastfeeding and within 2 months my little one had a schedule. She fed every two hours. I dutifully followed my extensive task list of
Sleep when baby sleeps
Keep yourself and baby alive
But it seemed like I was always either breastfeeding or sleeping or changing diapers: eating didn’t get on the list. I got very thirsty and very hungry, but even going to the bathroom seemed like an enormous act of selfishness. Fortunately, I came to my senses and added another task to my existing ones.
Eat when the baby eats.
Now, you would think that eating would naturally fall into the category of “Keep yourself and baby alive.” But as any new mom can tell you, the first three months of baby’s life is a time of total memory loss! I never saw other moms eating. I didn’t know what I could eat. And I wasn’t cooking at all, so there wasn’t any easily accessible food in my house.
Self-care is a lot like that. We know, intellectually, that we need to take care of ourselves. We think we’ve got it covered in our to-do lists. Yet we often neglect crucial aspects of self-care, basic things like tooth cleaning and Pap smears, and forget about “luxury” items like community, prayer/meditation, or hobbies!
If you don’t do it for yourself, then consider this:
Your kids will do exactly as you do. Is the life you’re living right now one you want for them? Will they live a life that includes healthy habits, strong boundaries, and respectful, loving relationships?
They will if you will.
Do it for the kids.
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