This is the third part of the Build 'Em Up Series. You can join in by heading over to Blue-Eyed Bride, Kelly's Korner, Life in the Green House, or Lil Light O' Mine.
Today we're talking about how we take care of ourselves.
If you're a mother, you know how hard it is to put your needs first.
Once you birth a baby, they become your everything. They require many hours of your day.
I'm not going to lie. This is a VERY HARD thing for me. Taking care of me in the midst of taking care of my family isn't something that comes easy for me. I had this idea, while pregnant with Amelia, that I would carry on as usual after her arrival. And for the most part, I did.
Add baby number two and things have changed.
I've had many tearful moments about this very subject because it seems impossible some days to do the most simple things.
Like take a shower.
So I'll list some things that I try to do to take care of myself.
Sydney is starting to stay well for longer periods of time and that has allowed her to sleep more. And in turn, allowed this Mama to rest a little more. Having the proper amount of rest is huge for me. Alex can always tell when I'm getting to the point of needing a full nights sleep. I guess I get that crazy look in my eyes.
I'm pro grab-a-nap if the opportunity presents itself. It's amazing what a good 15 minute (or one hour) nap can do for a Mama! If you find yourself a little on edge with everyone around you - you might just need a good siesta. Rest is good for the body and mind.
And please take note of that spanish word I just used. It's the one and only word I remember from 11th grade spanish class. Glad I finally had the opportunity to use it. Mr. Hernandez would be so proud.
2. Quiet Time.
My quiet time is usually during nap time or bed time. That's the season we're in. I take it when I can get it. I need time reading my Bible. If I get time to do some of my Bible study...that's even better. One thing I heard over and over at DotMom was whether it's one verse or 10 minutes or whatever it is...that's okay. Meditate on that one verse all day. Sometimes you meditate on it all week.
This was refreshing for me.
Because we get it in our heads that we have to have an hour or more every day. Alone. On a settee. With a cup of hot tea in hand. With our nose in our Bible.
I'm just being honest, that's not happening for me right now. And that's okay. I'm taking what I can get. Time with the Lord is good for my soul.
3. Pampering myself.
My husband is a God-send. He knows my needs. He makes sure I take time to pamper myself. A mani/pedi, eyebrow wax and hair appointment can make this girl feel nice and normal! He can tell when I'm feeling not-so-pretty in my yoga pants and snot covered t-shirt.
Does anyone else feel like they've been covered in boogers and spit-up for the last 7 months?
Just me? Alrighty.
Alex will watch the girls and I get to take a couple of hours and let someone else take care of me. It's beyond wonderful.
4. Get a sitter.
We recently looked over our budget and made room for a sitter to come once a week. Her name is Lexie and our girls love her. This allows me to go to doctor's appointments without having two kiddos in tow. Go to lunch with a friend. Go grocery shopping. Things like that. I realize this isn't an option for some, so I would say if you have family or friends close by, ask them to help you out once a week or every other week. We have huge families but our huge families are very busy, so this is a better option for us. If we are in need of an overnight sitter, that's usually when I ask family to help us out.
And if your husband is out of town a lot and you have family/friends that can help out - don't be afraid to ask them. My Uncle & Aunt came by to get Amelia, three of the days Alex was out of town last week. It was such a huge help and Amelia loved her time with them and their grand babies. Just having one child to take care of sometimes is like a mini-vacay. I know it's hard to ask because they might say no, but when they say yes, it's so nice! And if your babies are all grown up and you have some free-time, I encourage you to ask a mother of young children if you could babysit for her. This would minister to her in such a huge way!
5. Buy yourself something.
I was that person before having kids that said, "I will not buy for my kiddos only and stop buying for myself." And guess what? I'm the person that buys for my kids only and stopped buying for myself. Buy yourself some flowers, outfit, earrings, flip flops, latte or whatever is your thing. Doesn't have to be a huge expense. But allow yourself to have something that makes you feel special. I picked myself up some turquoise linen pants over the weekend and it felt like Christmas!
6. Time with friends.
I have a group of friends (my LG) that I meet with every two weeks. We're a group of women that came together over 7 years ago and we meet twice a month. Sometimes this is the only time we actually see one another, though we talk through text/email, etc. We laugh, cry, pray, encourage, share our hearts, eat good food, support one another, grieve together, celebrate together...we live life together! This is so important to me. I do my very best to nurture these friendships.
My husband is my best friend. I share everything with him. But he knows that I need my girlfriends just like he needs guy friends. If he's not on a business trip, he is more than happy to take care of our girls so that I can be with my LG. It's twice a month. In the grand scheme of things, that's not very often, but it's often enough for me to feel connected with these girls. I need them. And they need me. They make me laugh so hard and laughter is my most favorite thing in the world. Time with friends is good for my spirit.
7. Time with my husband.
This one is a no-brainer. I need time with Alex.
I'm not his Mama. I'm his wife. And sometimes we get into this mama-mindset and start treating our husbands like a 3rd child. So not cool.
Or is that just me? Alrighty.
Just because we're married doesn't mean we no longer pursue and date one another.
Though I will be the first to admit, it's so hard to find time to just be ALONE. I'm sure it will get easier the older our kiddos get, but right now, life is b-u-s-y. And if my oldest is awake, she wants her Daddy's attention. This is another reason we wanted to find a babysitter.
Three cheers for DATE NIGHTS!!!
If we aren't connected on every level, everything feels off. We're a team. I still want to be head-over-heels in love with this man when our girls move out of the house. Lord knows my babies leaving the house will rock my world. There comes a point when they do leave. Alex isn't going any where! He promised. My relationship with Alex comes before my children. God, spouse, kiddos. That's how we roll. The whole "two become one" thing...that's for real. I need time with my man. Time with Alex is good for my heart.
And I say all of that to say this. When I'm taking the very best care of myself - there's no doubt I take the very best care of my family.
Love to all,