Caring for your (Inner) Child
Hello Mamas! The holidays are behind us, and finally you can just relax on the sofa, put your feet up, and sip a glass of Cabernet while your Dear Darling washes the dishes and the children play quietly at your feet. Wait – back to reality … maybe in the next lifetime. For now, you need to continue shuttling, toting, cooking, shopping, managing your career and household and retaining your sanity on snow days. But I ask you this – who’s taking care of Mama? Are you eating, sleeping, and feeling as well as the rest of your family? Well if you’re like most of the 24/7 Mamas I know, you eat on the run or skip meals altogether, rarely get enough sleep, and when you get sick you OD on OTCs so you can keep working and running the household at top speed. Does this sound like you? Can you imagine if you treated your children that way?
“Mommy, I’m hungry.”
“Well you’re too busy to sit down and eat. Just grab a couple Wheat Thins and a coffee, that should hold you for a few hours until dinner.”
“Mommy, I’m tired.”
“Well you’re busy poring over other people’s Facebook photos and the laundry’s not done, so you’ll have to just stay up late and drink a couple Ultra Mega Grande coffees with extra espresso shots tomorrow.”
Look, you’re not a superhero (though you do have those fabulous cuffs that could probably deflect bullets!), so start taking care of yourself like you do your loved ones. I promise you great things will happen: when you get enough sleep, you spend less money on concealer; when you eat healthy, regular meals, you stop bitching about your “adult onset acne”; when you make time for exercise and rest, you reduce the chances of getting hoarse from screaming at your family to pick up their f—ing socks once and for all or else and I’m not kidding this time so don’t test me …
All this I’ve written above can be yours for the low, low price of putting yourself first, or at least on par with the rest of your family. To start the New Year off right, resolve to care for EVERYONE in your house. Time for tips!
Try this little experiment: Close your eyes and imagine one of your children at five years old. Picture that innocent, perfect little face. Think about how wonderful and loving she is when she’s not defying you in a sugar-induced rage or demanding to play with your iPhone in the checkout line. Now imagine your precious child holding her tummy and saying, “Mommy, I’m hungry.” What do you do? Do you give her a third cup of coffee until you can run out to Taco Bell and grab her a quick chimichanga? No! You wouldn’t taint your perfect angel of heaven with toxins and trans fats! No, you drive to Whole Foods and spend half your paycheck on organic jicama pudding and free range applesauce so your child can grow up pesticide-free, devoid of bovine hormones, and one day have the strongest synapses at Harvard.
Now, what do you feed yourself when jetting from work to the soccer field to music lessons to science camp while folding socks and fixing dinner? Do you really deserve anything less than healthy choices and a sit-down meal? Why not try sitting down with your children for breakfast and lunch as well as dinner? A fellow Mama of mine who did this found that her usually picky daughter started requesting a salad with her lunch, just like her Mama eats. Remember, the little ones are forming values and habits by watching Mom and Dad, so practice a little “Do what I say AND as I do.” Then DO sit down and enjoy the same benefits you always give your children – delicious, nutritious food and a little time off from all that other stuff that can wait.
We try to pack 25 hours into a 24-hour day; Starbucks now offers a 32-ounce “Trenta”. Coincidence? You decide. We deprive ourselves of sleep to get more done, but then we drag through the workweek and invite stress and illness to set up shop in our beautiful bodies. Do the math: adding an extra hour of sleep will give you tenfold the energy the next day. “But I can’t sacrifice 60 precious minutes!” you whine. Yes, there are many important things that must be done. But maybe you can cut something out that is less of a priority than your well-being – is Facebooking late into the night worth having bags under your eyes the size of a Louis Vuitton Keepall the next morning? DVR Homeland, get to bed an hour early here and there, and go for the Grande (just one).
We Mamas are busy. We can’t just lie in bed all day when we get sick. The kids still need dinner and help with the homework, and someone needs to make sure they brush their teeth and get to bed before Modern Family comes on. And we all know your Dear Darling, if you have one of those in-house, will effectively cancel out any rest you might get by coming in every twelve minutes to ask where Aidan hid his favorite Transformer or how to extract a Lego from Violet’s nostril. So let me ask you this: have you ever hired a babysitter so you could go to a party you didn’t want to attend? When the latest cold virus throws a fiesta in your bloodstream, you can’t reply, “sorry, I have a conflict that evening.” Hire a babysitter or rent a friend’s nanny for the night, and know that the well-oiled machine of your home will keep running fine without you. Rest, sleep and get well. You’re worth whatever the going rate is.
Now I imagine some of you SuperMamas are thinking, Ah, this is great advice for everyone else, but I really can’t take the time. Well I’m not saying any of these suggestions are easy or even doable for everyone, especially if you’re the only one holding down the household. But just take a minute and consider that you were once a small, precious child deserving of great care. And know that you are now a smart, powerful, beautiful woman deserving of great care. You have a right to look and feel great, and you are allowed to make the time to make sure that happens, even if the socks remain maddeningly unmatched in the laundry basket (let it go) and you miss an episode of Downton Abbey. Let’s resolve to have a fashionable, fun, and charitable year with the help of our Three Haute Mamas, and to take steps to feel our best every day. And if you find you really can’t make an effort to rest, eat well and stay healthy, at least make time for that Cab on the sofa.
Happy New Year, Mamas!
Superhero cuffs link
This is from your Contrarian post: http://threehautemamas.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/photo-295.jpg available at Contrary Boutique
Louis Vuitton Keepall link – David Beckham YUMMINESS!!!