Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mommy Time

Lately I've been dying for some "me time". And really, it has nothing to do with needing a break from Jacob. As tiring as he can be these days, he's actually pretty entertaining so he's fun to hang out with. Tonight I ran to the mall after dinner to pick up a few things and he was asleep (but still ready to eat) when I got back, and I felt bad that I missed out on most of his awake time today. There's never enough hours in the day to get everything done--work, Jacob time, cooking, cleaning, sleeping--and at the end of the day, probably everyone misses out a bit in one way or another. Jacob probably doesn't get enough Mommy & Daddy time, Mommy and Daddy don't get a lot of "us" time (or, perhaps, fail to make the most of it out of sheer exhaustion), and probably neither of us get enough alone time to pursue other interests. Although, we must get some time because it's one of the reasons we are WEEKS behind on our DVRed shows. Between tending to Jacob in the evenings, taking care of dinner, dishes and bottlewashing, and finally getting some time to blog, check email, or just relax, I've forced TV down to the bottom of the priority list...or else I'd never get anything done.

Anyway, what I really need is enough uninterrupted time to take care of things that will make me happy. Sounds selfish, but really, I don't think it is. Why? Because sometimes you need to accomplish certain things in order to be at peace with yourself and therefore be a better parent. I've been wanting to take a day off work for weeks so I can clean my house. I haven't been able to pull it off, and my house is disgusting. And considering Jacob is now crawling all over it, it's really becoming vital that I get it done. But really, I just can't bring myself to do it in the evenings so I just need a day to pysche myself up and do it. Not exactly an ideal day off, but honestly, with how much it's bothering me it'd be a day put to good use for more reasons than one. Craig wants to have people over for Memorial Day (an annual NCAA lacrosse party that took a break last year because we had no friends...but our one friend is moving back so the party's back on! Sad, isn't it?), so if nothing else I will have to do it before then.

I also need to work on my appearance a bit. I haven't had a haircut since before Christmas and I haven't had highlights in my hair in a couple years. And every morning when I get up and do my hair, I hate it. I feel so blah and frumpy. It doesn't help that I still haven't figured out how to dress my new body, nor have I actually spent much time shopping to actually figure it out. Right now my chest is still big, my stomach is chubby, and my lower half is super skinny. My clothes don't fit quite right, but I just haven't taken the time to go out and shop. Part of me thinks it's unnecessary, but when I can pull a pair of pants off without unbuttoning them, or try on a shirt that's unattractively skin tight through the belly, I start to think that maybe it's more important than I thought. But finding time to go shopping and actually having patience with it (either because my body drives me nuts or because I'm preoccupied thinking about Jacob) is really, really tough. Jacob is almost a year old, which means I've been in a bit of a holding pattern for a really long time. I'm starting to realize that I need to put some effort into myself before I'm too far gone and give up trying to look good. I need to take the time to get a hair appointment...if I could just remember to call. I think that alone would be a huge self-esteem boost, and it might distract me from the clothes/body issue for a while.

Pregnancy, as much as it's influenced by the baby, tends to be a bit of a self-centered period. You catch people's eyes as you walk into a room, everyone's asking you how you're feeling, and you're just trying to take care of yourself. Ultimately everything comes back to the baby, but you have to be a little self-focused to make sure you're taking care of yourself above all. But the second that baby's born, everything changes. Your world revolves around the baby and little else matters. You might sneak in a selfish moment here and there, but for the most part, you no longer run the show. It's a big change. And all of a sudden you realize that all this time has passed and you've just sort of lost you in the midst of it. It's not entirely a bad thing, but again, if it gets too far, it's not good for your own self-esteem. For proof, just watch week after week of "What Not to Wear" to see all the moms who stopped caring about their appearance. Not good. I don't want that to be me.

On the other hand, I also don't want to go to the other end of the spectrum. Right now I think the poster child for that is Kate Gosselin from "Jon & Kate + Eight". That poor family has a LOT of problems right now, but before the current headlines, I was noticing that all of a sudden Kate seemed to be a lot more self-concerned. For years she didn't really pay attention to her clothes, and all of a sudden she was dressing up more, going for the fake bake tan, and just generally looking a lot more styled. Her behavior on the show seemed a lot more cranky and arrogant, and lately she's been doing a lot of traveling away from the family to promote her books. The family now has money and fame, and Kate has been loving every minute of the attention. She seems to have found her calling as a speaker, I guess. It's a tough call. I mean, she gave up her career to be a mom, and spent a lot of years completely immersed in the lives of her kids. And perhaps she got to a point where she lost herself in it all. And now with these opportunities she's found something she likes. Whether it's finally feeling beautiful or pampered or enjoying the attention or doing something adult with her time or just plain getting out and about after years stuck in the house with eight kids (would you go out much?), I suppose she's enjoying the opportunities. Unfortunately she seems to have gone a little over the edge, however, and there have been nasty effects on the whole family. It's so sad to think those eight kids that they wanted so badly may not live in a two-parent family for much longer. And if nothing else, it's not a happy family right now. So, yeah, there can certainly be a dark side to a mommy rediscovering herself, but obviously I'm pretty confident that I can keep myself under control :)

Jacob always has to be my priority now, but I'm definitely getting to the point where I think I need to do a little "me" work here and there. I won't be able to change focus for long, though...the face of my sweet little boy captures my attention all too easily...he is just too darn cute!

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