You’re Worth Your Own Attention

It was late… not like Tonight Show late… like infomercial late… like somewhere there is a farmer getting up to start his day late…. Like almost tomorrow late.

And I hadn’t slept one bit. Don’t get me wrong here. My head had touched the pillow. It had touched the pillow many times, but it hadn’t gotten to stay there long.

I put my two preschoolers to bed just as the baby woke up and decided that he was hungry again. And this was no quick meal. He did not treat it like fast food. He acted like it was an all you can eat buffet. It was one of those feedings that went on and on and on…

But when he finally decided that he was done, he also decided that he would like to play for an hour or so. I tried reasoning with him. I explained that he would be tired the next day if he didn’t get some rest. But, he’s 8 weeks old, and so he didn’t exactly listen. We’ll work on that.

Finally, he fell asleep, and jus as I laid him into his bassinet, two little feet came running down my hall. My daughter jumped into our bed, “I had a bad dream!”

“SHHHHhh. We can’t wake up baby bubby.” I scooped her up and whisked her out of the room. “Let’s go back to your room and I will sit with you while you go back to sleep.”

I apparently should have been clearer. I perhaps should have said, “I will sit with you for just a few minutes.” Because every 2 minutes she would pop her eyes open and say, “I’m not asleep yet. You said you would stay while I fell asleep.” She’s awfully smart for a three year old.

And I would whisper, “Shhh. Close your eyes.” And try to tiptoe out of the room… only to be met at the door with, “Mommy! Where are you going?!”

Bless her heart. She just couldn’t settle, and after about 20 minutes of waiting for her to fall asleep she announced, “I have to potttttty!”

A quick trip to the potty, back in bed, and she was asleep in 3 minutes. I guess I should have asked sooner.

As I got back to my room, and laid my head down on my pillow, that sweet baby started fussing. I sat up, found the paci and popped it back into his mouth. And just as I was about to lay down again, he spit it out.

Five rounds of getting out of bed to get him his pacifier later… I decided he might need more than just a paci. He was gassy. But he wasn’t just gassy, he needed a diaper change. Oh, and this would be a diaper, clothes and bedding change. You might be a mom of young kids if you know the phrase, “Yooo HOOO. Big summer blowout.” (Frozen) You might really be a mom if you know that the “big October blowout” is not nearly as funny at 2 am. After changing the diaper, the clothes and giving him a baby wipe bath, we were ready for sleep.

Except we weren’t. We were ready to eat again.

Because he is 2 months old… and he has a timer to eat every three hours like the button on LOST that must be pressed every 108 minutes or the island will explode.

So, I fed and changed and put him back to bed… and finally crawled under my own covers.

And in those few fleeting moments before I slipped off to sleep, I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was someone to take care of me? Wouldn’t it be great if someone put me back in bed after bad dreams or argued that I should really try to rest so I’m not cranky tomorrow? Wouldn’t it be fantastic if someone was concerned if I was warm and fed and dry and soothed and relaxed and rested and happy?” And then I realized… that’s my job too.

I know that there will be more nights like last night, and days that are just as exhausting. It’s part of being a mom. It’s the part that we all knew came with the territory, but we had no idea would really be this hard. But we’re not doing anyone a service by neglecting ourselves. Because we are worth taking care of too.

Has anyone told you that in a while? Because as mommas, we can get so caught up in taking care of everyone and everything else that we sometimes always put ourselves last.

It’s okay, momma. It’s okay to say that you’re tired. It’s okay to say that you love your babies, but you wish you could take a break for a few days… even though just a few minutes would be nice. It is okay to admit that you feel like no one considers how you feel. It doesn’t make you a bad mom. It makes you an honest woman with honest emotions that are equally as valuable as everyone else’s.

Today, I want to extend this simple challenge – Yes, a challenge on top of everything else you do. Today, do one thing… just one small thing… just for you. Because, friend, you are worth your own attention. And you are important too.

 

 

 

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Comments

  • Cheryl says:

    Aaah, thank you so much for writing this! It sounds like my life right now with 2 under 2. If I’m not taking care of one child, I’m taking care of the other and sometimes I’m trying to juggle both at the same time. It’s good to know I’m not alone and I needed to be reminded that it’s okay to feel like I need a moment to myself and I don’t have to let my “mommy guilt” keep me from doing it. Today has been a particularly crazy day with my little ones and I really needed to hear this, so thank you! :)

  • TR says:

    Sounds like my nights. I have 5 month old twins. Literally once one is sleeping the other wakes up!

  • carrie says:

    You touched my soul. Ive been feeling like a horrible mom today because i wanted to run away and get a nap. Thank you!

  • shandyn says:

    I definitely needed to read this tonight. I knew becoming a mom would not be easy. Now a mother of two, I’m certain it’s one of the hardest most demanding jobs. There are no vacation days or sick days…and I often forget to take care of myself. I am going to make more of an effort to remember that I matter..so thanks for the reminder.

  • Carrie says:

    I’m reading this at 12:18 am. It’s late but I just NEEDED some time without someone saying Mom! I know exactly how you feel. My oldest was 2.5 when my THIRD child was born. Yes you read that right. All I could do was pray that God knew what he was doing since we had tried to NOT get pregnant TWICE and still gotten pregnant TWICE. We only ever planned our first. My third child was colicky, had horrible reflux, and was the hardest baby. He is three now and I am BARELY feeling like I have some time to myself. I really needed to hear this. After years of just SURVIVING it’s time to take care of me. Find myself and love ME again. It’s so easy to lose yourself in the world of taking care of everyone else. My kids need a Mom with purpose. With passion. And without guilt for wanting time to just be ME. It’s OK that I want that. Thanks for the validation. Write on! You are making a difference. At least with me.

  • Caley says:

    How did you know to post this today? How did you know I needed to read it today? After a week of my toddler and 5 month old having measles, sleepless nights, raging fevers, all day crying – I am exhausted and ready to call it a day! Add the mommy guilt on top of that that we are going on holiday in two weeks time WITHOUT them… I know I shouldn’t feel guilty and I am so excited but still… x

  • Vanessa says:

    With the hubby working two jobs and three kids ages 7, 4, and 10 months things were already crazy. But now the 7 year old is on crutches from knee surgery, the baby starting to walk, and the 4 year old’s ADHD in overdrive, this momma can certainly use a break. I try to get up before the kids just to enjoy a few quiet minutes to myself, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Maybe it’s time to enlist grandma and take a few hours for this mom to recharge. Thanks for the encouraging words and reminding us tired moms that it’s okay to take care of ourselves too.

  • Amy says:

    Thank you for sharing this. It’s something I’ve been struggling with a lot lately. I keep putting others first and forget that I need attention too, so that I can be more capable of helping others. If I’m not taking care of myself, it makes those morning blowouts and no-nap afternoons a lot harder. Thanks for your great words and encouragement! I’m going to go do something for me. :)

  • Kayleen says:

    I honestly can’t thank you enough for posting this. As a new mom, this has been my biggest struggle. That craving for a moment of alone time to do something for myself is typically ignored because I feel so selfish for wanting it. But I am starting to realize that it’s not just a want, it’s a NEED. We are better mommas when we take care of ourself as well. Thank you for being so honest and posting this. We are not alone!

  • Rita Bengyel says:

    Thank you for writing this!
    I wish I knew how to take a moment for myself.

  • evelyne says:

    Love this article! I have many a night / day/ week like this one you describe…..excellent reminder that it is my job also, to take care of me…

  • Lindsay says:

    Thank you for this. I sooooo needed this today after a long week with my 3 month old. You made me tear up and realize I am important too. Just thank you…

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