As working mothers we don’t have fires to put out – we have bonfires to put out. Every day and twice on Sunday we dash from blaze to blaze trying to create order out of the chaos. So when do we have three hours to go get our hair cut, colored, and blown out? Or an hour and a half to get a mani-pedi? When was the last time you went clothes shopping and it wasn’t a timed event necessitated by the fact that every sweater you own has a hole in it and you need to both be warm and able to walk around in public without folks throwing their spare change at you?
This Friday, as I faced a last-minute dinner with folks I hadn’t seen in a few years, I was in a panic as I tried desperately to hide the fact that I haven’t had my hair cut in six months and have eaten my way through the holiday season for a grand total of five additional pounds now hanging off my rear-end. I’m not sure the spray tan or year old teeth whitening I found in the back of my refrigerator did the trick but really it was all I had. You know, that and a large sweater – which was the catalyst for the aforementioned timed sweater shopping event.
And as generally insane as I am, as I take a moment to look around, it seems like every member of the working moms’ club is suffering from the same affliction. It’s not that we are last on the list (behind painting the house trim and changing the oil in the car). Frankly, we aren’t even on the list. And it isn’t until moments like the one I experienced on Friday – where we see ourselves through the eyes of the rest of the world – that it finally dawns on us that we need to actually put ourselves back on the list – and preferably somewhere in one of the top three slots.
But realizing you have a problem and committing to do something about it is only half the battle. The second and much more difficult part oft he battle is that once you commit to putting yourself on the list you need to want it. I mean really want it – and even more importantly feel deserving of it. Because it doesn’t matter if you take that first step towards making yourself a priority by going to the gym and signing up with a trainer to lose those last twenty pounds of baby fat (so what if your child is a freshman in high school – girl, that just means it is time), if you don’t feel like you DESERVE the time away from your family, the office, housework, yard work, you name it (I’m serious – insert the thing that kills your will to prioritize your own needs here). So just take all the reasons you shouldn’t be “indulging” your needs, shut them up in a box, and leave them in your closet for at least a few hours every week. Because a happy mom makes for a great mom. So let’s hear it for happiness!
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