I have a confession to make.
I have not been nourishing myself properly.
I have not been creating to the extent I need to, in order to feel like myself.
As a result, I have not been blooming.
I feel like I've lost my sparkle.
This parenting gig is hard. Harder than I anticipated and I feel like it's kicking my ass. The first year of my daughter's life I was high from the euphoria of finally becoming a mama. Toddlerhood is a different story. My little one is spirited. A climber. Fearless. Fast. And Loud.
She might end up being an only child.
I now know why "it takes a village." The problem is we don't have a village here in Dallas and minimal traveling familial help. My hubby works at least 60 hours a week and often travels. Almost all the other mamas in my moms group are preggers or just had a baby and I am thinking: how the hell does anyone have more than one child?
Don't get me wrong. I LOVE my daughter. She is my glitter. My heart and soul. My joy. My snuggle.
She is also the cause of my sleep deprivation (anyone who knows me knows I need a lot of sleep to function) and the cause of my new white hairs (still so few I can pluck them, thank goodness.)
I've lost balance. When she first clung to my leg, my heart melted. Now, I would just like to walk unencumbered.
Yes, I can hire help. But now that I'm a parent, I finally understand what mommy guilt is. I don't want to stick her with an anonymous sitter.
There is more of me (I gained a few pounds) and less of me (mojo, where did you go?). Is the creative, hip woman I used to be inside this mama who wears yoga pants everyday? On the positive side, I've also gained insight and empathy for all who are in a similar situation. Caregiving is tough. Caregiving with limited support is extremely tough.
Sometimes I cry to my husband, "I feel like a failure! How is everyone else doing this?" He says, "Look at her! She is thriving!" And it's true, she is. But look at me. I need to find some middle ground before she sucks me dry.
I don't want to model self-neglect to my daughter.
I want to be a mama who sparkles.
So, in December, I made a choice to focus on my own care. I'm fighting the mommy guilt head on. And it is not easy, folks. I joined a new gym (the last one kept kicking her out of the day care for crying too long) and I've set monthly goals for myself that I'm tracking in a fabulous Wizard of Oz datebook that my mother-in-law gave me. At first, I was also recording everything I did that nourished my body and soul (crafty time, writing time, baths, etc.) I've had 2 set backs, but each time I got back up, and that's all that counts. And I'm now taking my own professional advice on balance (which I took pre-baby, back when it was easier.) Preschool a few days a week has also turned out to be life-changing.
So, I'm not going to pretend that I am a mama who has it all together. My hope is that my confession helps me stay on the path back to myself. I also hope it helps you as much as it helps me. Maybe you need a bit of a kick in the butt too to start making your health and happiness a priority.
So, tell me, dear readers: What are your struggles and what are your goals? How are you making your wellness a priority, or how are you going to do so moving forward? Please share your insights here to help others. Or share your struggles and seek support. Or share your plans: how are you going to nourish your sparkle?